10 Things You Didn’t Know About Bruce Flatt

Bruce Flatt, the man who has astounded many by turning Brookfield Asset Management into a billion-dollar conglomerate, remains a puzzle. His legendary work ethic, vision, and leadership have significantly contributed to the incredible expansion and growth of Brookfield. Though he is often in the limelight due to his exceptional success in business, there’s a lot you might not know about this low-key billionaire.

1. He is a Native of Canada

Born in 1965, Bruce Flatt is a native of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. This might come as a surprise to many, given that he now dominates the global investment sector, but his roots are firmly planted in the country’s prairies. Speaking about his upbringing in interviews, Flatt credits his grit, determination, and work ethic to his early years.

As a testament to his strong ties to his homeland, Brookfield Asset Management, his billion-dollar company, remains based in Toronto, Canada, despite having offices in numerous countries worldwide. It’s quite evident that Flatt is proud of his Canadian heritage and has not forgotten his roots.

2. Started Working at an Early Age

Flatt’s tremendous work ethics can be traced back to his teenage years, as he started working at a local Canadian hardware chain store when he was just 13. The job provided him with a solid foundation in understanding the value of hard work and entrepreneurship.

Flatt has revealed in interviews how this early experience informed his work ethic, explaining that it was here he learned the importance of grit, customer service, and determination. Even at a young age, Flatt’s formidable work ethic was evident, foreshadowing his later success in the world of business.

3. He is a Chartered Accountant

Surprisingly, despite having become a prominent figure in property development and investment management, Bruce Flatt is a chartered accountant by training. His background in accounting allowed him an analytical and quantitative mindset, which would become invaluable assets in his entrepreneurial journey.

In his early career, Flatt worked for Ernst & Young, where he sharpened his financial management skills and understanding. This foundation continues to underpin his strategic decision-making and risk management strategies in Brookfield today.

4. Early Start at Brookfield

Flatt joined Brookfield’s predecessor company, Brascan, in 1990 and assumed the position of CEO in 2002. It’s a testament to Flatt’s vision and strategy that the company has grown exponentially in the years since he stepped into the role.

In his two decades of leadership, Brookfield has grown from $3 billion in assets to well over $350 billion today. Even more remarkable, his strategic approach has helped Brookfield withstand economic downturns and come out even stronger.

5. Guided by Long-term Thinking

At the helm of Brookfield, Flatt has long been guided by a strategic approach that emphasizes long-term thinking and patience. Rather than chasing short-term gains, he often speaks on the importance of being patient and finding the right investments.

In fact, Flatt is known for his ability to outwait other investors. By waiting for the perfect opportunity, he has established a strategy that sets Brookfield apart from its competitors and has been a significant driving force behind its success.

6. He’s an Avid Reader

Flatt has credited much of his business acumen and analytical abilities to his love for reading. He regularly reads various finance, investment, and business books. He believes that continuous learning and education are critical for success in the investment world.

In addition to books, he also regularly consumes news and other informative content related to his field of work. His reading habits demonstrate his dedication and passion for his profession and reveal a dedication to continuous self-improvement.

7. Flatt is a Family Man

Cheers to those who playfully call him the “Warren Buffet of Canada,” Bruce Flatt is a family man. Despite his busy schedule, he always makes time for his wife and three children. Flatt once told Forbes that he mostly spends his free time with his family, revealing an aspect of his personal life that seldom makes it into his professional biography.

Despite his high-profile job, Flatt has worked hard to remain grounded and focused on maintaining a healthy work-life balance.

8. He is a Generous Philanthropist

Despite his success and wealth, Flatt is reputed to be incredibly humble and invests in causes he is passionate about. He is a well-known philanthropist with a soft spot for giving back to his community.

He has pulled Brookfield into several philanthropic activities, making a huge impact on the lives of many people. Flatt is indeed proof that true success is not measured by wealth alone but also by the impact one makes in their community and society at large.

9. Believer in Renewable Energy

Under Flatt’s leadership, Brookfield has become a significant player in the renewable energy sector. He is a firm believer in renewable energy and its potential to change how we interact with our environment.

While many other firms were tentative about the renewable energy sector, Flatt saw opportunity. Today, Brookfield’s renewable arm, Brookfield Renewable Partners, is one of the largest publicly traded, pure-play renewable power platforms globally.

10. He is No Fan of Publicity

Unlike many other successful business magnates, Flatt is known for keeping a low profile and avoiding the limelight. He lives a very private life, and rarely does he appear in publications unless it’s related to his professional endeavours at Brookfield.

Despite being a prominent figure in the world of business and investment, his modesty is one of his distinguishing features that has earned him admiration from many around the globe.

Indeed, despite being one of the most successful global businessmen, Bruce Flatt’s persona extends far beyond his business genius. The hidden aspects of his life, his philosophy, and his humble personality make him a man of substance that many can look up to and learn from. A blend of dedication, passion, humility, and long-term thinking underscore his grand success.

Forbes Profile – Bruce Flatt
Brookfield’s Leadership – Bruce Flatt
Bloomberg Profile – Bruce Flatt