Showing posts with label Toronto. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Toronto. Show all posts

Why Every Entrepreneur Needs a Mentor

Having just spent the past few weeks in the company of entrepreneurs, some at the beginning of their careers and most at the height of their success, I notice the one feature they have in common.  They have sought out a mentor.
Jacoline Loewen with Alumni of The Next 36
I was invited to The Next 36 reunion BBQ organized by Chenny Xia and caught up with the alumni who were mentored throughout their program. During our conversations, it struck me that as a result, these young women knew how to reach out for mentoring, they understood the high value of having a mentor and they knew it was not a waste of time but rather a way to catapult ahead. Kate Wallace talked about Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg’s controversial book "Lean Forward".  Sandberg's written advice was her way of mentoring on a large scale and she dedicated a full chapter to mentorship. She lists Larry Summers as her most important mentor.
No matter their paths to success, accomplished women can usually agree on one thing: That somewhere along the way, they found a mentor (or more) who boosted their career immeasurably. "It was serendipitous that I met my mentor. I was searching for employment and what came of it was one of the most influential people in my life," said Danielle Smith, graduate of The Next 36 and mentee of Claudia Hepburn, who helped to found The Next 36.
Many famous people had mentors: Self-made billionaire, Oprah Winfrey was mentored by celebrated author and poet, the late Maya Angelou. Alexander the Great was mentored by Aristotle, Warren Buffet was mentored by Benjamin Graham, and Warren went on to mentor Bill Gates.
Of course, the best fiction has stories of mentorship; some of my favourites are Luke Skywalker learning The Force with Obi-Wan Kenobi, and Mary Poppins showing Jane and Michael Banks how to break all the rules. Instead of staying safely inside, Poppins had them dancing on the rooftops with chimney sweeps. As a young girl, I took in this encouragement to "Lean Forward" - aka the Mary Poppins way.
How Will You Reach Out for a Mentor?
If you have an early stage company, you could try Futurepreneur. Futurpreneur Canada and Spin Master Corp. set up the Spin Master Innovation Fund created by Ronnen Harrary; to bring financing, mentoring to 10 entrepreneurs each year. Over the past six years, the Spin Master Innovation Fund has helped 42 businesses launch.
For women: The WXNWisdom Top 100 Mentoring Program matches high-performing female leaders with influential mentors.
If you are a business founder who has achieved the sale of your company, you can get mentored about how to invest your sudden wealth. Smart entrepreneurs get that concentrating all of their money back into Canadian-based investments may be only one choice to build long term financial wealth.
If you would like to find out more about how Canadian entrepreneurs are investing with UBS Bank (Canada) please get in touch. I can discuss with you the results for the entrepreneurs who choose to manage their wealth with us.

Jacoline Loewen is director of business development of UBS Bank (Canada) and can be reched at jacoline.loewen at  She is also author of Money Magnet: How to Attract Investors to Your Business. You can follow her on Twitter @jacolineloewen

Wealth managers versus brokers

Typically, wealth managers, also known as financial planners, earn their living either from commissions or by charging hourly or flat rates for their services. A commission is a fee paid whenever someone buys or sells a stock or other investment. You may want to avoid financial planners who rely on commissions for their income. These advisers may not be the most unbiased source of advice if they profit from steering you into particular products.
A growing number of financial planners make money only when you pay them a fee for their counsel. These financial planners don’t get a cut from life insurers or fund companies. You might pay them a flat fee, such as $1,500, for a financial plan. Or you could pay an annual fee, often 1% to 2% of all the assets—investment, retirement,  university savings and other accounts—they’re minding for you. Others charge by the hour, like lawyers.
You might also encounter financial planners who cater exclusively to the rich and refuse clients with less than $2 million to invest. Don’t take it personally—hugely successful planners in this range of wealth are called wealth managers and would just prefer to deal with big accounts rather than beginner clients. 
You want a planner who’ll make the time to focus on your concerns and is interested in growing with you.
If you have more than $2 Million to invest, look for the wealth managers usually found in the global banks.

What to do a few years before selling your business

When his father was 67 years old, an unforeseen financial crisis forced the succession. Patrick Bermingham, Bermingham Construction, knew his father did not have the appetite to fight for the company’s survival; in one moment, his father shook his hand and Patrick was put in charge.
“My father was the supreme leader, but after that handshake, he never questioned my decision making.” Stepping into a precarious financial situation meant that Patrick had to make rapid decisions and get a plan for survival.
“I needed money. I bought a new suit from Harry Rosen. I got on a plane to Japan. I sold a patent. It enabled me to stabilize the business,” he says.
Then he set his long-term plan which meant looking at the hard truths.
Patrick needed a family succession plan, but knew that his children were much too young to take over. He could also see the valuation was too low to sell the business. He eventually decided to transition the business to outside owners by allowing the employees to buy shares , and not to do succession planning for the next generation of the Bermingham family.
When it comes to the family finances, structuring existing money can be done several years before a sale of a business or any other significant liquidity event. Trusts can be structured more favourably in times of low interest rates and low valuations for company stock.
At the time of Bermingham’s low valuation, when a sale is not possible, it may be suitable to transfer ownership in the family business to a trust at favourable terms. You can allow for a more tax effective transfer of ownership than during times of high interest rates or high stock valuation.
Patrick decided to do an estate freeze for his family. Then Patrick began the transition process by allowing employees to buy shares in the company. The company’s debt-equity ratio was still too high though, and the company needed more investment capital. Again, Patrick brought in experts to help organize and manage a partnership with private equity.
Eventually, after four years, the company was bought back from the private equity firm. When it came time to sell to a world class, strategic corporation, a few years later, Mr. Bermingham said the company was polished from all the steps taken along the way. “The secret of transitioning your business is that it is a long term process. You hedge your bets and maximize your value by buying and selling and then buying back parts of the company. It is not something you do suddenly.”
By, Jacoline Loewen, column
special to the Globe and Mail.

Gloria Steinem is too political in Toronto

Vanessa Grant, McCarthy Tetrault, kindly invited me to hear Gloria Steinem speak in Toronto. Gloria is an admirable person who has made a huge change in attitudes in society and I was excited to hear her speak and wondered what her message would be.
It was disappointing to hear her start with the right wing's attitude to women's reproduction. According to Gloria, the right wing only want hearth and home and sex is for the reproduction of the species, nothing more. This Footloose style attitude has certainly not stuck around in Canada and as I sat with a table of dynamic female lawyers, all partners at McCarthy, I wondered if Gloria's activist message no longer had the same urgency for North American women.
I also wondered if the American right wing did believe that sex was all around procreation. Quite the image painted by Gloria.