The Odlum Brown Story

For 100 years, generations of investors have entrusted Odlum Brown with their financial futures. With shared values, a common purpose and a long-held reputation for doing what’s right, we remain solely dedicated to helping our clients achieve their financial goals.

Our story begins in 1923, when two Canadian military officers, General Victor Wentworth Odlum and Colonel Albert Malcolm “Buster” Brown, established Odlum Brown in Vancouver, BC. Since then, the firm has forged ahead through the Great Depression, World War II, the Great Financial Crisis, a global pandemic and more. It has adapted to rapid technological change and innovation, and witnessed the spectrum of geopolitical and economic climates.

Amid all this and more, Odlum Brown has grown to: 

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6 Locations

Over

350

Team Members

 

$18 Billion

Assets Under Management

We have:

Above all, we have continued to do what we do best: put our clients first.

▸ A Story of Relationships

How we continue to strengthen relationships with the clients, team members
and community partners who make us who we are.


At Odlum Brown, we always take a long-term view. So while our rich history and proven track record are worthy of pride, we view them as an extraordinary foundation on which to continue building.

The story of Odlum Brown is still being written.

As we affirm our place among Canada’s top independent firms, plans are underway for:

  • strategic growth,
  • expansion of our value-added services, and
  • relationship-building with clients across geographies and generations.

With our clients’ best interests at the forefront, we will stay true to what makes us different and continue investing for our clients, and in our team members and communities, for the next 100 years – and for generations.

100 Years in the Making

AN AWARD-WINNING FIRM

In 2023, Odlum Brown celebrates 100 years as an independent, full-service investment firm, dedicated to helping clients achieve their financial goals.

Under Debra Doucette’s leadership, the firm has earned prestigious national recognition for business excellence, culture and community contributions. Odlum Brown has been one of Canada’s Best Managed Companies since 1999; one of Canada’s Most AdmiredTM Corporate Cultures since 2017; and in 2020 was honoured with a Canada’s Volunteer Award by the Government of Canada.

In 2021, Andy Eisenbock was appointed Chair.

AFTER THE GREAT RECESSION

In the aftermath of the Financial Crisis, our commitment to remain independent and employee-owned allowed us to focus on serving the interests of our clients – preserving and growing their wealth for generations.

In 2013, we celebrated the firm’s 90th anniversary with a new logo and a series of 10 vignettes to commemorate the story of Odlum Brown – from our prominent West Coast roots to the enduring values that guide our client-focused approach, corporate culture and passion for our community.

We joined the Langley community with a new branch in 2018. Also in 2018, after 17 years as Chairman, Tony Hepburn became Odlum Brown’s first Chair Emeritus while continuing his longtime service as a Portfolio Manager. Ross Turnbull was appointed Chair and Andy Eisenbock was appointed Vice Chair.

THE NEW MILLENNIUM

Turning the clock to the new millennium proved to be uneventful. The economy was tested when the dot-com bubble had burst in 2000. The year after, the Odlum Brown Model Portfolio was up 54%. ‘Investors who resist the temptation to chase trendy stocks of the day and instead put their money to work in quality, out-of-favour companies will be the ones (who) generate above average returns,’ wrote Murray Leith in the March 2000 OB Report.

In 2001, Ross Sherwood was appointed President and CEO and Tony Hepburn as Chairman. In 2002, Odlum Brown was recognized as one of the 25 Best Companies to work for in BC. In 2007, Debra Doucette was appointed to President and CEO and led the company through the credit crisis of 2008.

THE INFORMATION AGE

The public use of the Internet and the emergence of cellular phones marked the major technological advancements of the '90s, setting the stage for the information revolution of the coming decades.

In 1994, the firm’s research department established the hypothetical Odlum Brown Model Portfolio. ‘We aim to beat the TSE 300 Index. As value investors, we will buy quality companies that we believe are out-of-favour and undervalued,’ said Murray Leith, Executive Vice President and Director of Investment Research.

In 1998, we opened branches in Courtenay and Campbell River.

In 1999, Odlum Brown was recognized as one of Canada’s 50 Best Managed Companies, a designation we still maintain today.

THE AGE OF TECHNOLOGY

Computers experienced explosive growth in the ‘80s with the birth of the personal computer, video games and manufacturing automation. The '80s also marked the rebirth of the company in 1981, in the form of a name change to Odlum Brown Limited, the name we still use today.

The '80s saw interest rates soar to over 20 per cent, highs in the silver and gold markets, and major market corrections in both 1982 and 1987. In 1988, Odlum Brown established Odlum Brown Financial Services Limited to complement our valued investment advice with financial planning and insurance services; helping clients through the complexities of retirement, tax, and estate planning.

In 1987 we bought a seat on the Montreal Stock Exchange.

THE DISCO ERA

As the music of the Bee Gees, ABBA, and Donna Summer hit the radio, the turbulent times of high inflation and the energy crisis hit the stock market. Odlum Brown’s strategy of holding quality, value-driven investments for our clients allowed them to fare better than most.

In 1971, Odlum Brown bought a seat on the Toronto Stock Exchange and later a seat on the Alberta Stock Exchange in 1979. George Sherwood was promoted to President and CEO in 1975, followed by Tony Hepburn in 1978.

THE SWINGING SIXTIES

In the '60s, Canada celebrated its centennial, 100 years as a nation, and adopted the present-day maple leaf flag. It was a time of buoyant markets and growth for Odlum Brown as we opened offices in Victoria and Chilliwack, and acquired Okanagan Investments, establishing a presence in Kelowna.

In 1958, Odlum Brown bought a seat on the Vancouver Stock Exchange, and in 1965, the company merged with Thomas B. Read & Co. to become Odlum Brown and T.B. Read Ltd. Tom Brown was President and CEO of the new company and George Sherwood was Vice President.

A TIME OF PEACE AND PROSPERITY

In 1946, Odlum Brown Investments Limited was reborn by Colonel ‘Buster’ Brown and his son, Colonel William ‘Tom’ Brown. The post-war years marked a period of transition for Canadians. Financial prosperity facilitated a major surge in the Canadian population, known as the ‘baby boom’. Tom Brown assumed the leadership of Odlum Brown following Buster’s retirement in 1958.

THE DIRTY THIRTIES AND WAR YEARS

The 'Dirty Thirties' witnessed an economic collapse that brought about the Great Depression. Many Canadians were left unemployed, destitute, and hungry. With the onset of World War Two in 1939, Odlum Brown & Co. suspended business operations in order for General Odlum and Colonel Brown and their employees to fulfill their military obligations.

THE ROARING TWENTIES

General Victor Wentworth Odlum and Colonel Albert Malcolm ‘Buster’ Brown established Odlum Brown in 1923. The ‘Roaring Twenties’ marked an era of exuberant optimism and rapid technological change that followed the First World War. However, on October 29, 1929, Black Tuesday - the Great Crash of the stock market - signalled the beginning of the Great Depression.


*As of November 15, 2022. Trades are made using the closing price on the day a change is announced. Performance figures do not include any allowance for fees. Past performance is not indicative of future performance.