Why fewer companies are listing? (IIAC Blog)
I appeared on Business In Vancouver Radio to discuss the factors that have contributed to fewer companies going public, a trend occurring in Canada, the U.S., and Europe.
The high costs associated with listing on the exchanges and meeting ongoing reporting issuer responsibilities (i.e. disclosure and corporate governance requirements) are keeping many companies from tapping the public markets. Coupled with this, regulatory changes in the various jurisdictions have made it easier for companies to go private. Also, private equity firms are playing a larger role in the market, providing financing, and in the M&A space, buying out public companies and turning them private. Finally, low interest rates have lowered the relative cost of capital, reducing the need to tap public markets for financing.
I discuss the implications stemming from the shift towards private market financing—for the firms, investors, the health of the exchanges and regulators. Click here to listen to the interview.
IIAC Appears Before Senate National Finance Committee on Proposed Changes to the Taxation of Private Corporations (IIAC Blog)
Today, I appeared before the Standing Senate Committee on National Finance as part of consultations on the proposed changes to the Income Tax Act respecting the taxation of private corporations. I focused my comments on the proposed tax treatment of passive investment income in private corporations and its negative impact on access to capital for small businesses and capital formation in the country. I illustrated how the proposed measures will create a disincentive to business investment and entrepreneurship, at a time when such investment is needed to spur economic growth and employment. I called on the federal government to take these proposals off the table, noting the existing tax rules are well understood, fair and have worked effectively for more than four decades. You can access my presentation here.
IIAC Appears Before House of Commons Finance Committee (IIAC Blog)
Today, I appeared before the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance as part of pre-budget consultations in advance of the 2018 federal budget. The Committee was in St. John’s Newfoundland, a province that has been struggling to gain economic momentum. Employment is down for the third consecutive year and the jobless rate now sits at a seven-year high. Promoting the growth of small businesses and encouraging entrepreneurs to start up business is a high priority not only in this region, but across Canada.
In my presentation to the Finance Committee, I called on the federal government to make positive proactive reforms to the tax system to promote equity investment in small private and public businesses. One of the IIAC’s key and long-standing recommendations is a Canadian version of the UK Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS). This program provides a personal tax credit for the purchase of small business shares on a guarantor loan, an exemption from capital gains tax for shares held for more than three years, and a rollover provision exempting capital gains taxes on the sale of an asset, if the proceeds are reinvested in EIS shares. The EIS program has a solid track record of success because the investor’s own capital is at stake. Further, tax expenditures of the Program are more than offset by the revenues generated from corporate taxes, taxes paid on salaries to employees, and VAT paid by EIS-financed companies.
The IIAC’s pre-budget submission contains a number of other recommendations to improve Canada’s productivity and competitiveness, and achieve sustainable economic growth. You can access it here.
Federal Tax Proposals – Another Blow for Small Business Capital-Raising (IIAC Blog)
On July 18, 2017, the federal government unveiled proposed changes to address tax planning strategies involving the use of private corporations. The government is concerned that so-called wealthy Canadians are exploiting tax “loopholes” and the tax system must be made more fair. This is highly misleading. Business owners are following existing tax rules that are legislated, clear and in effect for decades.
The tax proposals have created a firestorm of protest. In my latest Letter from the President, I focus on the proposed tax treatment of passive investment income in private corporations and the potential ripple effects. I argue that the government should withdraw the proposals and conduct a comprehensive review of the tax system, including full consultation on what should be the right tax policy in this area.
As part of this review, the government should explore ways to promote equity investment in small private and public businesses. I make three recommendations in this regard.
You can read my Letter from the President by clicking here.
Hope You Will Join Us For One Of These Remarkable Events (IIAC Blog)
The IIAC’s events bring together regulators, government officials, IIAC members and opinion leaders to address the issues that are important to the investment industry.
We also collaborate and partner with other organizations to offer our members unique programs designed with their needs and interests in mind.
Hope to see you at one of these upcoming events.
– SIFMA Compliance & Legal Society/IIAC breakfast. Toronto. October 6.
– Canadian Institute, Common Reporting Standard (CRS) Compliance Conference. Proudly supported by the IIAC. Toronto. Oct 17-18.
– IIAC Investment Industry Hall of Fame Gala Dinner & Induction Ceremony. Toronto. October 26.
– Take Our Kids to Work Day™. Toronto. November 1. (open to grade 9 students related to an IIAC member-firm employee).
– Assistance Conference for the Wealth Management Industry. Proudly supported by the IIAC. Toronto. December 5 | Montreal. December 7.
More to come.
The Investment Industry at Mid-Year (IIAC Blog)
My September 2017 Letter from the President provides an overview of recent performance in the investment industry, highlighting developing business trends, the challenges faced by large and small investment dealers, and the outlook for the mainline businesses and firm groupings.
Click here to read it.
Congratulations to the 2017 IIAC Top Under 40 Award Nominees (IIAC Blog)
The IIAC Top Under 40 Award recognizes and celebrates the new generation of highly motivated and talented young professionals whose drive, dedication, qualities and accomplishments have brought distinction to Canada’s investment industry.
The 2017 Award nominees are featured in full-page ads appearing in the September editions of Investment Executive and Finance et Investissement. Access a high-resolution version of the English ad here.
The nominees will be formally recognized at the IIAC Top Under 40 Award Judges’ Luncheon on October 26 in Toronto, where the 2017 Award recipient will be announced.
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Statement by Ian Russell on the passing of Stan Deudney (IIAC Blog)
In Memoriam: We, at the IIAC, are deeply saddened by the passing of Stan Deudney. Mr. Deudney was actively engaged in bringing innovation and new era solutions to the investment industry in Canada and international markets for more than 25 years. He also raised the bar for financial industry education, teaching and mentoring students at the Smarten Up Institute.
Stan was instrumental in the development of Canadian Depository for Securities (CDS), where he served as its first president. Today, CDS is there for the vast majority of securities traded in Canada. He also launched one of Canada’s first discount brokerages, created the Instant Link global trade reporting service (the first global straight-through processing system for exchanging post trade information in real time between investment managers and their global custodians), and set up a multi-user FIX based order processing network.
In 1992, Stan founded Transatron Systems Inc., which offers customizable OMS/EMS software platforms that provide FIX connectivity between buy and sell-side market participants in real time for order routing, execution and post trade matching and settlement processing.
In recognition of his significant contributions and achievements, Mr. Deudney was bestowed with the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in September 2012.
Stan Deudney will be sorely missed. On behalf of the IIAC, and our Board of Directors, I want to express my sincere condolences to his family. Stan was a builder and innovator and, above all, he was a kind and generous soul, always with a cheerful word for everyone. We are grateful for Mr. Deudney’s impactful contributions to the Canadian financial industry and capital markets.
The Policy Landscape in Washington (IIAC Blog)
Recently several members of the IIAC Board and I met with senior lawmakers and industry officials in Washington, D.C. to better understand the direction and focus of financial deregulation in the U.S., and obtain ideas and perspectives helpful for the Canadian industry’s ongoing engagement with domestic regulators.
My August 2017 Letter from the President offers observations and several takeaways from the discussions regarding the prospects for financial deregulation and tax reform, as well as the upcoming NAFTA renegotiations.
You can read more by clicking here.