One of Canada's top CEOs and a hero of mine died unexpectedly six years ago yesterday. I can't believe it’s been so long.

He had just celebrated his 52nd birthday on the Big Island of Hawaii surrounded by loved ones.

Then CanaccordGenuity CEO Paul Reynolds completed the 2014 Lavaman Waikoloa Triathlon in 3 hours 38 minutes.

After kissing his family and telling them he loved them, Reynolds began the 2015 race at 7:30am beginning with the 1500metre swim.

Around 20 minutes later, Reynolds was heard saying, "Help me," in the water-having suffered an apparent heart attack. Rescuers arrived nine minutes later and found him unconscious.

Sadly, Reynolds died a few days later in hospital.

I remember opening the @GlobeandMail in '07 when Reynolds was chosen by Canaccord founder Peter Brown to be his successor. I was 22, the same age Reynolds was when he began his career on the floor of the Vancouver Stock Exchange in 1985.

He had spent 14 years with Canaccord in Vancouver advising venture companies before moving to London in '99 to run the firm's European operations.

In London Reynolds absolutely crushed it as a manager and investment banker.

Through tireless work and a client-first mentality, Reynolds had acquired the intellectual property for making a fortune. A huge trusted Rolodex. Instincts for deal-making. And access to capital.

He built the biggest TSXV deal ever by connecting mining magnate @Frank_Giustra to Russian nuclear scientist Sergey Kurzin in '05. The group raised $500 million to acquire Kazakh mines as uranium prices soared from $20/lb to $140.

Two years later UrAsia merged with Uranium One in a $5 billion deal.

I am forever grateful to Giustra for introducing me to him in 2012 (CEO.CA's early days). Reynolds graciously hosted me at his Toronto office. A small glass walled suite adjacent to the institutional trading desk with views of Lake Ontario.

He granted me a series of interviews which boosted CEO.CA and even invited me to Canaccord's 2013 resources conference at Miami's Fontainebleau Hotel. There I gained an introduction to investment banking from a master's hand.

A first-class affair, Reynolds showed me around, and explained that Canaccord would make a huge return on hosting the event by catching up with CEOs, hearing their capital and M&A needs, as well as making introductions.

Reynolds correctly forecasted that metals equities were 2 years into a 5 year bear market using 1997-2002 as an analog. An unpopular prediction for a resources conference, it wasn't until 2016 that precious metals stocks rebounded.

Motivating Canaccord's 2,000 personnel, many with outsized egos, was no small feat. I observed him to be approachable, a keen listener, and able to let his hair down.

He could also outwork anyone and was a master at wining and dining.

On day three of a heavily lubricated wedding in Cartagena in 2013, I was dying of a hangover and there was Paul, looking 110%. I asked him how he did it. "Buzz maintenance," he responded with a straight face.

Reynolds is survived by his parents, four children and six siblings he adored. Paul would forward me witty articles by his wife, Corrina, with pride. And treated Canaccord colleagues like family.

I am so grateful I had the chance to get to know Paul Reynolds. Sending love to the Reynolds family!

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