The Bentall Story

David has that rare ability to anticipate the needs of his clients, as well as the gifted capacity to guide a family business through unsettling waters, while confronting the elephants in the room. He does all this with grace, humility and a deep sense of caring.

J. Lyn Bannister

Founder, Bannister Automotive Group

Founder of Next Step Advisors, David C. Bentall, is a graduate of the University of British Columbia’s Faculty of Commerce and Harvard’s Business School. An experienced executive coach and exceptional speaker, he is also a gifted moderator and trained facilitator.

Having experienced the three options available to family successors – success, failure, and a sale – David’s candor and honesty is always welcome as he shares his personal and professional triumphs, challenges and disappointments. Communicating in a way that is both motivating and inspirational, David draws on his depth of experience to entertain and challenge audiences to dream bigger and achieve more.

Other members of the Next Step Advisors team reflect David’s style of candor and vulnerability, drawing on experiences from their own lives to communicate insights and expertise that both inspire and educate.

David speaking

David & Next Step Advisors

Next Step Advisors is a pre-eminent professional advising firm for business-owned families. Team members support families by providing advice, education, mentoring and facilitation services. David founded the company to help family enterprises navigate the uncertainty that often accompanies intergenerational transitions. His expertise is rooted in deep empathy and understanding of family dynamics which he gained by spending more than three decades as part of one of Canada’s most prominent real estate and construction companies.

David & Dominion Construction

A graduate of UBC’s Commerce Faculty and Harvard’s Business School, David worked for 20 years in his family’s real estate and construction businesses. During his time as President and CEO of Dominion Construction, the business doubled in size to just under $300 million in sales.

Mr. Bentall also played a leading role in several landmark projects across Canada, including the widely acclaimed GM Place (now Rogers Arena) in Vancouver and Winnipeg’s TD Centre Office Complex (the tallest office building in the city). He also played a key role in the successful Vancouver/Whistler 201O Olympic bid.

United Way Building

Abbreviated History of Dominion Construction & Bentall Family in Vancouver

Man at desk


  • Engineer Charles Bentall arrives in Vancouver from England
  • In the great depression, General Motors can’t afford to build their own building, so Dominion finances them thus launching the Bentall family into the real estate business


  • Tallest building in the British Empire – steel structure designed by Charles


  • Charles Bentall acquires Dominion Construction and becomes President


  • Dominion builds 26 stores for Safeway – opening one each month for 26 months


  • Clark joins after graduating from UBC in engineering


  • Clark develops strategic partnership with G.W.L. to finance Bentall Centre


  • Dominion pioneers Tilt – up Construction in Western Canada BC Tel head office in Burnaby
  • Dominion Construction builds virtually every BC Tel project for 50 years including their Burnaby head office


  • 2 million sq. feet, landmark project, completed in heart of downtown
1950s opening of Safeway
General Motors Place


  • David graduates from UBC and immediately joins company


  • David appointed President of Dominion Construction


  • T.D. Center Winnipeg is tallest building in Winnipeg


  • $102 million G.M. Place is completed, the largest project in company history


Educational Highlights

  • University of British Columbia – Bachelor of Commerce (Urban Land Economics)
  • Harvard Business School – OPM Graduate
  • Family Firm Institute – Fellow
  • International Coaching Federation – Certified Professional

Professional Development

  • Young Presidents’ Organization – Moderator Training
  • Business Families Foundation – Facilitators Training
  • Family Firm Institute – “The Essentials” Course
  • Café – Leading Family Councils
  • Coaches Training Institute – Co-Active Coaching
  • Family Firm Institute – Family Business Advising Certificate

Governance Experience

Current Board Memberships

  • Jervis Investments
  • Lightheart Properties

Investment Committee

  • Hungerford Properties

Additional Board Experience

  • Saint George’s School (Chair)
  • Keats Camps (Chair)
  • Arrow Leadership (Chair)
  • B.C. Business Council (Vice Chair)
  • Lester B. Pearson College of the Pacific
  • Hope International
  • Young Life of Canada
  • Langham Trust
David C. Bentall

David Bentall


David has been advising family enterprises for over 25 years and has worked with over 180 different families. He has also personally experienced succession in a family business three separate times:

  1. As a Next Gen Leader who was thwarted in his plans to lead;
  2. As a successor who was appointed president and guided the family firm for almost ten years;
  3. As an owner who sold his shares of the family business and then worked for the new owners.

Regardless of who you are or where you are at with family business succession, David understands and empathizes with your circumstances because he has experienced virtually everything you are facing! This gives him the insight and wisdom to thoughtfully and skillfully help you navigate through your own family business succession plan.

David is an experienced executive coach, exceptional speaker, gifted moderator, and trained facilitator. He is a graduate of the University of British Columbia’s Faculty of Commerce and Harvard’s Business School and, as an adjunct professorship at UBC, he has been teaching in the field of Family Enterprise for more than fifteen years.

For two decades, David worked in his family’s real estate and construction businesses and during his tenure as President & CEO of Dominion Construction, the business doubled in size to just under $300 million in sales. He also played a leading role in the development and construction of several landmark projects across Canada, including GM Place (now Rogers Arena) in Vancouver and the TD Centre Office Complex in downtown Winnipeg. He was also a key player in the successful Vancouver/Whistler 201O Olympic bid.

The creative energy and focused determination that marked David’s career in business is now being available to individuals and families, to help them identify and resolve their issues.

View David's Books

David’s newest book: Dear Younger Me is now available on paperback, eBook, and audiobook!

Also view David’s other books: Leaving a Legacy and The Company You Keep for more great insights.