Mark S. Bonham joined The Canada Life Assurance Company in the Investment Division on a part-time basis during his undergraduate years, and full-time in 1982. His work included administering the company’s portfolio of Segregated Funds. He left Canada Life to pursue his graduate degree in 1984.
On returning to Canada in 1986, Mark co-founded the mutual fund management company BPI Financial Corporation (BPI) and served as its President & Chief Executive Officer. BPI grew by internal growth and through acquisition, including The Walywn Series of Funds (1988, $77 million of assets) of Toronto, MK Wong Asset Management (1989, $95 million of assets) of Vancouver, and Bolton Tremblay Funds Inc. (1994, $188 million of assets) of Toronto and Montreal. Mark took BPI public in 1991 on the Alberta Stock Exchange under the Junior Capital Pool Program (being the first financial firm to use this program) and renamed the company BPI Financial Corporation. BPI Financial graduated to the Toronto Stock Exchange in 1992.
While at BPI Financial, the company:
- was the first Canadian mutual fund firm to introduce chequing privileges on Money Market Fund holdings;
- introduced international fund managers Kleinwort Benson, Morgan Stanley Asset Management, and Lazard Freres Asset Managment to Canadian mutual fund investors;
- created the first Canadian mutual funds for sophisticated retail clients which included hedge fund activity and private investments (the BPI Canadian Opportunities Fund and the BPI Global Opportunities Fund), being the first such unitized products in Canada.
Mark Bonham sold his position in the company and left BPI Financial Corporation in 1995 after it reached $3.6 billion in assets under management and was the fourteenth largest fund company in Canada.
He then founded the mutual fund management company Strategic Value Corporation in September 1995 and became President and Chief Executive Officer. Strategic Value entered into a co-management agreement with Hambros Bank Asset Management of London (UK) and introduced them to the Canadian mutual fund investment marketplace for non-Canadian asset management. Mark took the company public on the Toronto Stock Exchange in 1996. Strategic Value acquired Laurentian Funds Management Inc. from the Desjardins-Laurentian Group in May 1997 ($1.8 billion of assets). In June 1999, Strategic Value Corporation acquired O’Donnell Investment Management Corporation of Toronto ($1.2 billion of assets) and was renamed SVC O’Donnell Corporation. In 2000, SVC O’Donnell was purchased by Nova Bancorp Group, a unit of the Quebec pension plan Caisse de Depot, when the company had $3.3 billion of assets under management.
Mark S. Bonham departed the company and continued investment management, consulting and advisory services with Bonham & Co. Inc.
From 2003-2008, he was President of Stoney Ridge Estate Winery located in Vineland, Ontario, Canada. During his tenure, Stoney Ridge Estate Winery was awarded the top Canadian winery by the International Spirits and Wine Awards in 2008.