It was Calgary Chamber of Commerce president Adam Legge’s retweet of Brett Wilson’s post on Twitter that caught my attention Monday morning.

I was just back from synagogue, having said Kaddish for my late mother who passed away in September.

“Another dead by one’s own hand,” it read. “Another dark cloud that wasn’t seen by family and friends. A competitor and friend of mine …”

Having been connected to the investment banking community for more than 20 years, his use of the word “competitor” left no doubt I — and my husband, a partner of Wilson’s at FirstEnergy Capital Corp. — knew to whom he was referring.

“It was George,” said Brett.

George meant George Gosbee.

Father, husband, brother, son.

In addition to being the founder of AltaCorp Capital and Tristone Capital, former co-chair of the Alberta Investment Management Corporation, an owner of the Phoenix Coyotes and involved in the community and political spheres.

In George’s world, nothing was impossible. It was all about what was possible.

Maybe it was borne of the health scare he encountered in his early 20s.

That’s when Gosbee had begun his investment banking journey — realizing a lifelong dream — working for Peters & Co. while still attending the University of Calgary. It was during this time it was discovered he had a benign brain tumour.

For George, wasting time almost became a sin.

Gos, or the ‘the Gos,’ went on to work at Newcrest Capital, leaving that shop to form Tristone Capital, with a host of Bay Street finance veterans that included Vincent Chahley, Chris Theal, Tom Ebbern, Dave Street and Andrew Judson.

The founding of Tristone was the subject of my first column for the Globe and Mail, in September 2002.

When Tristone was sold to Macquarie in 2009, Gosbee went on to establish AltaCorp, with Alberta Treasury Branches as a partner.

Downtown Calgary has stopped many times in recent years, but Monday was different. That’s because so many were expressing the same thought.

“I had no idea….,” was the common refrain.

The notion that someone who, on the face of it, had everything — or almost everything — would despair to the point they would take their own life is devastating.

To family, friends, colleagues and yes, competitors.

George wasn’t sick. At least not visibly.

Unlike a physical ailment that is easy to identify, mental health issues hide in the corners of society. And that is especially true for men.

So many boomers today are products of upbringings that bear …read more


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Yedlin: George Gosbee’s death a devastating reminder of mental health effects

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