Feature Member of the Month: David Bowman


You may recognize Mr. David Bowman as the impeccably dressed, convivial, and energetic member leaving the fitness centre at 7 a.m., enjoying a cobb salad in the Grill, or welcoming new members to the Club at the wine tastings or Meet Me at the Bar.

Mr. Bowman got his start at an investment firm in his hometown of Winnipeg, before moving to Sydney, Australia, to work on the investment management trading side of BNP Paribas, long-time sponsor of the French Open. His dream, however, was to be in New York City by the time he turned 30, and as luck would have it, a former colleague recruited him to join Goldman Sachs as an institutional equity trader in 2002. “The pace was incredible,” he says. “You know that feeling that is exceptionally rare, when you can hear your heart beating in your ears, and you’re not exercising? That was every single day, trading, just because there’s so much at stake and you always have to please the client.”

An avid art appreciator, Mr. Bowman spends quite a bit of time perusing the catalogues of auction houses including Phillips, Sotheby’s, Christies, and Paddle8. While he was living and working in New York City, Mr. Bowman would be up at four in the morning, returning around seven at night, exhausted; but because the markets were closed over the weekend, he would visit the gallery. “One of my weekly rituals would be to head down to the Met or the MoMA and just pick a section to spend an hour in,” he says. “Collecting art is one of my passions. I particularly like prints and multiples from established blue-chip artists; two of my favourites are Josef Albers and Robert Longo; on the more approachable works, I really like Ricardo Mazal and Charles Arnoldi. But, if money were no object, I would love a piece by Clyfford Still; his works rarely come to market.”

The extraordinary heartbeat and vibrancy of New York City and its people along with its dynamic contemporary art scene captivated Mr. Bowman for three years before he sought a change of pace. In 2009, he moved to Vancouver to continue his career at Manulife, where he is the District Vice President, Wealth Management Sales. After he bought his residence in the neighbourhood, Mr. Bowman joined the Club. “I had a laser-light focus on Terminal City Club because it balances three areas exceptionally well: fitness, social, and work,” he explains. “When we’re bringing portfolio managers from Boston, Toronto, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, I find the Club – particularly the Boardroom – an incredible space. For people passionate and serious about their fitness, that’s a piece you don’t get at other Clubs, and combined with an equally strong social element and work facilities, you have that trinity. With that, the Club is a no-brainer, and it really is my second home.”

Fitness is an important part of Mr. Bowman’s life. “I don’t hold back. I don’t deprive myself of anything, however, that means I have to put in the work,” he says. “But I actually do enjoy it; I jog the seawall pretty much every day, except when it’s snowing. I find it a form of meditation; in my view, it’s the fountain of youth. It’s almost like a knuckle in the back if I don’t do some form of exercise, so I treat it as a part of my job. I’m up at five in the morning every day except weekends, and I try to be in the Club by six or 6:30 a.m., latest. There is a dedicated group of members – we call it ‘the Six o’clock Club’ – who are equally passionate, if not more, about putting time in the gym, and it’s been wonderful getting to know them better and really enjoy their friendship.”

Over the six years that Mr. Bowman has been a member so far, he’s been able to grow his social and business network. “I love the Club because it’s very easy to meet wonderful people – particularly at the wine tastings or Meet Me at the Bar – and establish friendships. The great thing about TCC is that you can always find members who share your interests,” he says. Through the connections and friendships Mr. Bowman has formed at the Club, he has gone on fishing adventures in B.C., replicated the Baja 1000 off-road race along the Baja Peninsula, and run a half-marathon with only a day’s notice. Last month, Mr. Bowman joined our hiking trip up to Cheakamus Lake. “I would encourage members to take advantage of the hiking club because it was exceptionally and professionally run. Rob, the tour guide, is a wealth of knowledge,” he says.

Philanthropy is also important to Mr. Bowman. “One of my role models is Andrew Carnegie; at the turn of the century, he did what Warren Buffett is doing today with the Giving Pledge. Carnegie gave away almost 90 per cent of his fortune; one of the donations is at the corner of East Hastings and Main Street – his main pursuit was funding libraries, and there are more than 2,000 of his all over the world,” he explains. “Some of the charities I’m really passionate about are the Christmas Cheer Board in Winnipeg – I’ve been supporting them a long time – Make A Wish Foundation, Canucks Autism, Canucks for Kids, St. Paul’s Hospital, and Save Your Skin Foundation. When I step back from my career, decades forward, I would love to pursue giving back full time. I really do think that’s the ultimate goal; giving back is what really drives fulfillment in life.”

Mr. Bowman can also appreciate some of the simpler pleasures in life: “Alex, Cole, and Brandon in the Grill make the best cobb salad in the world! (And I consider myself a connoisseur of cobb salads.) I get them to prepare it with the Niçoise dressing because it lightens things up a little,” he explains. In fact, Mr. Bowman enjoys the TCC cobb salad so much that one year, for his birthday, staff convinced Alex – an industrious and stoic first cook who has been with the Club 15 years – to come out of the kitchen and personally present the salad to a beaming Mr. Bowman. “The staff take really really good care of me and I’m grateful. I’m here all the time, but what also amazes me is the longevity here; we have staff who have been here north of 50 years. I’m a loyal person myself and that really impresses me.”

Members who are travelling to Sydney, Australia, or New York City in the near future are encouraged to approach Mr. Bowman at the Club, as he can provide great restaurant recommendations and suggestions for sightseeing! ■