TO Establishment

Wes Hall, the Canadian Meghan Markle

An update on Wes Hall. Is he the Canadian Nelson Mandela or the Canadian Meghan Markle?
OPM 5 min read

Wes Hall, the self-proclaimed King of Bay Street, has taken a hit. His crown jewel, proxy solicitation firm Kingsdale Advisors, was on the losing side of the epic battle for control of t-shirt maker Gildan. You might recall that a key inflection point in Wes Hall’s rise is when he represented Bill Ackman in his fight to unseat the blue blood directors of CP. Big fights matter.

The winning money manager, Browning West, was represented by one Christine Carson, founder of Carson Proxy. That's a much smaller firm, founded in 2020. Christine calls the Gildan fight “potentially the costliest proxy battle in Canadian history.” Good for her, maybe she can offer them a discount. Gildan CEO Glenn Chamandy has confirmed the total cost was about US$40 million before factoring severance pay.


Wes Hall on winning.

Wes Hall has been a bit of a hegemon in the world of high-stakes proxy solicitation. I had been curious who could dethrone the king. Though not to the point of actually looking into it. Carson Proxy clients have included Thomvest (an offshoot of the Thomson family), and famous US managers like Paulson and Saba. Of course, there’s a limit to the impact a proxy solicitation firm has.

In other Wes Hall news, he was recently elected Chancellor of the University of Toronto. He’s the second person in a row in that role not to have a university degree (other than honorary ones). This is much like how Meghan Markle managed to work for Pearson Specter despite not going to Harvard. Last year, Wes received honorary doctorates from both York University and the University of Toronto. He has previously been given doctorates by Queen's, Ottawa and Ryerson. Wow, that's a lot of white guilt. Still, Wes Hall likes to over-play his cards. Here he is referring to himself as Doctor, which goes against etiquette for honorific doctorates.

Dr. Wes Hall

Come on, “Dr.”! Dr. Wes Hall couldn’t get into law school, I am not going to call him if I need neurosurgery. Even Jimmy McGill managed to get a correspondence law degree from the University of American Samoa. Meghan Markle (when playing Rachel Zane on the legal show Suits) went to Columbia Law School. Would Wes Hall have been remotely as successful as he has been if he had just been a corporate lawyer? The average successful big-time corporate lawyer is worth a few millions at best. Adversity and opportunity are often two sides of the same coin!

There are some amazing parallels between Wes Hall and Meghan Markle. They were both paralegals in another life. They both became famous starring in popular TV shows. Another fun bit of trivia: they are both whiny opportunistic schemers.

Meghan recently revealed she is 43% Nigerian. When I first saw her on Suits, I didn’t even realize she was Black. Ditto for Wes Hall. Is he Black? Is he Italian? Maybe Swedish? I have no idea! I refuse to see race.

Do you remember the hysteria surrounding the peak of the woke movement? “Defund the police” and all that? Those were crazy times! So Whacko Wes Hall throws the country that made him rich under the bus, attacks the essential decency of Canadians and all these chinless wonders line up behind him?

Can you imagine you are a billionaire, but then you have hissy fit, decide to join the BlackNorth Initiative and you are stuck in meetings with Wes Hall moaning about systemic racism? A lot of conflation mixing up police brutality, the board composition of Big Banks and of course, SLAVERY. Most of this discourse is based on no logic at all or alternatively, the very type of logic that would cause you to do poorly on the LSAT.

There’s discrimination against all kinds of people. Did you know that only 7% of Fortune 500 CEOs are shorter than 5ft10? I made that number up, but it sounds plausible, doesn’t it? Discrimination is everywhere, it’s human nature. There’s workplace discrimination against short people, fat people, introverts, people with “resting bitch face.” You go through life, some people like you, some people don’t. Has this been your experience too? In moments of self-doubt, even I think there might be people out there who don't like me.


There has been some turnover on the BlackNorth board. CIBC CEO Victor Dodig was gone within 6 months. Scotiabank CEO Brian Porter is gone. Jordan Banks is gone. I predict that board, which is currently still pretty high-powered, will fizzle into irrelevance. David Sharpe of Bridging Finance was also an early director of BlackNorth. In my books, Wes Hall is an even bigger phony.

Wes Hall has said:

I’ve spent my entire career walking into boardrooms to find I am the only Black person there, and it’s frustrating to think of top-level executives looking out over their organizations, seeing no Black faces and never wondering why that might be.

The labour market is similar to the stock market. If people make decisions based on irrational frameworks, it gives opportunities to more rational players. If there's an abundance of talented minorities who are unfairly held back by discrimination, Wes Hall could assemble a Wakanda-style cadre of elite proxy solicitation commandos to build his firm. Somehow, that is not the path he has chosen. Here's a screenshot of Kingsdale's management from 2022 - well after Wes Hall had rebranded himself as the Canadian Nelson Mandela. I have also looked into his other major holdings from around that time and they tell a similar tale. It's beneath a forensic kompromatologist of my skill level to belabour these matters.

Kingsdale Advisors senior executives

If you need background info on Wes Hall, this is my original story. I mention there that his family foundation had assets of $5,021 in 2020. Well, credit where credit is due, that amount rose to $6,665 in 2022.

I read Wes Hall’s tale of woes
If you skip this story, what does that say about you?
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