Review of CCFA Lunch & Learn Speaker Series: Eric Xiao

17 Mar 2015 11:24 PM | Yadong Wang (Administrator)

Topic: An Overview of Mergers and Acquisitions Taxation in Canada

Speaker: Eric Xiao, Partner, Ernst & Young

Eric Xiao 1

CCFA has successfully held another lunch-and-learn event on Thursday, February 26th, 2014. We were honored to have Eric Xiao, a tax partner with the Transaction Advisory Services practice of Ernst & Young based in Toronto.  Eric shared his insights on Mergers and Acquisitions Taxation in Canada and his unique career path as the first immigrant from China to become a partner with EY Canada. Around 40 financial practitioners and professionals participated in this event. The talk was well received and ended with an animated Q&A session showing very good feedback from the audience.

After a warm opening remark about Eric’s background by Dr. Gang Wu, the moderator of the lunch-and learn event, Eric began sharing his thoughts on leadership, career development and his experience of being a partner in a Big-4 accounting firm.  He broke this section into three parts: a typical career path to become a partner; his personal experience and challenges; thoughts and the lessons he has learned.

Becoming a partner in a Big-4 accounting firm is never easy. It requires the person to have strong leadership skills, in-depth technical knowledge and business development skills.  Eric highlighted people skills and leadership skills as the most important aspects of the skills set of a partner. As an “untypical” partner candidate in EY, Eric had also faced additional challenges such as language barrier. Eric emphasized that staying out of comfort zone is key to his success.  He also shared a tip about shifting in and out of comfort zone to develop new skills and new network while at the same time maintaining self-confidence.  Eric also shared a few lessons that he has learned with young professionals: setting a higher career goal at the early stage of career, seeking challenges and opportunities to grow, volunteering at a charity, and most importantly, networking and getting to know and to be known by people. He also backed up each suggestion with a real life example.

Eric Xiao 2

In the second section of the speech, Eric provided an overview of Mergers and Acquisitions Taxation in Canada. Starting with the transaction lifecycle in M&A, Eric discussed the different objectives of vendors and purchasers in both asset deals and share deals. Then, he moved on to cover tax due diligence, planning ideas for the seller/ purchasers. Eric finished his speech with an overview of the Canadian tax system which actually helps the audiences to have an even clearer idea about the different strategies and planning ideas for M&A transactions from a tax perspective.


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