The Mannix brothers share many things with their father (Fred Charles Mannix) and grandfather (Fred Stephen Mannix), whose empires they inherited: their names, obviously, but also their sharp business acumen, quiet-but-aggressive approaches to philanthropy (Calgary’s brand new National Music Centre—which houses Canada’s Music Hall of Fame—came to being thanks to more than $10 million in donations from the Mannix family business; the company also contributed $1 million to the National Gallery of Canada in 2015) and steadfast commitment to privacy. As reclusive as the Mannixes are, their rare appearances tend to make an impact.
At a 2015 luncheon in his honour, Ron Mannix gave a speech to rally downcast Calgary business leaders. “We all know about the stresses that are going on in this city at $40-a-barrel oil,” he said as he accepted the Distinguished Business Leader Award from the Calgary Chamber of Commerce and the Haskayne School of Business. He emphasized that it is especially important that ethical people not set aside their principles to “cheat, manipulate or hurt other people.”
Over more than a century, the Mannixes have endured their share of booms and busts. But having divested most of the family’s fossil fuel assets in the late 1990s to set up private conglomerate Coril Holdings Ltd., Ron may not have been feeling the same pain as those in the audience.
Updated Thursday, November 9, 2017