Gabriel Patterson

Nothing is impossible; it is only you who stops yourself from achieving it.


Gabriel Patterson, of Winnipeg, is the creator and principal of Bethmann Lombard Bancorp and has directed the firm since 2005. As a masterful investment banker, Mr. Patterson has become an expert in securities, real estate, offshore tax planning, and Islamic finance. He serves clients on a global scale and has done business in Asia, Europe, and Latin America.

Settling in Toronto, Gabriel Patterson advises both public and private entities on a variety of tactical and financial initiatives with an emphasis on mergers and acquisitions, raising equity, hybrid-equity, and debt capital. As the chairman of Bethmann Lombard Bancorp, he directs the firm’s initiatives and also acts as the lead advisor to the company’s major accounts.

Mr. Patterson received his MBA from Heriot-Watt University in corporate finance and his LL.B. from York University’s Osgoode Hall in corporate securities. He has used his education and experience in finance to reach positions in major companies such as Burns Schwartz, Hannibal Trust, TD (Bank) Capital Group as well as the Department of Justice. In addition to his dedication at work, Gabriel Patterson also fulfills his philanthropic efforts by serving as the director of numerous NGOs.

Where did the idea for your company or organization come from?

We identified the increase in entrepreneurial activity and the growing demand for funding and going public transactions.

What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?

I have meetings and calls from 6am-4pm. Organization and time management is key. Time is the one commodity that you cannot get back so quantify (in dollars per hour) the value of your time and don’t ‘spend’ more time than any interaction is worth.

How do you bring ideas to life?

Research, plan 5 years in advance and then forget the 5-year plan and focus solely on achieving only the next sequential step in the plan. Before you realize it, the idea will be alive and flourishing.

What’s one trend that excites you?

Islamic Finance

What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?

Focus on achieving the result.

What advice would you give your younger self?

Find more mentors and follow their advice more. Don’t work hard; work hard at working smart.

Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.

Nothing is impossible; it is only you who stops yourself from achieving it.

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

Read. Knowledge and information are essential and videos and sound bites are inadequate for profound insight and inspiration.

What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?

Find a wave and ride it! A business can’t help but succeed if it is riding a wave of market demand. An example is baby boomers – any business that targeted their demand and rode that wave couldn’t help but grow regardless of how incompetently managed. When the wave crests, consolidation in the industry will take out the less efficient operators, but those operators will be far larger and more successful than efficiently managed businesses in niche industries. Identifying early markets that will grow with overwhelming demand and inadequate capacity is key.

What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?

I couldn’t see my way to letting go of controlling interest of a proposed venture because I believed it was critical to its success that control was vested in a specific group with a specific profile reflecting its niche customers. I was willing to give a strategically necessary and powerful investor group, who was providing 90% of the funding and the highest levels of relationships, 49% of the company but not 51% as they required. For that 2% difference, the deal did not proceed, and the venture collapsed and failed. With hindsight, I learned better to have 2% of that gargantuan pie than 51% of no pie! Successfully concluding that venture (even with only 49%) would have forever catapulted my business reputation and future business dealings into the world of mega-finance. Better to have taken one step back (by giving up the 2%) in order to have gone five steps forward. ‘Control’ of the deal is not as important as achieving the result (a successful deal) so that one can continue their journey to the final destination on an easier path. Too many entrepreneurs focus on keeping control. My go-forward rule is don’t be myopic, give up what you need to in the short term for the long term benefit.

What is your favorite quote?

Losers have excuses, winners have reasons, but Successes have RESULTS!