Voted #6 on Top 100 Family Business Influencers, most influential expert on Wealth, Legacy, Finance and Investments: Jacoline Loewen LinkedIn Profile

August 13, 2018

5 lessons can we learn from Bezos’s rise to become the richest man

Interesting to learn that Amazon founder Jeff Bezos will become the world’s richest person this year, or next. After yet another fantastic report of results, and yet another boost in the company’s share price, Bezos is $5 billion away from the Microsoft founder Bill Gates and likely to overtake him soon.
From my view, I remember when Amazon was just starting and seemed an interesting but not a sure thing on the stock market. I sold my Amazon for AOL back in 1999. I was wrong! 
To learn that Bezos is now passing Bill Gates means that there are lessons to learn and Bezos shares his views. I am interested in how the title of richest person (that is tracked and legitimate) sets a role model for entrepreneurs and business leaders around the world.
After all, if making more money than anyone else doesn’t tell you they are doing something right, it is hard to know what might. 
So what lessons can we learn from Bezos’s rise to the top of the pile? In brief: That you should 
  1. Think big, 
  2. Innovate furiously, 
  3. Ignore failures, 
  4. Forget about obsessing over profits, and 
  5. Avoid major acquisitions. 

Those are 5 pretty good guidelines for any business heading into the 2020s. 
In the past five years, Amazon’s share price has more than quadrupled, rising from US$220 to more than $US900 as the company powers into new industries and markets. He has already overtaken Warren Buffett and Amancio Ortega, the Spanish founder of Zara owner Inditex, to become the world’s second richest. 
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Jacoline Loewen, MBA, ICD.D, is a best selling author and expert in Wealth Management. She is Canada’s leading wealth, legacy, founder and family business finance expert. Ms. Loewen's clients are entrepreneurs who transition from focus on business to managing their money. She helps overcome common wealth creation issues while optimizing investments in order to manage and nurture significant wealth with confidence.

July 26, 2018

You never know when you might get that call from a buyer making an offer you can't refuse

If you are thinking about selling your company within the next few years, here are a few reminders to keep you on track. It's from a blog written by Alan Crossley who sells companies and who shares his observations about business owners as they get ready to sell. Here is an excerpt:

Some call these the Dog Days of Summer. The business world tends to slow down. I think it's a great time to reflect and regroup on how ready your business is for being sold. Even if selling seems a long way down the road for you, it's never too early to start. Plus, you never know when you might get that call from a buyer making an offer you can't refuse (or can you?). As for my Dog Days of Summer, I found an article (rather than write my own) on this very topic. A few points here that are worth noting: To read more...

July 22, 2018

Breaking down blockchain

TORONTO, Ont. – If trucking wants to take advantage of blockchain, it needs to come together and work as one unified team.
That was the message from panelists at this year’s TransCore Link Logistics’ 20th annual conference at the Markland Wood Golf Club in Toronto.
Panelists, that included Dave Brajkovich, CTO of Polaris, Jacoline Loewen, director of business development at UBS Wealth Management, Mark Southey, executive v.p. of business development at Traffix, and Moe Sabry, director of IT at TransCore all agreed that the best way for trucking to be successful with blockchain technology is to work together.
The trucking industry is just dipping its toes into the water, so to speak when it comes to blockchain, because many don’t know much about it, or, don’t know how to get started.
Blockchain is, in simple terms, a digital ledger where transactions are made and recorded permanently. It is decentralized, in that information isn’t going to and stored in one place (like a centralized system), rather, several places.
The greatest advantage blockchain will bring to the industry that it desperately needs, is trust, panelists said.
“Blockchain will eliminate paperwork because there’s trust,” explained Southey. “Because we have all these nodes feeding information into a shared ledger…it means that when a warehouse puts 1000 boxes on truck, there is no question there are 1000 boxes on the truck. There is no proof required…and then we have trust between the shipper and the transporter. This negates the bill of lading. Because of that, we can automate payment. We can automate transfer responsibility. Half of our industry (with blockchain) can be automated. That’s where blockchain will have a fundamental shift.”
He added that the trust between driver and employer will also improve.
“Driver behavior won’t be questioned because it will all be recorded,” he said. “There is no dispute whether an action occurred or not.”
Brajkovich agreed, calling blockchain an API manager on steroids. He said the greatest advantage blockchain will offer transportation is quality, speed, and efficiency.
And while many may be panicking saying blockchain could eminate jobs like dispatchers or other administration roles within trucking, Barjkovich says this is not the case.
“Those people that handle paperwork today in trucking, they can be repurposed to do more efficient things,” he said.
He said that banks are the leaders in blockchain right now because they “are leaders together and understand that these paradigm shifts happen quickly.”
Right now only 1% of the supply chain industry is using blockchain.
“The industry needs to come together. If we can’t come up with a singular composed strategy, it’s going to be difficult to implement blockchain,” Southey said.
Loewen said to those in trucking who don’t know where to get started when it comes to trucking, should research groups you can join that are looking into blockchain now.
“There are all these business incubators,” she added. “There are lots of tiny companies looking for problems to solve. As individuals, go meet with these people. Give them problems to solve. They will likely solve them for you, for free. There’s some out of Ryerson University and some from Waterloo University. Canada is leading-edge with this stuff..you could go from a five truck trucking company to the next Walmart of trucking if you wanted to dream that big.”

June 22, 2018

The next gen of technology is here - Blockchain and Transportation

Transcore Conference with Jacoline Loewen, Blockchain
I am honoured to speak about Blockchain at the Transcore Conference - a great event designed for Carrier, Loaders and users of LoadLink.

Join us on July 16th.

Plus prizes to win!


4 steps for business owners to minimize personal financial risk

"My riskeist investment was into my business," says John Rothschild, CARA Operations Ltd. Read the full article here:
The following article is a summary of a conversation with Mr. Rothschild, CARA Operations, Ltd., speaking with David Simpson, Ivey Business School, at the UBS Speakers Series, 2018. We were honoured to have John share his journey from entrepreneur to managing wealth. 
Phaby Utomo, John Rothschild, David Simpson, Jacoline Loewen,

First published in The Globe and Mail, written by Jacoline Loewen.

Business owners are challenged to make decisions every day, and it is essential for them to know their risk tolerance.
“My riskiest investment was the ownership in my business,” says John Rothschild, senior vice-president of CARA Operations  and former Chairman and CEO of Prime Restaurants.
Mr. Rothschild knows about risk. When the opportunity emerged to buy Prime, a family owned business in which he served as an investment manager, he decided to take on the challenge despite the unhealthy balance sheet. His friends were aghast. He had a very comfortable life and he was in a strong financial position and they questioned his decision to risk buying a questionable business. Mr. Rothschild personally guaranteed all the loans required to make the acquisition.
He offered these four ideas on how business owners can minimize their personal financial risk:

1. Plan succession early.

You’ve seen the statistics: more than two-thirds of business owners over 60 years of age don’t have an exit plan. They want to sell their businesses, but fewer than 15 per cent are able to pass them along to a family member.
After Mr. Rothschild made the transition to business owner, he had to figure out how to take money out of the company.
“I knew that passing the family business to the next generation was not in the plans and that I had to monetize the business in a different way,” he says. “We did an income trust in 2002, where shares are held by outsiders. I had bought my business with borrowed money and personal guarantees. The income trust allowed me to pay off loans and personal guarantees, and there was some money left over. Also, I still got to keep my role.”

2. When opportunities come along, be ready to take them.

Mr. Rothschild says income trusts “were a great opportunity and only came by once.” Then he was faced with another opportunity when Fairfax Financial came shopping for restaurant companies. Fairfax is a blue-chip Canadian investment firm modelled after Berkshire Hathaway, founded by Warren Buffett, where the investment company buys businesses and holds them for a long time. Fairfax offered to buy the public part of Prime Restaurants and Mr. Rothschild was invited to stay on and grow the business.
“It was a defining moment when Fairfax then invested in Cara and merged Prime into it. Prime could have stayed an independent business, but the opportunity to scale up and turn something around was tremendous. You can’t pick your exit, or the moments when these opportunities come along, necessarily. You can just say yes or no. I saw this as the opportunity to make restaurant history. We are now the third largest in Canada.”
A business owner needs to plan for the company to be ready for monetizing at any stage, Mr. Rothschild explains. He pointed out that being ready is critical. For example, tax planning in advance is essential. When the opportunity arrives, that is a bad time to be starting your tax planning.

3. Know yourself and plug the gaps.

Mr. Rothschild recognized his strengths and he was honest about his gaps. “I don’t cook, but at Prime, I get to do what I love to do every day. I would tell people not to be afraid to go into an industry where you are not the core expert. It’s about running a business.”
Going from investor to business owner and operator meant that he needed to understand how to build customer loyalty.
When asked the key to success, Mr. Rothschild says: “It’s about the people surrounding me. My team is wonderful. I also had a five-person board for Prime Restaurants and the majority were outsiders who would challenge me, otherwise I would just be talking to myself. I can't make great deals by myself. I’m a numbers guy so I plug the gaps with people who have talents beyond my own.”

4. Take money off the table.

Keeping all your eggs in the one basket is risky. Business owners have the majority of their wealth invested in their own business.
The idea of having more wealth invested in what the business owners know best leads them to concentrate their wealth back into their company. This leads to concentration risk. This specific risk is the type of uncertainty that comes with the company or industry they are invested in. In the case of business owners, this is quite high.
The risk can be reduced through diversification, such as taking exposures across other industries. That is where a wealth manager becomes important.
It’s possible to diversify the long-term wealth preservation for your family by taking some money out of the business in a disciplined, mechanical way. By keeping money aside, Mr. Rothschild could handle the risks in the business, but have peace of mind by setting aside a nest egg for the family.
“I recognized that my highest risk was the business,” Mr. Rothschild says. “You do need to reinvest in the business. You do have to put money in the business or it will die. You have to manage that business on a daily basis.
"But it’s also essential to take money for your personal portfolio. I don’t have the time to manage my personal money. I choose people who I trust and they do it well. I made the effort to balance personal wealth and operating company investment. I stayed within my lifestyle, and shared the gains with those around me.”
During the conversation, Mr. Rothschild’s humble, quiet style of leadership stands out, as well as his deep concern and interest in his employees. But as an accountant, he also understands the financial factors driving the restaurant business. 
“My friends thought I was crazy, as I did take on personal debt at a time when I was set up with my home and family and my career was stable."
"Buying a business was seen as financially risky but it has been an adventure worth living.”

Published in "The Globe and Mail," August 12, 2014. 

Jacoline Loewen is the director of business development of UBS Bank (Canada). She has over 25 years of experience in finance for high-achieving entrepreneurs and family businesses. She specializes in the transition from business to sudden wealth from sale of a business and the impact on the Founder, their family, inter-generational wealth transfer and philanthropy. Prior to joining UBS Bank, Ms. Loewen specialized in finance, specifically sales and acquisitions, successions and private equity financing.

Ms. Loewen has authored numerous best-seller books such as, Money Magnet: How to Attract Investors to Your Business, Business e-Volution and The Power of Strategy. She is a guest columnist to the Globe & Mail and contributor to the National Post, Thomson Reuter, Profit and was a regular panellist on BNN: The Pitch. In 2018, Ms. Loewen was awarded #1 Forecast for Markets and Stocks by The Ticker Club Annual Forecast. She is ranked # 6 in the Top 100 Family Business Influencers on social media and awarded Top 50 Board Diversity.  She is on a director on the Toronto Atmospheric Fund board and investment committee, Chair of the OCAD University business catalyst advisory board, as well as  former  director  on  the  Private  Capital  Market  Association   board.
You can follow her on Twitter @jacolineloewen Contact: 416-662-1930 or jacoline.loewen@ubs.com.