Business Succession Planning

2014-2015 Issue 2


Marc Deegan is the VP Finance & Development at Hitek Logistic Inc. and faculty lecturer in the Graduate Finance Diploma and CPA programs at McGill University. On October 7, he’ll lead the workshop Business Succession Planning: Preparing for the sale or transfer of your business. Here’s what he has in mind for those planning to sell, transfer, or buy a business.

Business Succession Planning is a new topic for the McGill School of Continuing Studies. How did this workshop come about?

The key driver of Quebec’s economy is small to medium-sized businesses. Many of these entrepreneurs represent an aging population, and as a result there will be many business owners looking to sell or transfer their business in the next 5 to 10 years.

I believe McGill can play a leading role in preparing entrepreneurs for this next step. This workshop is the first initiative and I’m very excited about the potential for future workshops on related subjects.

MarcDeeganWhy are you an appropriate facilitator for this workshop?

I am very passionate about this subject and I’ve always enjoyed working with entrepreneurs. I think that my roles in manufacturing and service-based businesses, couple with my experience in financing, mergers and acquisitions, and business valuations, brings a well-rounded perspective to this subject. I was also part of the start-up and sale of a family-run business; as a result I can closely relate to entrepreneurs and their challenges.

What topics will you be covering during the workshop?

It’s going to be a very practical workshop. Our target audience consists of business owners looking to sell or transfer, and investors who may need a refresher on the key factors involved in the acquisition process. Also, financial services professionals that cater to entrepreneurs, such as chartered accountants and investment advisors, can gain insight on how to guide their clients through the process of buying or selling.

Some of the topics that will be covered include:

– The steps involved in the sale or transfer of a business
– Tax and legal issues
– Key factors in valuing and pricing a business
– Different financing alternatives
– How to maximize the sales price in a transaction

What trends do you see emerging among small and medium-sized businesses, their owners, and potential buyers?

1. Demographics

The Canadian economy is built on small and medium-sized businesses. A large number of these entrepreneurs are baby boomers in their 50s and 60s looking to potentially sell or transfer their businesses. Quebec is a very entrepreneurial province, and as a result there are many businesses here that fit this demographic.

2. Low Interest Rates

Low interest rates are good for potential buyers looking to borrow funds for a transaction. Banks are also very competitive in offering tailored programs or financial solutions for the sale or transfer of businesses. Capital is readily available, which is positive for both buyers and sellers as it supports a competitive market.

3. Politics

Now that the provincial elections are behind us, there is more stability in Quebec. This is important, as an increasing number of acquirers are located outside of Quebec and Canada.

4. Popularity in Entrepreneurship

When I was in university, entrepreneurship courses were limited. Most of my classmates were focused on a traditional corporate career path such as finance, accounting, and consulting. Today, schools are revamping their curriculum and offering dynamic entrepreneurship programs. We are also fortunate that Quebec has a growing start-up infrastructure and community, offering resources and support to would-be entrepreneurs.

Meanwhile, popular television shows like Dragon’s Den and Shark Tank are showcasing entrepreneurs in their quest for equity financing.

Many are drawn to the freedom that an entrepreneurial career can provide. This drives demand amongst buyers looking for the right opportunity to become an entrepreneur.


Tell us about the guest speakers that will be in attendance

I’ve assembled a dynamic group of guest speakers who are well-known and respected in the Montreal financial community; all have extensive transactional experience. As a result, participants will gain a practical perspective on how deals get done in the real world.

Angelo Noce is a Partner at Blakes law firm and is one of the top merger and acquisition lawyers in Quebec. He is also a frequent speaker at various industry events and guest lecturer at McGill University.

Steve Harrar is the Managing Partner at Nexia Friedman, accounting and advisory firm. Steve has 30 years of experience in business valuations, mergers and acquisitions and financing. He has played a key role in countless transactions.

Jonathan Bicher is a Tax Partner at Nexia Friedman, accounting and advisory firm. Jonathan is often quoted in the Montreal Gazette on tax related subjects. He has extensive experience in tax planning for mergers and acquisitions.

Patrick Latour is the Senior Vice-President for the BDC (Business Development Bank of Canada) Growth & Transition Capital team. Patrick has held senior roles with the BDC across Canada. He has extensive banking experience and specializes in financing for growth oriented companies and mergers and acquisitions.


Business Success Planning: Preparing for the sale or transfer of your business takes place Wednesday, October 7, 2015 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Click here to register online. McGill alumni and current McGill students benefit from a special rate.

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