John Ruffolo is a Canadian businessman and entrepreneur, best known for his role as the CEO of OMERS Ventures, one of Canada’s leading venture capital firms. He has an extensive career in the private sector, having worked as a management consultant and held several leadership positions at Royal Bank of Canada before joining OMERS Ventures. He is also active in the philanthropic and not-for-profit sectors and serves on the boards of several organizations.
John Ruffolo was born in Toronto, Canada, in 1960. Not much is known to the public about his birth and early years or his family.
He received a bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Western Ontario and a master’s degree in Business Administration from the Harvard Business School.
He is married to his wife Carryn Ruffolo. He is very private with his family in the public eye.
Ruffolo began his career in the 1980s, working as a management consultant for McKinsey & Company. In the 1990s, he joined Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) as a senior executive, holding a variety of leadership positions in the bank’s corporate and investment banking divisions.
In 2011, Ruffolo was appointed as the CEO of OMERS Ventures, the venture capital arm of OMERS, one of Canada’s largest pension plans. Under his leadership, the firm has invested in a wide range of technology companies, including Hootsuite, Shopify, and Vision Critical. He is also a member of the Board of Directors of several Canadian companies.
John established Platform Investments, the innovation division of OMERS, where he oversaw investments in companies such as Purpose Financial, PointNorth Capital, District Ventures, OneEleven, and ArcTern Ventures. Additionally, John is a Co-Founder of the Council of Canadian Innovators, a non-profit organization focused on assisting Canadian technology companies with high growth potential to expand globally. He teamed up with Jim Balsillie to form this lobby group. In March 2016, they convinced the Liberals to scrap a tax hike on employee stock options, which, he argued, will entice tech talent to come to Canada.
John serves on the board of various organizations in the innovation sector, including Hootsuite, Ontario Centres of Excellence and Ether Capital. He also holds board positions in multiple non-profit organizations such as David Suzuki Foundation, the Royal Ontario Museum, League of Innovators, Caldwell’s Top 40 Under 40, and Sustainable Development Technology Canada.
Combined, he has over two decades of experience advising public and private companies around the world and has been recognized as one of Canada’s leading clean-tech advisors.
He is the Founder & Managing Partner at Maverix Private Equity. Founder, OMERS Ventures and Co-Founder, Council of Canadian Innovators.
Ruffolo, a chartered accountant, has a background that includes serving as a partner at Arthur Andersen LLP, and experience as an instructor for both the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants and the Schulich School of Business at York University, where he obtained his Bachelor of Business Administration.
John Ruffolo has always been an avid cyclist and during the Covid-19 pandemic, he took advantage of fewer cars on the roads and began cycling more, for many miles per day. Until one day a near-fatal cycling accident left him paralyzed. In an interview with BNN Bloomberg where he discusses his accident and recovery in detail, he’s quoted as saying “Who cares that I can’t walk?” Here, he highlights the gratitude he has for his mind still being intact, and that although his body suffered severe damage, he’s grateful he escaped without traumatic brain injury.
Just weeks after the injury, while still recovering in the hospital, he continued his work toward the launch of Maverix Private Equity, which he calls “A dream come true”. Ruffolo just recently participated in his first cycling event since the accident that paralyzed him two years ago. He pedaled the race in a custom recumbent bicycle, showing that his tenacity and determination exist in his personal life, as well as in his business life.
He is a big proponent of disability rights and also tech innovation to further accessibility and other needs. Ruffolo has expressed in interviews how grateful he is to live in a time with the technology we have now, and also for the connections to the tech industry he has because it has also helped with his recovery from his cycling accident. He wants to continue furthering tech innovation so that others may be helped in the same ways.
As of 2023, John Ruffolo’s net worth is not publicly disclosed.
Ruffolo is also active in the philanthropic and not-for-profit sectors, serving on the boards of several organizations, including the MaRS Discovery District and the Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance.
Some achievements include: