In Memory of our Founder
William Warren Berghuis (1932-2022)
On Thursday, November 10, 2022, Nexus’s founder, Bill Berghuis, died in Toronto. He had recently celebrated his 90th birthday and danced at the wedding of his eldest grandchild. He lived a full and happy life.
In the summer of 1988, Bill had the courage to walk away from the established investment firm that then employed him to hang out his shingle and start a new firm, Berghuis Investment Counsel. While pursuing a successful career in the institutional investment field, Bill attracted a number of individual clients. By 1988, Bill decided that this was what he most wanted to do, and he founded his new firm dedicated to private clients. The transition made sense, as Bill liked nothing more, his whole life, than to help other people.
The last 34 years have been a remarkable journey for his firm. Denys Calvin wrote a detailed history in December 2021, and in December of 2018 Alex Jemetz interviewed Bill for Nexus’s 30-year anniversary. Suffice it to say, the success of the firm was rooted in Bill invariably saying “yes” to some new idea, even though an easier or more comfortable solution might have been “no”. One of these “yes” moments was the proposal to combine the fledgling Berghuis Investment Counsel with Vantage Investment Counsel. Effective January 1, 1996, this combination led to the birth of Nexus.
Nexus has grown to be a substantial firm in the private client segment in Canada. Bill was incredibly proud of what the firm has achieved. Importantly, the culture of the firm today owes everything to the seeds that were planted by Bill Berghuis. Long before the days of regulatory “know your client” rules, Bill believed that we needed to know our clients so well that we were certain that everything we did was in their best interest. No detail was too small to ignore when serving clients. Integrity mattered more than anything else. We needed to earn and maintain the trust of our clients by the actions we took every single day. Moreover, Bill’s love for investing was infectious.
It seemed that Bill knew everyone in Toronto’s investment community. Having worked in the investment business all of his life, and having served terms with the Toronto Society of Financial Analysts and the Toronto Stock Exchange, everywhere he went he was greeted with warmth and appreciation. All you had to do was walk with him from one building to the next in downtown Toronto, stopping every 50 paces to chat with someone different, to appreciate how much he was loved and respected.
Every employee who ever worked at Nexus was inspired by Bill in some way. We will dearly miss him.
If you would like to read the obituary, please click here.