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John Hillery Passes Away!


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John Hillery, of Hillery & Associates, passed away from cancer.  He was a fantastic investor and a very good friend of Francis Chou's. If you were impressed by the investment acumen of the guys at Fairfax, John had an even better risk/reward ratio the last time I checked three years ago.


JOHN DOUGLAS HILLERY Died in the kind and capable hands of the doctors and nurses at the Credit Valley Palliative Care Unit following a two year battle with cancer. John lived a rich and full 64 year life and several times said he was one of the luckiest guys on earth. Beloved husband and best friend of Susan (nee Sheppard) and loving father of Shannon (fiance, Matt Wentzell). John was a twin brother of Elizabeth (Bess) Crawford and an uncle to Bess and Roger's daughter Melissa (fiancé, Jim O'Hare); a younger brother of Robert Hillery Jr. (deceased), brother-in-law of his wife Lucille and uncle to their daughter Tanja (and her son Seamus and daughter Clara) and sons Patrick and Michael; and a brother-in-law of John Sheppard (wife Lenore). John graduated as an Electrical Engineer with honours in 1969 and as a Lawyer in 1972, both from the University of Toronto. He practiced corporate and commercial law at Lash, Johnston, Sheard and Pringle in Toronto following his call to the bar in 1974. In 1976 he joined Indal Limited as Corporate Counsel, VP and Secretary. In 1984 he became VP of Investments at Indal managing a portion of their pension fund until 1989 when he went into business for himself as an investment fund manager. When he retired in 2007 his Hillery & Associates LP hedge fund had 50 partners. In his retirement he was a very active private investor continuing the work he loved so much. We were particularly grateful for the exceptional skill and the kind and reassuring manner of his surgeon Dr. Peter Ferguson at Mt. Sinai Hospital. We would also like to thank John's GP, Dr. James Pencharz and Kamila and Lorianne John's homecare nurses for all their caring and skilled support. John loved spending time at the cottage on the beautiful and peaceful Ahmic Lake with his many relatives and friends nearby. He was an active member of Humber Valley United Church for almost 30 years and served as the Treasurer for eight years and also as Chair of Stewards, Chair of Counting and as a Trustee. Visitation will take place at The Simple Alternative Funeral Centre, 1535 South Gateway Rd., Mississauga, ON L4W 5J1 on Thursday August 19, 2010 from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. A Memorial Service will be held on Friday, August 20, 2010 at 1 p.m. at Humber Valley United Church, 76 Anglesey Blvd., Toronto, M9A 3C1 416-231-2263. See www.hvuc.ca for directions. Donations in lieu of flowers to Humber Valley Foundation, 76 Anglesey Blvd., Toronto M9A 3C1 will be gratefully received.


John started his fund late in life and several years ago, he just closed the fund.  He had 50 partners or so, maybe $40-50M in capital, and said he didn't want any more partners or any more capital.  He was happy to work with what he had, and turned away any new interest in his fund.  His actions were one of the reasons we decided that we would shut the MPIC Funds down early as well...raise enough capital to do something with, but not so much where you lose the ability to compound it, the passion, and the fire.


The last annual letter I have (2006) is attached.  Those numbers he produced were done with an average over 50% cash in the fund!  A fantastic manager who loved his low profile and just investing capital.  Cheers!

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  • 4 years later...

It always amazes me that John is almost unknown in Canada.

What is that saying about a prophet not being accepted in his hometown?  :(

Ok that is unfair, John did not exactly promote himself, but I do think he was/is one of the best people to learn from.

Great guy!

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