Chums from his school days remember this much about Calvin — if you beat him in a foot race, he’d make sure he’d whip you the next time out. He didn’t like losing.
He was always a committed partier, but his academic interest wavered. He enrolled at the University of Waterloo to become an optometrist, but wound up with a science degree. He joined the University of Western Ontario law program, but flunked out. “I was expelled actually, ” Mr. Ayre said. “. . . I might not have been quite smart enough to be a lawyer.”
But he had a head for business. He set out for the West Coast and earned an MBA at City University in Seattle, graduating in 1989. Less than nine months later, at 29, he was appointed president of a small Vancouver-based company called Bicer Medical.
It looked like a promising start, but his aging Scottish grandpa wasn’t impressed.
“Fred wasn’t happy with the business he was in,” recalled Helen Wilson, Mr. Wilson’s second wife, in a phone interview.
“He didn’t think it was completely on the up and up.”
In 1996, the British Columbia Securities Commission fined Mr. Ayre $10,000 in a ruling that prevents him from trading securities on the Canadian Venture Exchange or acting as a director of a B.C. public company until 2016.
As part of an agreed settlement, Mr. Ayre admitted to making “misrepresentations” concerning millions of Bicer shares he controlled. The BCSC ruling says he “traded through accounts in other persons’ names at several brokerage firms.”
He had also breached an undertaking he gave shortly after joining Bicer — that he would stay away from a character named Erich Brunnhuber.
(Records show that, at the time, Mr. …