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"REU" 2007 Obituary


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REUBEN o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2007-11-13 published
LEEPER, Muriel (née REUBEN)
Passed away on November 11, 2007. Age 90. Predeceased by her husband Robert. Survived by her children; Desmond, Cyril, Michael, Patricia, Paul, Marian and James, as well as her loving sister Lucille. Will be sadly missed by her many grandchildren, nieces, nephews and music students that studied with her. Resting at Bates and Dodds Funeral Services (931 Queen Street West, Toronto). Visitation on Thursday, November 15, 2007 from 9: 30 a.m. until funeral service at 12 noon. Interment Holy Cross Cemetery.

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REUBER o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2007-09-12 published
Headstrong Chief Executive Officer saved Churchill Falls and rescued the Bank of Montreal
An emergency boss who took over after a plane crash wiped out everyone else, he brought the power project in on time before moving to a troubled Bank of Montreal, where he ruthlessly cleaned house
By Gordon PITTS, Page S8
Besides banking and family, William MULHOLLAND's grand passion was raising Hanoverian riding horses, which, according to one of his nine children, are "headstrong, able and smart." Those adjectives can just as easily be applied to her demanding father, said Caroline VAN NOSTRAND.
Those traits helped propel Mr. MULHOLLAND, a U.S.-born outsider, into one of Canada's most exciting and controversial management careers. He was the emergency boss who came in to save the massive Churchill Falls power project in Labrador. Then he turned around the Bank of Montreal, Canada's oldest bank, and as a financial-services innovator helped change the country's banking industry.
As an agent of change at the lacklustre Bank of Montreal, he fired executives who didn't measure up, winning a reputation as a tough, uncompromising boss. He tightened credit policies, led technological innovation and bought a Chicago bank in a far-sighted move that anticipated a North American market. He helped lead the Canadian commercial banks' march into investment banking with the purchase of brokerage Nesbitt Thomson.
Like many turnaround managers, he was accused of staying too long as Chief Executive Officer and losing touch with a rapidly evolving industry. Yet he reached down into the ranks to develop a new generation of Bank of Montreal leaders that included future Chief Executive Officers Matthew Barrett and Anthony Comper.
He was a complicated man who was seen as remote, autocratic, introverted and eccentric, but he was regarded as brilliant for some of his strategic moves. He could become deeply absorbed in detail and alarmingly inattentive to people's feelings. In describing him, Friends often fall back on that old cliché: "He did not suffer fools gladly."
"My father was not always easy," said Ms. VAN NOSTRAND, who lives in Toronto. "He had exacting standards and he upheld them for himself and expected others to do their best to get that same quality.
"But you can't mistake that for a lack of true caring and love and a huge commitment to family."
Still, for all his high standards and strategic thinking, Mr. MULHOLLAND's own career was almost haphazard, the product of tragic circumstances, timing and managerial agility.
He was born in Albany, New York the son of a civil servant who became New York's director of parks. Even at birth, he had a Canadian connection - his maternal great-grandmother was a French-Canadian from Trois-Rivières. He attended Christian Brothers Academy, a Catholic military school in Albany, where he became an expert rider, marksman, and fly fisherman -- interests he pursued throughout his life.
He graduated from high school, joined the U.S. Army during the Second World War and trained as a weapons instructor before being posted to the Philippines. After discharge, he entered Harvard College, got his B.A., then earned an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School, while working in the summers as a park ranger.
He then parlayed a social connection with the financier Morgan family to join the investment banking house Morgan Stanley and pursue a career on Wall Street.
He married the daughter of a family friend, Nancy BOOTH, on June 22, 1957. Their rearing of nine children (four daughters and five sons) has been attributed by his wife to the consequences of a union between an Irish Catholic and a Free Methodist.
Mr. MULHOLLAND thrived in investment banking. One of his clients was Brinco, a Montreal firm of British-Canadian origins that was building the $1-billion Churchill Falls hydro project. He placed a $500-million bond issue for the company - at that time, a record sale of securities by a corporation.
But on November 11, 1969, Brinco's executive jet crashed, killing six members of its senior team, including the president and finance vice-president. The company was leaderless at a critical juncture in the Churchill Falls project. Mr. MULHOLLAND "was the last man standing who knew what it was all about," said Richard O'HAGAN, who was later his public-affairs specialist at Bank of Montreal.
In January, 1970, at the age of 43, he moved to Montreal to become Brinco's president and Chief Executive Officer. He also joined the board of the Bank of Montreal, which was the principal commercial banker for the Churchill Falls project. He brought the project in five months ahead of schedule and under budget.
Ron SOUTHERN, the Calgary-based head of Atco Ltd., was supplying Brinco with housing for its Churchill Falls work force. He was also negotiating to build housing factories in the Soviet Union and invited Soviet president Alexsei Kosygin to tour his facilities in Montreal. Mr. MULHOLLAND agreed to provide testimonials for the Atco products, and impressed Mr. SOUTHERN with his ability to hold his own in intense geopolitical discussions.
It was the beginning of a Friendship that was cemented in the mid-1970s, when Mr. SOUTHERN opened his Spruce Meadows equestrian centre near Calgary. Mr. MULHOLLAND attended the first major equestrian event, impressing Mr. SOUTHERN with his own riding skills. Each year, he would take a long country ride on the morning of the big event.
With Churchill Falls complete, Mr. MULHOLLAND was recruited to become the Bank of Montreal's president in 1975. He found another organization in crisis mode. "It took him about a year to get a grip on the bank, but he was a bulldog and he got it done," Mr. SOUTHERN said.
The new banker became immersed in Bank of Montreal's liquidity problems and cost-control challenges, as well as its struggles to move from manual systems to the computer age. After the incumbent Chief Executive Officer retired, he took the top job in January, 1979, adding the chairman's role 2½ years later.
He was involved in hiring Mr. O'HAGAN, who had served in the Prime Minister's Office under another eccentric legend, Pierre Trudeau. Mr. O'HAGAN recalled how his job interview with Mr. MULHOLLAND stretched to more than two hours, until he finally telephoned his next interview party to beg forbearance. Mr. O'HAGAN was fascinated by this brilliant, obsessive man and joined the Bank of Montreal team.
That extended interview was a harbinger of the MULHOLLAND style. He was notorious for unpredictably long meetings, forcing managers to queue up for hours, awaiting audiences that lasted long into the evening.
He was determined to weed out the perceived dead wood that had allowed the bank's problems to build. In his zeal to cleanse the ranks, he was accused of creating a demographic crisis in the bank. One unidentified manager told Report on Business magazine in 1989 that "an entire generation of management has been cremated."
"Those judgments were not made whimsically - they were made on the basis of performance," insisted Grant REUBER, the bank's president during the MULHOLLAND era. "I don't think he relished letting people go, but if they hadn't measured up and they hadn't recovered, they probably didn't survive."
Jeff CHISHOLM, a retired Bank of Montreal executive, said he never saw this side of his former boss - Mr. MULHOLLAND simply demanded honest answers from his managers. He said his positive traits never came to light because the Chief Executive Officer did not really care what critics thought of him.
Mr. MULHOLLAND also pulled off a deal that transformed the bank: the 1984 purchase of Harris Bank, a U.S. Midwest regional powerhouse based in Chicago. Some critics have contended that once the deal was done, the bank didn't really capitalize on its new U.S. platform - but at minimum, Mr. MULHOLLAND created the potential platform.
"He had a vision about what was going to happen to the North American economy and to financial services within North America," said Mr. Chisholm, a former Harris Bank executive who joined Bank of Montreal.
Later, Mr. MULHOLLAND moved quickly on the deregulation of Canada's financial industry by acquiring Nesbitt Thomson, the foundation of today's Bank of Montreal Nesbitt Burns Inc., the bank's investment subsidiary.
Whether he stayed too long is much debated; it's a common problem with strong leaders in politics and business. But Mr. MULHOLLAND's saving grace was to leave the bank in good hands.
Mr. Barrett, his successor, was a charming people person who provided a sharp contrast with his more aloof predecessor. Mr. MULHOLLAND "knew he was not Mr. Popularity with everybody," Mr. O'HAGAN said. "He recognized there would be a contrast and that Barrett's personal style would register differently. I think that was part of the reason he chose him."
Mr. Barrett, now retired from banking, said in an e-mail message that "Bank of Montreal shareholders and employees owe a debt of gratitude to Bill for stepping into the bank at a difficult time in its history. Those that succeeded him benefited greatly from his legacy.
"He once joked that he built the Stradivarius that others played beautifully. I certainly agree with that."
After he retired in 1990, Mr. MULHOLLAND had time to focus on family, horses and his beloved Windswept Farm near Georgetown, west of Toronto. He worked to develop the Hanoverian breed in Canada.
But in recent years, Parkinson's disease took its toll. At the MULHOLLANDs' 50th wedding anniversary party in early July, Friends felt he almost willed himself to attend. It wasn't long afterward that he was admitted to hospital.
William MULHOLLAND was born in Albany, New York on June 16, 1926. He died of complications from Parkinson's disease and other medical problems at his home near Georgetown, Ontario, on September 8, 2007. He was 81. He is survived by his wife Nancy, nine children and 11 grandchildren.

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REURINK o@ca.on.middlesex_county.london.london_free_press 2007-08-10 published
Help sought to find body
Sarnia police have charged the slaying victim's common-law husband and his sister.
By Jennifer O'BRIEN, Sun Media, Fri., August 10, 2007
Sarnia -- Police are urging rural landowners to search properties between Watford and Wyoming for a slain woman believed dumped in the area in the spring.
But even without the body of Shelley MATHIEU- READ, 45, Sarnia police said yesterday they had enough evidence to charge her common-law husband, Thomas MOFFIT, with second-degree murder.
MOFFIT, 36, is in custody on the charge. His sister, Kathy LONG, 54, of Wyoming, is charged with being an accessory after the fact.
"I can't get into the evidence, but there is certainly evidence&hellip to determine Shelley MATHIEU- READ has met a violent death," Sgt. Scott MacLEAN said at a news conference yesterday.
MATHIEU- READ, formerly of London, and MOFFIT, her partner of about six months, have a "history of domestic violence," he said.
MacLEAN said police believe there was a "domestic disturbance" in mid-May and MATHIEU- READ was killed.
Police have a daunting task in the search for MATHIEU- READ's body. They think she was dumped in mid-May, when the terrain, now blanketed by tall cornfields and overgrowing bush, was sparse.
More than 20 officers from Sarnia police searched a 39-hectare woodlot in the area yesterday.
"That's just one small sample of the area we're searching," MacLEAN said. Earlier in the week, Lambton Ontario Provincial Police assisted Sarnia police in a search on Churchill Line between Wyoming and Watford.
"It really is overwhelming. The landowners know their properties better than anyone, so we are asking for their assistance," MacLEAN said.
"We are looking for any signs of disturbances on their property tire tracks or areas that may have been disturbed as a possible gravesite."
MATHIEU- READ, a mother and grandmother known as a heavy drug user, was last seen by a neighbour on May 10, police said.
"Shelley was a sibling, a mother and a grandmother," said MacLEAN. "She struggled her whole life with drug addiction, but she kept in contact with her family. She was a very loved person."
MATHIEU- READ's daughter, Robin HARDMAN of Saint Thomas, reported her missing on July 29. HARDMAN hadn't seen her mother since May.
MATHIEU- READ moved to Sarnia from London in March. She and MOFFIT moved into a Finch Street apartment building in a well-kept complex.
Though MATHIEU- READ's daughter has said her mom moved to Sarnia to get "clean," neighbours in the 10-storey apartment building said yesterday both she and MOFFIT were known drinkers and drug users.
"We would hear them fighting all the time," said a woman who lives next to MOFFIT's apartment on the building's fourth floor.
The neighbour said MATHIEU- READ had been there only a short time when the two women shared an elevator.
"She was holding a PlayStation, and she had a book bag on her back, and she was bawling," the neighbour said.
In the elevator, MATHIEU- READ said she was sick of her boyfriend's drinking.
"She was crying and she said, 'I'm so lonely, I'm from London and I don't know anybody around here,' " said the neighbour, who asked not to be named.
After that, the woman said, another woman seemed to be living with MOFFIT, who remained in his apartment until last week.
Police said MOFFIT had once been charged with assaulting MATHIEU- READ but she didn't appear in court and the charge was dropped.
MOFFIT is known to Lambton Ontario Provincial Police, said spokesperson Const. John REURINK.
"We did investigate a sudden death where he was involved in the relationship with the deceased, but it was deemed that no foul play was suspected," REURINK said.
He said that case could be reopened if there were enough similarities to the MATHIEU- READ slaying.
How To Help Police
- Police believe a black 4X4 Ford F250 was used to to dump Shelley MATHIEU- READ's body somewhere off Churchill Line between Wyoming and Watford. They ask Churchill Line landowners in southeast Lambton County and western Middlesex County between Wyoming and Watford to check their properties.
- They also ask anyone who saw the truck to call Sarnia police at 519-344-8861 ext. 6077 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

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