in News, Startups, Toronto

Toronto community mourns passing of angel investor

Paul Maasland from CBC

Paul Maasland source: CBC & OPP

Local angel investor Paul Maasland was murdered, his body was found north of Toronto at a public boat launch. We extend our deepest condolences to Mr. Maasland’s family. And our sincerest concerns go out to his friends and colleagues at Maple Leaf Angels and his investments (according to Mr. Maasland’s LinkedIn profile) including:

The conversations with his investees shed some light on Mr. Maasland as an investor. From one of the portfolio companies CEOs:

“I’d just say he was very generous with his time and resources and provided great input into how we ran [company removed]. He always was positive and excited about the initiatives were were doing.”

These comments were repeated throughout Mr. Maasland’s portfolio. He was a knowledgeable, generous investor that provided useful guidance and support for his companies.

This is an unexpected situation for anyone including many startups. It opens questions for startups about succession planning for Board Directors, questions around the Shareholders Agreement and the shares of a deceased investor. Hopefully most Boards are experienced in succession planning. As the shareholders change over time with new investment, replacing board members is a fairly straightforward and common practice (albeit usually under very different circumstances). Regarding what happens to a deceased investors shares this is decided between the deceased’s estate and the shareholders agreement. If an estate needs or chooses to liquidate the investment, many shareholders agreements have a clause that allows the company or other shareholders to purchase the investment at Fair Market Value. There are tax and legal considerations, so this should not be considered tax or legal advice, please consult a professional.

It’s unfortunate for our small close knit community to suffer such a sudden, tragic loss. We are deeply saddened to hear about the loss of a member of our community.