Jack Cockwell


Jack Cockwell, a South African native and trained accountant, is renowned in Canada as a highly successful dealmaker. Throughout the 1970s and into the early 1990s, he built the Bronfmans’ Edper conglomerate, acquiring extensive holdings in real estate, forestry, and mining. The conglomerate eventually became Brookfield Asset Management, one of the largest money managers in the world, and Cockwell passed on the leadership to Bruce Flatt in 2002.

Cockwell’s wealth is largely derived from his significant ownership in Brookfield shares, which he holds in a partnership with other board directors and management. He also serves on the board of governors for Ryerson University and holds the position of governor for the Royal Ontario Museum.

Early life

Not a lot is known about Cockwell’s youth and early life. Jack Lynn Cockwell was born on January 12, 1941, in East London, South Africa to parents William Henry and Daphne Cockwell. There is little to no public record of his early life before he went to college.

Cockwell received his Master of Commerce degree from the University of Cape Town in 1964 and went on to complete a postgraduate program with distinction at the same institution in 1966.

Jack Lynn Cockwell is a father to six children, including Linda, Lorie, Leslie, Tessa, Malcolm, and Gareth.


Jack Cockwell, a South African-born accountant, made a name for himself at a young age when he was hired at 27 to manage the inheritance of the Bronfman brothers. Utilizing Edper Investments, he made bold acquisitions and constructed a vast conglomerate that included real estate, resource firms, and financial companies.

This conglomerate is now known as Brookfield Asset Management, a leading global investment firm with over $250 billion in property, infrastructure, and renewable energy assets. Cockwell eventually married Lynda Bronfman, the former spouse of his boss, and his wealth is closely tied to his position as a director at Brookfield.

Jack L. Cockwell holds the position of Affiliated Director with Brookfield Asset Management Ltd. He serves as the Chairman of Brookfield Partners Foundation and has been a part of the corporation in various capacities, including as Chief Executive Officer, since 1968.

Cockwell was one of the founding members of Partners Limited in 1995. In addition to his role at the company, he is a Heritage Governor of the Royal Ontario Museum, chairs the Ryerson University Real Estate Advisory Committee, and serves on its Board of Governors. He has also been a member of the board of Clarios International L.P. (an affiliate of Brookfield) since June 2019.

He has been a part of Brookfield in various roles, including as its Chief Executive Officer, since 1968. He is actively involved in the community and serves as a Heritage Governor of the Royal Ontario Museum and Chair of the Ryerson University Real Estate Advisory Committee. He also holds a seat on the Board of Governors and currently serves as its Vice-Chair. Cockwell has generously contributed to various institutions, including Trails Youth Initiatives, the Trans Canada Trail, Ryerson University, and George Brown College, and has held a number of volunteer positions on community boards, such as the Chair of the Royal Ontario Museum board of trustees.

Jack Cockwell has extensive experience in serving on the board of educational and community organizations. He was a member of the Board of Governors at Toronto Metropolitan University and served as its Vice Chair, as well as Chair of its Governance Committee. He has received several honors, including a Doctor of Laws (honoris causa) from York University, a Doctor of Commerce (honoris causa) from Ryerson University, and an honorary degree from George Brown College.

He was inducted into the Canadian Business Hall of Fame in 2009 and became a member of the Order of Canada in 2016. Cockwell is a director and former CEO of Brookfield Asset Management and has served on the boards of several community organizations, such as the Royal Ontario Museum and Brookfield Partners Foundation. He has also played a key role in fundraising initiatives for organizations such as Trails Youth Initiatives, the Trans Canada Trail, the G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education, and Ryerson’s Real Estate Advisory Committee.

Jack Cockwell is a highly regarded business figure with a strong dedication to supporting education for young people and preserving the environment. He has devotedly served on various community boards, such as being the head of the Royal Ontario Museum’s board of trustees and has made substantial contributions to several educational institutions including Ryerson University and George Brown College. With a particular passion for conservation, Cockwell has led the efforts of a central Ontario wildlife reserve for nearly three decades.

In October 2015, Cockwell and the Brookfield Partners Foundation made a historic $8 million donation to George Brown College. This contribution represents the largest one-time donation in the history of the Ontario college system and George Brown College. The donation will fund the college’s redevelopment and expansion plans, ensuring that current and future students receive career training in state-of-the-art facilities and develop the technical and people skills required by employers.

In recognition of the gift, the Waterfront Campus of George Brown College will be renamed the Daphne Cockwell Centre for Health Sciences to honor Cockwell’s late mother. This donation is part of George Brown College’s Success at Work campaign with a private sector fundraising goal of $60 million, which supports the college’s vision for expansion, capital growth, and increased scholarships and bursaries.

Net Worth

Jack Cockwell’s net worth is an estimated $2.4 Billion. However, this can fluctuate daily, based on investments.


Jack Cockwell has received many awards and recognitions in his years within the industry. Here are some of the highlights of his achievements.

Member of the Order of Canada (2016) – for his civic engagement in the areas of education, conversation, and history.
Canadian Business Hall of Fame in 2009