Lee-Chin was born in Port Antonio in northeast
In 1970 he went to
He worked briefly as a road engineer for the Jamaican Government, but unable to find work in his qualified field (and allegedly, because his Canadian wife didn't like living in
He spent two years at the Investors Group, and in 1979, moved to Regal Capital Planners and became regional manager. Whilst at the company, in 1983, he secured a loan from the Continental Bank of
Performance 1990 – 2005
In the late 1980s, AIC suffered from a collapse in the real estate market, in which it had invested. It recovered throughout the early 1990s by maintaining investments in large groups, such as Merrill Lynch and TD bank (formerly Toronto Dominion). This caused investments to grow from US$8 million in 1990 to nearly US$8 billion by 1998.
However, Lee-Chin was reluctant to invest in the dotcom boom, and saw AIC investments lose 8 per cent in value, even as the S&P gained 56 per cent. Investors moved US$224 million out of AIC's flagship 'Advantage Mutual Fund'. The Globe and Mail ran an article predicting even more investors to leave the fund, meaning that they would run out of cash and be forced to sell its core holdings. Lee-Chin's response was to sell stock in Coca-Cola, and invest US$65 million into Mackenzie Holdings (the same firm in which he had invested US$400,000 16 years previously). Letters were sent to all 350,000 investors, explaining the strategy. The investors were calmed by the purchase, and the stock was later sold to Investor Group (the same company Lee-Chin had worked for in the 1980s) at more than twice the price AIC had paid for it. In 2000 and 2001, following the dotcom crash, AIC outperformed the market with 26 per cent growth and 4 per cent decline respectively.
In 2002, the fund fell again as a result of a regulatory investigation into Amvescap, one of their core holdings. The OSC fined AIC US$58.8 million for their involvement.
In 1974, he married Vera, a Ukrainian Canadian that he had met at University. They parted in 1991, and officially separated (though did not divorce) in 1997. Ms Lee-Chin has since contested the separation, claiming that Lee-Chin did not disclose his actual wealth at the time of the separation. The couple had three children (Michael Jr, Paul, and Adrian).
Lee-Chin is now in a relationship with Sonya Hamilton, with whom he has had two fraternal-twin daughters. They live in Flamborough.
Current Fund Growth and Difficulties
In the late 1990s and early 2000s,
In 2004, he announced plans to set up the AIC Caribbean Fund with the intention of investing in the entire
Similar to the experience of the late 1990s, Lee-Chin again has shied away from investing in commodities and the energy market boom. He has specifically stated that "We [AIC] do not like commodities-type businesses nor most high-tech companies simply because they are implicitly poor enterprises which we would not want to hold for the long term".
Again, this strategy has meant that AIC has significantly underperformed the S&P index, but Lee-Chin believes that the current boom is just another bubble. Lee-Chin describes the market since 1990 as 'a series of rolling speculations', and now 'we see a commodities bubble'.
While at the Investors Group, he studied the strategies of successful investors, such as Warren Buffett, Benjamin Graham and Ken Thomson. Their buy and hold strategy is easily recognisable in the motto of AIC - Buy, hold and prosper.
Accolades and Awards
Lee-Chin has received various business awards, including:
- Being placed on the Forbes Billionaires list since 2001. In 2006, he was placed at number 365.
- In 2002, Lee-Chin received the 'Harry Jerome Award' for 'Business Leader of the Decade' 
- Time Magazine named Lee-Chin one of '
's Heroes' in Canada July 5 2004.
He is also a generous philanthropist, and has donated to various causes, including:
- C$5 million to
(where he attended). He was rewarded with an Honorary Degree in November 2003. McMaster University
- •JMD$155 million (approx. USD $2.4 million) to
. Northern Caribbean University
- •C$30 million to the
. In return, they commissioned a new building named the Michael Lee Chin Crystal. Designed by Daniel Libeskind, it will open in June 2007. Royal Ontario Museum
- •An unspecified amount of money that makes him one of the leading donors to Bill Clinton's William J. Clinton Presidential Foundation. He was appointed to the Board of Trustees for the find in 2003.
- AIC Limited - http://www.aic.com/
- Berkshire Group - http://www.berkshire.ca/
Communications - Columbus
- http://www.cablebahamas.com/ Bahamas
- Caribbean Crossings - http://www.caribbeancrossings.com/
- Columbus Communications Jamaica Ltd. / Flow
- http://www.flowjamaica.com/ Jamaica
- FibraLink - http://www.fibralink.com/
- CVM Television Group - http://www.cvmtv.com/
- Merit Communications - http://www.meritcom.net/
New WorldNetwork - http://www.nwncable.com/
- Americas Region Caribbean Optical-ring System (ARCOS)
- Sauce Cable Company
- Affordable Enterprise Ltd.
- Cabana Cable Ltd.
- Eastern Cable Network Ltd.
- Home Commercial Satellite Ltd.
- Universal Cable Network Ltd.
- Trinidad and Tobago Trans-Cable Company - http://www.cc.tt/
- National Commercial Bank of Jamaica (NCB) - http://www.jncb.com/
- http://www.radiojamaica.com/ Jamaica (resort), Reggae Beach Jamaica
- Senvia - http://www.senvia.com/
- Total Finance Bank of Trinidad & Tobago Ltd.
- Trident Hotel (Resort) - http://www.tridentjamaica.com/
See you in Jamaica.