Leadership finds home inside Ivey

Ian Ihnatowycz knows the impact of good leadership.

Now, he hopes to solidify its place at The University of Western Ontario.

On Tuesday, the Richard Ivey School of Business announced the formation of the Ian O. Ihnatowycz Institute for Leadership thanks to a $3.5 million gift from Ihnatowycz and Dr. Marta Witer.

“The quality of leadership helps determine the quantity of success,” says Ihnatowycz, a graduate of the Ivey MBA program (1982). “Ivey has always attracted talented students with strong leadership aspirations. I believe it is important their skills as leaders be nurtured and developed – so they’re prepared for the evolving demands and challenges that await them.”

The institute will bring together research, teaching and outreach to demonstrate Ivey’s excellence in and commitment to leadership. Ivey associate professor Gerard Seijts will serve as its executive director.

The Ihnatowycz-Witer donation will support a Chair in Leadership and provide operational funding for the institute. A further $1.5 million in matching funding from the university will increase the full impact of their gift to $5 million. 

“Business leaders today need to display vision and leadership and Ian exemplifies both,” says Carol Stephenson, Richard Ivey School of Business dean. “He is a passionate leader and we are proud to have his name on our Institute for Leadership.”

Over the past two decades, Ihnatowycz built Acuity Funds and Acuity Investment Management into leading asset management firms and pioneered the field of sustainable investing. A passionate philanthropist, Ihnatowycz has served on the boards of numerous not-for-profit and professional organizations and private companies. He is currently a member of the Investment Funds Institute of Canada and the Royal Conservatory of Music boards of directors.
Also Tuesday, Ivey celebrated an additional $2.5-million donation for Ivey’s Campaign for Leadership from campaign co-chair and Advisory Board member Pierre L. Morrissette, CEO/founder of Pelmorex Media Inc. The gift was given *Aug. 31. In November 2006, Pierre committed $2.5 million to fund the work of Ivey’s Institute of Entrepreneurship, which was named in his honour.