Dec. 18, 2010

BAM! That’s the name of his Toronto based company, Brookfield Asset Management, which according to the New York Times, is now a major player in U.S. real estate investment.

When, General Growth Properties (GGP) filed for the largest real estate bankruptcy in US history, Bruce Flatt’s B.A.M surprised many by beating out America’s biggest real estate company, Simon Property Group, in acquiring a major ownership stake in GGP.

Toronto’s Bruce Flatt is now being called the Warren Buffett of Canada, an expert of numbers with a superb eye for spotting distressed assets and a skill for negotiating deals that deliver big returns and steady cash flows.

Mr. Flatt is “among a handful of the smartest people in Canada,” says David Peterson, a former premier of Ontario and a senior partner and chairman of the law firm Cassels Brock & Blackwell, — as well as a neighbor of Mr. Flatt in Toronto.

The publicity-shy Mr. Flatt, 45, is modest when asked about his role in his company’s success. “This organization is not really about me,” he says in a rare interview while sitting in an 11th-floor conference room at the World Financial Center in Manhattan, the headquarters of Brookfield Office Properties, a B.A.M. spin-off. “Many organizations are built upon one person, but this organization could survive tomorrow morning without me — I truly believe that.”
According to the Morningstar, B.A.M.’s stock has been generating an average annual return of 23 percent, leaving the1.35 percent average for the S & P 500-stock index in its dust.

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