On Friday of last week (18th), Cooney Carey held our strategic away day, where we discussed plans and opportunities in the upcoming 12 months. As a multi-disciplinary professional services firm, we had input from 12 members of our senior management team. It was an extremely productive day and many discussion points arose throughout the day.
Afterwards, I reflected on the day and specifically the importance of holding a successful meeting. I estimate that in a normal working week, I attend an average of 10 – 15 meetings a week (client and internal meets), which when I think about, over 30+ years of experience is upwards of 15,000 meetings.
Each person has different strengths and qualities in their professional armoury but when it comes to holding a successful meeting, there are a few fundamentals that have stood me in good stead down through my advisory career. This list is not an exhaustive, but merely a list of the take-away points that have resonated with me over the course of my career to date:
I hope these tips will help you make the most of the meetings you hold and attend.
A shareholder’s agreement is a contract between the shareholders of a company. The purpose of it is to outline the procedures to be followed within the company and how the company is to be managed. It can also serve as a means to address issues that might cause shareholder conflict in the future. It is confidential and is not available to the general public. It can be very beneficial to family companies as an aid to avoid disputes further down the line. Matters that are often addressed in a shareholder’s agreement are as follows;
Provisions can be put in place to restrict the transferability of shares. Consent of other shareholders can also be added and provisions for what happens in the event of divorce or death.
Differing shareholders may have differing views on how to distribute the wealth of their company. A shareholder’s agreement can be used to agree upon such a policy.
The agreement can provide for clauses which state that certain decisions may only be reached if a certain % of shareholders approve of it. This would help protect minority shareholders in many instances.
Conditions can be put in place for share valuations upon a shareholder’s exit from the company. Other clauses include the rights for other shareholders to buy the shares before they are offered to the market and the right for other shareholders to buy the shares at a discount compared to third parties.
This can be of great benefit to shareholders and can provide a roadmap to be followed in the event that shareholders have a dispute. This can help prevent significant legal bills in the future.
Although it is often far from people’s minds at the time, the best time to introduce a shareholder’s agreement is when a company is being set up. Where this is done, it can be of great benefit to the company and its shareholders.
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You may have seen our blog late last year where we spoke about the future of accounting firms, which was one of the key areas of discussion at our international network conference in Rome. So, it was no surprise to see that in the Spotlight section of February’s Accountancy Ireland (Chartered Accountants monthly publication) there was a focus on Cloud Computing, Cyber Security and Tech Trends for 2018.
The same key ideas come up in these articles as did at our conference in October. Ideas and terms such as:
Change is never easy. While many would like to bury their head in the sand and hope change doesn’t happen, it is clear however that not only will change happen, it is happening. Our advice to business owners and leaders is to embrace this new technology. See how it can help drive your business forward by reducing costs, increasing sales or improving productivity.
A wide variety of articles and reports can be found covering the topics above in more detail. We will also be releasing some blogs on Blockchain over the coming months. While access to the articles noted above can be found on Chartered Accountants Ireland website.
We are happy to help. Please post your comment below or call Will Townsend (ACA, BBS (ACC), CMC), Partner at Cooney Carey, on 01 677 9000. Alternatively, send him an email: email@example.com
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