Joel Shalit and Jonathan Sigler - Seville Capital
Seville Capital was founded in 2013 and is a private equity firm based in Montreal that is involved in residential real estate development.
In addition to serving our local and state clientele, SBF works with international businesses to navigate the American tax system. Seville Capital is one such company, a private equity fund that’s involved in residential real estate development. The relationship with SBF started when cofounder and managing director Joel Shalit, based in Montreal, needed help with the intricacies of U.S. filing practices for the company’s American portfolios. A friendly competitor in Canada put him in touch with SBF partner W.G. Spoor in 2017.
“Complying with both U.S. and Canadian tax laws, in addition to those states in which we operate, can be complicated and burdensome,” Shalit says. “Then, there’s the complex organizational structure of our real estate fund, including the dozens of limited partnerships owning the projects, as well as the corporate, trust and personal investors holding interests in the limited partnerships. You can see how intricate it can become.”
Shalit’s Canadian investors are invested entirely in American properties, and the business is growing fast. “Today, we have roughly 10 times the amount of assets under management that we did when we started the business,” Shalit says. That’s just since 2013, and he credits that growth in no small part to building a strong partnership with SBF.
“SBF provides excellent service to our fund,” he says, “and our individual investors have also become SBF clients because they also have to file U.S. returns.” This model is beneficial from all angles – while SBF helps Seville Capital, Shalit refers SBF new business, and those referrals are appreciative of both Shalit and SBF. “It’s a win-win-win scenario”
“It’s been spectacular, because I get all of my partnership work done phenomenally well,” Shalit says. “I have access to local experts who can help me both at the federal and the state level. SBF continues to help me as we grow our business into more and more states. At the same time, we get extra value-add by getting the same expert tax help for our investors.”
Canada and the U.S. differ in a number of ways when it comes to taxes. One government’s schedule for payroll taxes, for instance, may be totally different than the others. “Something that gives us heartburn every year is compliance with quarterly withholding tax installments,” Shalit says. “The process for estimating that is totally different in the U.S. as compared to Canada.”
SBF accountants provide tax advisory services and prepare tax returns for Seville Capital’s investment funds, which invest in multiple residential properties in the U.S. And the work goes smoothly even though SBF and Seville Capital are about 1,500 miles apart.
“It’s a testament to technology,” Shalit says, “but also to SBF’s relationship management skills.”
This type of seamless collaboration blends well with Shalit’s own philosophy on business. “Focus on your own highest value-add,” he says. “You do what you do best — and I’ll do what I do best.”