POLITICS

Khan Resources: chairman Jim Doak died in Mongolian hotel room awaiting flight

04/24/2015 07:47 EDT | Updated 07/22/2015 04:59 EDT
TORONTO - Jim Doak, a well-known Bay Street personality who appeared as a commentator on business channel BNN, has died in Mongolia while on business as chairman of Khan Resources.

Doak, 59, was found dead Thursday morning in a hotel room. The Police Authority of Mongolia said a preliminary autopsy found no evidence of foul play but a final autopsy was expected to take a few days.

Khan says Doak was at the hotel awaiting a flight home to Canada after a series of meetings this week with representatives of the Mongolian government. At issue was compensation that Khan was seeking from the government.

"Jim's contribution to the success of the company has been enormous," Grant Edey, Khan's president and CEO, said in a statement Friday.

"He will be sorely missed, both by the company and by me personally as Jim and I had become very close friends over the years we worked together."

Khan Resources announced early on Thursday, before the news of Doak's death, that it was seeking an amicable way to collect about US$104 million that it had been awarded by an international arbitration tribunal on March 2. The money included the US$80 million base amount, plus interest from July 2009, plus US$9.1 million of costs awarded in Khan's favour.

"That strategy will not change one iota as a result of Jim's passing," Edey said in his statement.

Edey couldn't be reached immediately for further comment.

Others who knew Doak personally described him as an extremely intelligent, articulate and frank person.

"I think he was one of the smartest people in the business," said Michael Sprung, another frequent guest on BNN and head of Sprung Investment Management Inc.

David McAusland, another member of the Khan board and a friend of Doak's for more than 20 years, also said that Doak had a brilliant mind for business but "he was much more than a financial guy."

Among Doak's passions was the French language, said Thierry Lasserre, executive director of L'Alliance Francaise de Toronto, which teaches French to about 6,500 students a year and trains public- and private-sector employees.

He said that Doak's father encouraged his son as a boy of 10 to learn the language.

"He was born in Quebec but from an anglophone family, originally from Scotland," Lasserre said. "It was quite painful at first but then he totally fell in love with the language and, of course, with the literature with it."

As a past president and benefactor, Doak was instrumental in several long-term initiatives, including construction of a 150-seat theatre and cultural hub that opened last year at the group's main location in downtown Toronto, he said.

In business, Doak was president and managing director of Megantic Asset Management Inc. from 2002 until last year.

Previously he founded Enterprise Capital Management Inc. where he served as the president and managing partner from 1997 to 2002 and had also served as a vice-president of ScotiaMcLeod Inc., and of First Marathon Securities Ltd. and had more than 25 years of experience as an economist and chartered financial analyst.

— With files from The Associated Press