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The Canadian Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (CVCA) released an open letter to party leaders Wednesday outlining what it wants from the next federal government. It recommended the government increase its VC investments, focusing on long-term funding for sectors like biotech and cleantech; prioritize foreign talent acquisition through avenues like the Global Talent Stream; make corporate and personal tax rates more competitive; and review the interest deductibility rules to encourage business creation and foreign direct investment. (The Logic)

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Talking point: Many of the CVCA’s requests focus on maintaining or building on programs launched or made permanent by the current Liberal government. The letter also lauds the party for its plan to crack down on corporate tax loopholes. “The CVCA is already mobilizing on this issue,” it reads. The CVCA’s requests on tax competitiveness, however, diverge from existing Liberal policy. If elected to lead the next government, both Liberal and Conservative leaders have vowed to cut personal taxes, either for low-income earners (Liberals) or more broadly (Conservatives). And while the Conservatives have yet to release their full platform, leader Andrew Scheer said he would reverse the Liberals’ small-business tax changes made in 2018 and lower the rate for small-business investments.

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Of the 132 venture capital partners who responded to the Canadian Venture Capital and Private Equity (CVCA) survey, 11 per cent were women and 18 per cent were visible minorities. In private equity, 12 per cent of 145 partners were women and just six per cent were visible minorities. (The Logic)

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Talking point: The findings highlight the mismatch between entrepreneurs in Canada and the people who fund them: 51 per cent of entrepreneurs are women and 29 per cent are visible minorities, according to the 2018 Canadian Entrepreneurship Census, published on Wednesday. That report also cited access to funding as the biggest challenge for 75 per cent of entrepreneurs. Other reports shows the challenge is particularly acute for women founders. In March, The Logic reviewed five years of publicly available funding data in Canada and found that less than 12 per cent of investments went to companies with a woman founder. That figure happens to be proportionate to women’s representation as partners at VC and PE firms.

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Mike Woollatt will act as principal on the co-investment and fund investment team and lead the Toronto office. Before taking the role, Woollatt was director of strategic partnerships at OMERS, and BetaKit reported in January 2019 that he left the role for Hamilton Lane. Hamilton Lane has US$469 billion in assets under management, according to Hamilton Lane’s media release. (The Logic)

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Talking point: Hamilton Lane is one of five “funds-of-funds” based in the U.S. and Canada that received money from the federal government’s $350-million Venture Capital Catalyst Initiative (VCCI) and it was the only one that did not have a Canadian office at the time VCCI funding was announced last summer. This office—Hamilton Lane’s 16th globally—will help the firm source deals in the country and meet its mandate to spur late-stage capital investment in Canadian companies. One of the conditions of receiving VCCI funding was to support women fund managers; asked by The Logic about its strategy to increase the participation of women fund managers, the firm sent a statement explaining its corporate strategy of increasing diversity in the private markets in which it operates. It noted its newly-created Diversity & Inclusion Council, which pursues partnerships with organizations like New York-based non-profit Girls Who Invest that can educate women about capital markets. “We are committed to purposefully educating, welcoming, developing and advancing talented women and diverse candidates, and ensuring that they have all the resources they need to sustain a robust career at Hamilton Lane,” the firm said in a statement. Hamilton Lane also noted that the Diversity & Inclusion Council was not just specific to VC, but rather to the private markets where it operates.– Jessica

Clarification: This story has been updated to clarify that Hamilton Lane’s diversity and inclusion efforts include private markets broadly, and not just venture capital as previously stated.