SEMINAR: Key Considerations for Structuring Shareholders’ Agreements
On October 19th, we were delighted to return to in-person professional development seminars and hosted a seminar on the Key Considerations for Structuring Shareholders’ Agreements. Here are some highlights for those that weren’t able to join us.
A shareholders’ agreement is a low-cost approach to minimizing future conflicts by outlining how specific issues will be handled and providing a forum for dispute settlement should one arise. This agreement is essential to be considered in insurance and financial planning, as it protects both parties.
The seminar kicked off with Antony Cortese from DLA Piper (Canada) outlining the necessity of having shareholders’ agreements. He pointed out that they are essential to ensuring that all parties involved in managing a company’s interests are on the same page and can move forward together. He really got our attendees’ attention when he reviewed the drawbacks of not considering shareholders’ agreements and the consequences of not having a proper framework in place. In addition to the operational impairment that shareholders may face without them, the timelines that can burden the parties in a dispute resolution were staggering. He also outlined different buy/sell regimes to provide for a shareholder’s voluntary or involuntary departure.
Farzin Remtulla from ZLC Financial spoke on the role of life insurance in shareholders’ agreements. A shareholder agreement is the foundation for a framework for governance, while life insurance is the measure to financially safeguard assets involved in their structure. He discussed the advantages of including life insurance in shareholders’ agreements as a way to minimize current and future tax liabilities associated with buy/sell provisions, should they be executed as a part of the shareholders’ agreement. He reviewed:
- Why CDA is a critical point in a shareholder’s agreement
- Effective tax planning strategies to protect a client’s interests
- Distinctions between corporate vs. personal life insurance
- Insurance for disability for a buy/sell provision for a shareholders’ agreement
The final session of the seminar was a panel discussion led by Aeron Zlotnik, another advisor at ZLC Financial, who reviewed case studies and questions from attendees with Antony and Farzin.
Thank you to our speakers and attendees, and we hope to see you all next year! Look out for our next Professional Services Seminar on Estate Planning, which will be held on January 24th at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver.