Rotman School of Management

Main Content

Joseph L Rotman

In 1993, Sandra and Joseph L. Rotman made a gift of $3 million through the Rotman Family Foundation towards the construction of a new state-of-the-art facility for the University of Toronto's business school. In 1997, they made an additional gift of $15 million, and the School was aptly re-named in Joseph Rotman's honour.

Joseph Rotman quote

Joseph L. Rotman

In 1993, Sandra and Joseph L. Rotman, O.C., LLD, made a gift of $3 million through the Rotman Family Foundation towards the construction of a new state-of-the-art facility for the University of Toronto's business school. In 1997, they made an additional gift of $15 million, and the School was aptly re-named in Joseph Rotman's honour.

Pleased with the School's progress under the leadership of Dean Roger Martin, in December of 2007 the couple made a further gift of $18 million to the School: $10 million towards the study of jurisdictional advantage and prosperity in a newly-established research centre named in honour of the parents of Dean Roger Martin (the Lloyd and Delphine Martin Prosperity Institute was established earlier in 2007 by a $50-million grant to the Rotman School by the Province of Ontario); and the remaining $8 million to support various projects including the University's undergraduate Commerce program (which has been re-named 'Rotman Commerce'); the School’s award-winning magazine; the construction of an expansion of the School adjacent to its current location; and ongoing academic research activities at the School.

Now totalling $36 million, these landmark gifts by Sandra and Joseph Rotman have contributed immeasurably to the School's quest to be recognized as one of the world's most innovative business schools.

In July 2008, Joseph Rotman was appointed to a five-year term as Chair of the Canada Council for the Arts, the Crown corporation that for over half a century has been the principal conduit of federal support for Canada’s professional artists and arts organizations. A lifelong enthusiast and supporter of the arts, Mr. Rotman sees this appointment as an opportunity to apply his business experience to creating practical conditions for the arts to thrive as a centerpiece of Canadian society and a beacon of excellence on the world stage. He has previously served as Chair of the Board of the Art Gallery of Ontario (1993-96), and a Board Member (1991- 2000), as well as a Member of the Board of the Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards (1996-98).

Mr. Rotman is Chairman of Roy-L Capital Corporation, a private family investment company. He launched his business career in 1962 and has been involved in establishing a number of private and public companies active in oil trading, petroleum distribution, oil and gas exploration, merchant banking, real estate and venture capital. He has served on numerous corporate boards including the Bank of Montreal, Barrick Gold Corporation, Canada Northwest Energy Ltd., Masonite International and TrizecHahn Corp. He founded Tarragon Oil and Gas, Geocrude Energy, PanCana Resources, PanCana Minerals and Embassy Resources, as well as a number of other companies, and served as their Chair. He also founded Clairvest Group Inc., a merchant bank, and continues to serve as a Member of the Board.

Mr. Rotman is currently a member of the Governing Council of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and a director of The Bank of Montreal, Barrick Gold Corporation, Masonite International, and TrizecHahn Corporation. He is active in local, national and international community and charitable organizations, including:

  • MaRS (Medical and Related Sciences Discovery District): Founder and Member of Board of Directors (2000-present);
  • Canada Gairdner International Awards for outstanding achievement in biomedical research worldwide: Member of Board of Directors, and Board of Trustees (February 2005-present);
  • The Brain Initiative : Co-Commissioner (2008-present), A major undertaking sponsored by the Ontario Innovation Trust which is aimed at optimizing the health, economic and societal impacts from brain research in Ontario and Canada.
  • Baycrest Centre for Geriatric Care: Rotman Research Institute established in 1989 to create leading-edge knowledge in cognitive neuroscience, including cognitive theory, the aging process, sophisticated imaging methods and analyses, and to translate the most recent research results directly to patients; Sandra A. Rotman Program in Neuropsychiatry: This program aims to ensure that new knowledge about treatments, including optimal drug prescribing in the elderly population, is transferred quickly and effectively.
  • University Health Network: McLaughlin-Rotman Centre: The Centre’s mission is to conduct translational research on malaria and on ethics and commercialization in global health to help researchers and companies get life sciences technologies to those who need them in the developing world;
  • Sandra Rotman Chair in Health Sector Strategy: Focusing on developing the next generation of Canadian healthcare leaders and advancing evidence-based decision-making and policy development in the health sector.
  • University of Western Ontario (1999 - present): The Rotman Institute of Philosophy: To foster a global centre to provide intellectual leadership and training in the investigation of ethical and epistemological issues in contemporary science, and to support dialogue and collaboration between philosophers and scientists, thereby building novel and productive bridges between the humanities and the sciences to address relevant issues faced by society; Rotman Canada Research Chair in Philosophy of Science: To enhance an international competitive academic program, addressing both the nature of scientific theory and the relationship between theories, as well as between theory and the material world.

Mr. Rotman was born on January 6, 1935 in Toronto, Canada. He received his B.A. from the University of Western Ontario in 1957 and his M.Comm. from the University of Toronto in 1960. During 1960-61 he studied at the Columbia University Graduate School of Business in the Ph.D. program. Mr. Rotman was awarded an honorary LL.D. from the University of Toronto in 1994. His appointment as an Officer of the Order of Canada was announced on January 4, 1995. He was inducted into the Canadian Business Hall of Fame as a Companion in May 2009, and was awarded an Honourary LLD from the University of Western Ontario in June 2009.

Joseph Rotman and the Canadian Business Hall of Fame