New dealer-only symposium sure to be a hot ticket


Dealer principals will want to keep May 4 open on their calendars.

While there is a multitude of conferences, expos, parties and trade shows stocked with suppliers and vendors looking to sell dealers the latest and greatest suite of you name it, there is a downright dearth of events exclusively for dealers.

Automotive mergers and acquisitions company Templeton Marsh is changing that with the announcement of a dealer-only symposium planned for May 4.

An “exquisite venue” in Montreal will play host to the exclusive, invitation-only gathering. And with a guest list capped at 150, space is sure to fill up fast.

“We sent out a pre-sale notice to inform some of our partners about the event and, amazingly, everyone who received the pre-sale notice confirmed they would attend, including a number of dealers from the Toronto area,” explained Samir Akhavan, managing partner at Templeton Marsh.

“We were very happy with the initial response.”

The evening will include three speakers who will each address different aspects of the current automotive landscape. Taking the stage will be Guy Marchessault, partner at BDO, who will address the top five things that keeps dealers awake at night.

Following dinner, analyst Denis DesRosiers will review dealer performance and offer a market outlook for 2016 and beyond.

Noted U.S. automotive commentator and advisor Maryann Keller will discuss the automotive retail landscape touching on everything from consolidation to margin pressure, dealership valuations to regulations.

The evening will conclude with a question and answer period.

Akhavan said the location of the event is no accident.

“We have done a few deals in Quebec in recent months and I think the market is great in terms dealership acquisitions. I looked at some statistics and realized there are many more single point operators, relative to the size of the market, in Quebec than in the rest of Canada,” he said.

“It’s a good market for Templeton Marsh and will be a big market for consolidation in the coming months and years.”
He added the idea was to have a symposium and a dinner and offer some great speakers and interested content that would attract dealers. While it is a free event, attendance will not be guaranteed. With room for just 150 dealers, seats will no-doubt fill quickly.

Anyone looking for more information is asked to email Invitees must RSVP by April 10.

And if any interested dealer can’t make the Montreal event in May or is turned away because of capacity issues, Akhavan hinted he is looking into planning a similar event in Toronto in the fall.

“Depending on the response and reception, the idea might even spread to Vancouver in 2017,” he said.