There might not be anyone in Alberta who understands the royalty trust model better than Richard Clark. He needed all of that knowledge, along with a healthy dose of courage, when he left the legal profession in 2010 to found Eagle Energy Trust, the first new energy trust in Canada since 2006. And while the 2006 changes to the tax treatment of income trusts effectively killed the goose that was laying so many golden eggs for investors, Clark saw an opportunity to breathe new life into what most people regarded as a dead business model. He created Eagle, a company that relied on the familiar trust model but applied it solely to U.S.-based assets – and so avoided the tax hit that trusts with Canadian assets had suffered. It wasn’t easy to sell investors on the idea of putting money into a new energy trust when they’d been burned so badly by the old ones, but eventually his persistence paid off. Eagle raised the money it needed – $170 million for its November 2010 IPO – and, more importantly, demonstrated that the model could still work. Not long after, two other juniors with U.S.-based assets, Parallel Energy Trust and Argent Energy Trust, followed in Eagle’s footsteps.
Richard Clark: Alberta's 50 Most Influential People 2013
Takeaway: Richard Clark founded Eagle Energy Trust, the first new energy trust in Canada since 2006.