Canada’s Venture Capital & Private Equity Association(CVCA)
Venture capital and private equity funds represent a beacon of confidence, and trust in strong growth and prosperity for emerging businesses — businesses that lay at the core of any thriving economy. These forms of capital funding fuel business startup companies across all industries and assure business continuity and growth. Venture capital and private equity represent the fluidity and dynamism of free markets, fostering the overall economic growth and prosperity.
Created in 1974, with almost 2,000 members who manage total capital of over $88 billion, the CVCA represents the connecting force in the Canadian private equity industry. The CVCA promotes venture capital and private equity as an asset class and a vital component of the Canadian economy, providing early stage and growth capital to Canadian companies, investing in three major areas — Venture Capital, Private equity and Mezzanine funds. The CVCA represents over 160 funds with membership split 50/50 between the venture capital funds and private equity [buyout] funds.
Venture capital/private equity had been involved in funding and growing Canadian companies such as BioChem Pharma, Corel, Macdonald Dettwiler & Associates, and Research in Motion; the CVCA members contribute over $50 billion to the Canadian GDP and have created over 260,000 jobs.
The CVCA is the leading source for advocacy, networking, information and professional development for venture capital and private equity professionals. The CVCA programs include public policy, professional development and industry research.
The Canadian Business Journal spoke with Richard Rémillard, Executive Director, about the CVCA’s role as the representative of venture capital and private equity investing, and the role of these sources of funding in the Canadian economy.
“In the current economic climate, it is safe to say that venture capital is in high demand [not just in Canada]. This stems from a mix of several things including public policy which has stimulated the demand for venture capital through various programs as well as creation of business incubators across Canada. The real issue is not the interest of the businesses seeking the investment, rather its raising sufficient funds to meet the demand,” says Rémillard.
Deal-making and networking represent the core of venture capital and private equity investing, and the CVCA works on creating a deal-friendly environment for its members. The CVCA holds between 25 and 30 networking events annually, facilitating business and social introductions, encouraging deal flow among risk capital professionals and suppliers to the industry. These events include golf tournaments and new member receptions across Canada.
“Our business is all about making deals, and the CVCA is the common entity in the industry, creating the environment where deals can be done. That’s the nature of our business.” — Richard Rémillard, Executive Director
The main event of the year in the Canadian private capital industry is the CVCA’s Annual Conference. The conference serves as an opportunity for members from across the country to network, learn about latest issues and trends, enhance deal flow, and hear from prominent Canadian business individuals. The 2013 Annual Conference keynote speakers are Federal Minister of Finance Jim Flaherty and the President of the Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) Mark Wiseman. “We anticipate between 650 and 700 attendees — basically everybody in the industry,” says Rémillard.
The 2013 CVCA conference will take place between May 22 and 24 in Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel, Alta. As part of the annual conference, the CVCA will also present Entrepreneur of the Year and the Deal of the Year awards at the gala evening. These awards, along with the Community Leadership Award, celebrate the achievements of entrepreneurs and companies funded by private equity, promoting excellence in the private capital industry.
Private Capital Magazine
Private Capital features in-depth news and information, including interviews with high profile industry leaders, recent studies, updates on legal and tax issues, investment banking issues, quarterly investment statistics, and news on funds, CVCA members, CVCA awards, past and upcoming CVCA events, and anything in between that’s relevant to the industry.
The CVCA collects statistical data on the patterns of performance and activity, focusing on issues important to the Canadian venture and private equity capital industry. “We have currently two major studies underway in partnerships with Industry Canada and Statistics Canada, reviewing every venture capital funded deal, reviewing all the statistical data collected by the CVCA. The goal is to assess the impact of venture capital on job creation, exports, R&D performance, and overall productivity. We are also doing similar research in partnership with the Conference Board of Canada and Thompson Reuters in regard to the private equity part of the industry,” says Rémillard.
As the Canadian representative of the private capital industry, the CVCA leads the way in advocating for public policy with the Government of Canada. The CVCA works with governments to foster a better understanding of the importance of risk capital in the Canadian economy, and to affect changes to the tax and regulatory environment to better serve the private capital industry. According to Rémillard, the government is very much aware of the importance and the upside of risk capital to the Canadian economy, and the recent government moves towards support of the industry are evident.
“The most recent projects with the Government of Canada are the Federal government allocating $400 million into venture capital funds in the 2012 budget [and we expect the outcomes of this effort to be announced shortly]. We are also currently in active discussions with Citizenship and Immigration Canada in regards to new immigration program called Startup Visa Canada. This program is designed to bring foreign entrepreneurs to Canada and finance their business ideas using Canadian Capital — attracting successful entrepreneurs who excel in job creation,” says Rémillard.
According to Rémillard, businesses backed by venture capital grow considerably faster than average business. “This is the key factor of the businesses backed by venture capital. The small and medium businesses tend to be ultra-fast growers, and these businesses grow faster because their principals have the knowledge and the experience to drive results,” said Rémillard. “Canada has a strong, well-functioning venture capital and private equity industry, and that’s one of the necessary preconditions to grow the kind of companies that Canada needs to grow in order to improve the job creation and productivity record.”
Private Capital (Magazine)