23 Sep 2019

The enthusiasm for Bitcoin and dramatic increase in its value in 2017 has proven to be very attractive to cybercriminals, who took advantage of investors’ lack of knowledge to hack them.

Cryptocurrencies have in fact shown to have serious security and governance flaws. Other cybercurrency risks have also been exposed: “Managing and handling cryptocurrencies is risky for people,” says Louis Roy, Assurance Partner and President of Catallaxy, subsidiary of Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton.

“For example, if you lost your private key, you would no longer have access to your assets. This isn’t like misplacing your debit card, which can easily be replaced.”

Many investors keep their assets as cryptocurrencies on their cellphone. In addition to the risk of losing their assets, they could be the target of cyberattacks. Investors must therefore be even more vigilant, especially when it comes to phishing scams.

Some investors rely on an intermediary to manage their cryptocurrencies.

“In some cases, the loss of assets is not due to an attack, but rather to a management or fraud issue,” Roy adds.

Recently, the suspicious death of the company founder resulted in more than $250M in losses for the cheated investors.

Roy questions: “How can you explain that a company leader had millions of his clients’ dollars all to himself on his personal computer? To improve cybersecurity in the cryptocurrency field, we’ll have to stimulate technological innovations and better inform users, but there are regulatory framework issues as well.”

You can read the entire article online (for subscribers only).

Are you interested in understanding blockchain technology and applying it in your organization? Our team of experts can help.

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20 Sep 2019

As entrepreneurs get closer to retirement, many of them would like to hand over the reins of their family business to their children. However, transferring the company to your children could be more complicated than selling it to strangers.

In an interview in L’Étoile du Lac, Éric Dufour, Partner and Vice-President, Management Consulting, tells us why:
“At the provincial level, the situation has been rectified, but this is not the case at the federal level. There is no tax exemption of up to $900,000 that applies when selling to family members. This complicates the transaction. You have to be prepared to make monetary sacrifices, because a company’s value, that’s the owner’s pension fund. It’s an obstacle and it’s time for the government to change this outdated 1980s tax system.”

Dufour also pointed out that the key to a business transfer lies in planning: “You have to undertake a plan that spans four years. An inter-generational overlap occurs, which means there is an adaptation period. This makes it all the more important to be supported in the process.”

The issue of intergenerational business transfers is still a concern for our Firm. In Quebec, a number of constraints still exist while at the federal level, the entire issue persists. We invite you to view the Firm’s recommendations, including recommendation 7 in the prebudget recommendations presented to the Quebec government at the time of the last Quebec budget.

Contact one of our entrepreneurial succession experts for support during the important process.

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16 Sep 2019

Catallaxy, Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton’s subsidiary takes its blockchain and cryptocurrency expertise worldwide with the signing of a partnership agreement with Grant Thornton Switzerland/Liechtenstein.

Under the agreement, Catallaxy will handle all of their projects involving cryptocurrency auditing over the next two years. Additionally, the Swiss/Liechtenstein firm wants to use Abacus, the cryptocurrency audit software solution developed by Catallaxy. This unique association provides Grant Thornton international visibility and widespread potential.

Emilio B. Imbriglio, President and CEO of Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton said: “When we created Catallaxy in 2017, we wanted to make Montréal a global blockchain technology expertise centre in the Grant Thornton organization. The agreement signed with GT Switzerland/Liechtenstein marks the achievement of this objective.”

GT Switzerland/Liechtenstein’s clientele includes numerous cryptocurrency entities, representing some 30 projects for Catallaxy in the coming years. This first agreement should pave the way for more partnerships with other member firms of Grant Thornton around the world.

Michel Besner, Managing Director of Catallaxy stated: “Switzerland/Liechtenstein’s regulatory framework has prompted many cryptocurrency foundations to set up in that country, creating a strategic centre in the world of cryptocurrencies. We are pleased to provide our expertise, support and technological tools to help GT Switzerland/Liechtenstein become a leader in their country.”

Marco Valenti, from GT Switzerland/Liechtenstein added: “As the cryptocurrency sector is expanding in Switzerland/Liechtenstein, it’s a plus to be able to count on the benefits of the Grant Thornton organization and call on our best specialists, such as Catallaxy. Thanks to our collaboration, we will be in a position to better serve our clients’ interests and position ourselves as market leaders. The agreement was prompted by our desire to become more competitive in this growing area.”

Cryptocurrency audits
The surge in cryptocurrencies has led an increasing number of organizations to own these types of currencies. Because of recent government positions on cryptocurrency legislation, it is imperative for auditors to obtain an understanding of this new asset class in order to implement sufficient and appropriate audit procedures. This translates into a range of issues in practice. The lack of regulations, immature technologies, security considerations and the quantity of data are major challenges for auditors and businesses alike.

The combination of an exclusive technology and a real-time audit software solution developed by Catallaxy gives Grant Thornton a competitive edge with a unique service offering specifically designed for digital asset audits that meet the auditor’s needs.

About Catallaxy
A Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton subsidiary, Catallaxy develops products in the fields of finance, accounting, digital economy and digitization of physical assets (consumer goods, food assets, real estate, manufacturing and legal documents).

Catallaxy has a group of experts in innovative technologies, such as cryptographic data analysis, blockchain, tokenization and artificial intelligence.

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12 Sep 2019

MONTRÉAL, September 12, 2019 – Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton is proud to partner again with Concordia University’s John Molson School of Business for the second edition of the Person of the Year Awards.

Candidate applications will be received from September 11, 2019 to November 30, 2019 and the contest is open to leaders from across Quebec. Nominations can be recommended or submitted directly online.

The Person of the Year Awards celebrate business people who are actively involved in the development of local visionary companies and the emergence of tomorrow’s talent.

Emilio B. Imbriglio, Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton President and CEO said: “The Person of the Year Awards are an opportunity to celebrate trailblazing Quebec leaders who bring local and international exposure to Quebec. The first edition was an undeniable success and we encourage other business leaders to submit their candidacy for this contest.”

A productive collaboration between academia and business

Anne-Marie Croteau, Dean of the John Molson School of Business stated: “The Person of the Year Awards are unique in that they help inspire students at the John Molson School of Business. Our goal is to make our teaching as rigorous and practical as possible, so that our graduates are ready to contribute to Quebec’s economy and social development. The association between Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton and the John Molson School of Business makes this all the more tangible and relevant for our future leaders.”

Award categories

The Person of the Year Awards contest recognizes both established and up-and-coming leaders and those working in the background who make a difference, be it through innovation, international development, strategic transactions or strong leadership.

  • Eclipse: Entrepreneur or executive who eclipses the competition and transforms the industry through a culture of innovation. A leader who moves the market or creates a brand new one.
  • Glocal: Entrepreneur or executive who has contributed to the international advancement of a Quebec-based company while creating jobs locally.
  • Instinct: Leader of an investment team who carried out a transaction that ensures the growth of a local leading-edge business.
  • Person of the Year: Entrepreneur or executive whose vision and leadership have carried the organization to a new level.

A multifaceted selection committee

The Selection Committee is composed of John Molson School of Business professors and inspiring leaders from the world of business in Quebec:

  • Hubert Bolduc, President and CEO, Montréal International
  • Étienne Borgeat, President and CEO and Co-Founder, PsyXnovation
  • Ingrid Chadwick, Ph. D., Associate Professor, John-Molson School of Business
  • Stéphane Brutus, Professor, John Molson School of Business
  • Alexandra Panaccio, Ph. D., Vice-Rector and Associate Professor, John Molson School of Business
  • Bastien Poulain, President and CEO and Founder, 1642

Important dates

Candidacies will be received between September 11, 2019 and November 30, 2019. The 16 finalists will be announced in March 2020 and the four winners will be revealed at the Gala event in May 2020 in Montréal.

A look back at the first edition

During the inaugural Person of the Year Awards Gala, more than 500 people gathered at the Salle des pas perdus in Windsor Station to recognize leaders who dared to dream. The first Person of the Year cohort showcased four leaders who, in their own way, contributed to the success of their business and Quebec as a whole: Dominic Gagnon, Co-Founder, Connect&Go, Patrice Marin, Co-Founder, district m and Marie-Claude Boisvert, Partner, Clearspring Capital Partners. Lino A. Saputo, Jr., President and CEO, Saputo Inc. received the Person of the Year award. Lastly, Nathalie Lehoux, Happy President of Pacini, received the “Jury’s Choice” award.

To find out more about the selection criteria and process and important dates to submit or recommend a candidate, visit www.rcgt.com/en/awards.

About Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton
Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton is a professional services firm dedicated to the success of organizations and their leaders since 1948. The firm‘s advisors are committed to helping clients thrive by obtaining a deep understanding of what is important to them, their business and their industry. This knowledge, combined with a team of motivated and talented professionals help accelerate growth. A Quebec and Canadian leader in the areas of assurance, tax, advisory services and business recovery and reorganization, Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton boasts more than 2,600 professionals, including approximately 200 partners, working in over 100 offices across the province of Quebec and in the Ottawa and Edmundston regions.

Together with Grant Thornton LLP, another Canadian firm, and the Grant Thornton global organization, our global footprint spans across more than 135 countries with over 53,000 people who provide real insight, a fresh perspective and agility to keep clients moving ahead.

About John Molson School of Business
Concordia University’s John Molson School of Business is one of the largest business schools in the world. Focused on academic excellence, John Molson School of Business provides an engaging learning and research environment that inspires us to go beyond the commonplace for the development of business and society. Accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business since 1997, John Molson School of Business offers programs at the undergraduate, graduate and doctoral levels. John Molson School of Business’s internationally renowned faculty members are constantly pushing the boundaries of business research, and its experiential learning activities provide students with hands-on training that complements classroom instruction. The school’s state-of-the-art facilities are housed in the LEED Silver-certified John Molson School of Business Building, the vibrant green centre of Concordia University’s Sir George Williams Campus in downtown Montréal.

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Source:
Francis Letendre
Head – Public Affairs
Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton
Tel.: 514-390-4201
[email protected]