Golf is a challenging business, and Rai Sahi knows it. Courses are only open part of the year, and Canadian demographics do not favour the sport. That’s why he is rethinking the strategy of TWC Enterprises, which operates 40 courses across North America. In 2015, he filed plans to redevelop Canada’s premier course, Glen Abbey in Oakville, Ont., as a housing and commercial subdivision with approximately 3,000 homes. Oakville city council, however, is concerned about unchecked growth, and this year they voted unanimously to designate the land a heritage site, throwing a wrench in Sahi’s plans. Sahi is now challenging the decision.
Disagreements are not uncommon in his line of work. He’s been involved in a few proxy battles and hostile takeovers in his long career. Sahi arrived in Montreal from India in 1971 and found a job unloading railway cars—despite having degrees in economics, political science and English. He eventually became a loans officer at a bank and struck out on his own in 1982.
Real estate holdings account for much of his wealth today. Sahi owns a large stake in Morguard Corp., a landlord with $20 billion in assets, and he also serves as CEO. He has said he prefers “simple businesses” and avoids industries that are cyclical or require an in-depth knowledge of technology.
Updated Thursday, November 9, 2017