CIGI Colliers International
UNITED STATES Securities and Exchange Commission
Washington, D.C. 20549
☐ Registration Statement Pursuant to Section 12 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934
☒ Annual Report Pursuant to Section 13(a) or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934
For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2020
Commission file number 001-36898
Colliers International Group Inc.
(Exact name of Registrant as specified in its charter)
(Translation of Registrant’s name into English (if applicable))
(Province or other jurisdiction of incorporation or organization)
(Primary Standard Industrial Classification Code Number (if applicable))
(I.R.S. Employer Identification Number (if applicable))
1140 Bay Street, Suite 4000
Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5S 2B4
(Address and telephone number of Registrant’s principal executive offices)
Mr. Santino Ferrante, Ferrante & Associates
126 Prospect Street, Cambridge, MA 02139
(Name, address (including zip code) and telephone number (including area code) of agent for service in the United States)
Securities registered or to be registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
|Title of each class||Trading Symbol||Name of each exchange on which registered|
|Subordinate Voting Shares||CIGI||NASDAQ Stock Market|
Securities registered or to be registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act: None
Securities for which there is a reporting obligation pursuant to Section 15(d) of the Act: None
For annual reports, indicate by check mark the information filed with this Form:
|☒ Annual information form||☒ Audited annual financial statements|
Indicate the number of outstanding shares of each of the issuer’s classes of capital or common stock as of the close of the period covered by the annual report:
38,863,742 Subordinate Voting Shares and 1,325,694 Multiple Voting Shares as of December 31, 2020
Indicate by check mark whether the Registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Exchange Act during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the Registrant was required to file such reports) and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days.
|☒ Yes||☐ No|
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the Registrant was required to submit such files).
|☒ Yes||☐ No|
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is an emerging growth company as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.
Emerging growth company ☐
If an emerging growth company that prepares its financial statements in accordance with U.S. GAAP, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards† provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act. ☐
† The term “new or revised financial accounting standard” refers to any update issued by the Financial Accounting Standards Board to its Accounting Standards Codification after April 5, 2012.
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has filed a report on and attestation to its management’s assessment of the effectiveness of its internal control over financial reporting under Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (15 U.S.C. 7262(b)) by the registered public accounting firm that prepared or issued its audit report. ☒
The following documents have been filed as part of this Annual Report on Form 40-F:
A. Annual Information Form
For the Registrant’s Annual Information Form for the year ended December 31, 2020, see Exhibit 1 of this Annual Report on Form 40-F.
B. Audited Annual Financial Statements
For the Registrant’s audited consolidated financial statements as at December 31, 2020 and 2019 and for the years ended December 31, 2020 and 2019, see Exhibit 2 of this Annual Report on Form 40-F.
C. Management’s Discussion and Analysis
For the Registrant’s management’s discussion and analysis for the year ended December 31, 2020, see Exhibit 3 of this Annual Report on Form 40-F.
DISCLOSURE CONTROLS AND PROCEDURES
The Registrant’s Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer have evaluated the effectiveness of the Registrant’s disclosure controls and procedures (as defined in Rules 13a-15(e) and 15d-15(e) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “Exchange Act”)) as of the end of the period covered by this annual report (the “Evaluation Date”). Based on that evaluation, the Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer have concluded that, as of the Evaluation Date, the Registrant’s disclosure controls and procedures were effective to ensure that information required to be disclosed by the Registrant in reports that it files or submits under the Exchange Act is (i) recorded, processed, summarized and reported within the time periods specified in the rules and forms of the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) and (ii) accumulated and communicated to the Registrant’s management, including its Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer, as appropriate, to allow timely decisions regarding required disclosure.
MANAGEMENT’S ANNUAL REPORT ON INTERNAL CONTROL OVER FINANCIAL REPORTING
Management is responsible for establishing and maintaining adequate internal control over financial reporting for the Registrant. Internal control over financial reporting is a process designed to provide reasonable assurance regarding the reliability of financial reporting and the preparation of financial statements for external purposes in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles.
Due to its inherent limitations, internal control over financial reporting may not prevent or detect misstatements. Also, projections of any evaluation of its effectiveness to future periods are subject to the risk that controls may become inadequate because of changes in conditions, or that the degree of compliance with the policies or procedures may deteriorate.
Management has excluded four individually insignificant entities acquired by the Registrant during the last fiscal period from its assessment of internal control over financial reporting as at December 31, 2020. The total assets and total revenues of the four majority-owned entities represent 16.5% and 7.0%, respectively of the related consolidated financial statement amounts as at and for the year ended December 31, 2020. The most significant of these entities, representing 13.5% and 2.8% of consolidated total assets and 3.6% and 3.0% of consolidated total revenues were related to the four subsidiaries of Dougherty Financial Group LLC – Dougherty Mortgage LLC, Dougherty & Company LLC, Dougherty Funding LLC and Dougherty Insurance Agency LLC (renamed “Colliers Mortgage” and “Colliers Securities”) and Maser Consulting P.A., respectively.
Management has assessed the effectiveness of the Registrant’s internal control over financial reporting as at December 31, 2020, based on the criteria set forth in Internal Control – Integrated Framework (2013) issued by the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission. Based on this assessment, management has concluded that, as at December 31, 2020, the Registrant’s internal control over financial reporting was effective.
The effectiveness of the Registrant’s internal control over financial reporting as at December 31, 2020 has been audited by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, the Registrant’s independent registered public accounting firm, as stated in their report filed in Exhibit 2 of this Annual Report on Form 40-F.
CHANGES IN INTERNAL CONTROL OVER FINANCIAL REPORTING
During the year ended December 31, 2020, there were no changes in the Registrant’s internal control over financial reporting that have materially affected, or are reasonably likely to materially affect, the Registrant’s internal control over financial reporting.
NOTICES PURSUANT TO REGULATION BTR
There were no notices required by Rule 104 of Regulation BTR that the Registrant sent during the year ended December 31, 2020 concerning any equity security subject to a blackout period under Rule 101 of Regulation BTR.
AUDIT COMMITTEE FINANCIAL EXPERTS
The Registrant’s board of directors (the “Board of Directors”) has determined that it has two audit committee financial experts (as such term is defined in paragraph 8 of General Instruction B to Form 40-F) serving on its audit & risk committee (the “Audit Committee”). Each of Messrs. L. Frederick Sutherland and Peter F. Cohen have been determined by the Board of Directors to be such audit committee financial expert and is independent (as such term is defined by the corporate governance standards of the NASDAQ Stock Market (“NASDAQ”) applicable to the Registrant).
Mr. Sutherland was the Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Aramark Corporation, Philadelphia, PA, a provider of services, facilities management and uniform and career apparel, from 1997 to 2015. Prior to joining Aramark in 1980, Mr. Sutherland was Vice President, Corporate Banking, at Chase Manhattan Bank, New York, NY. Mr. Sutherland is a director of Consolidated Edison, Inc. and Sterling Talent Solutions. Mr. Sutherland is also a director and former Chair of the Board of WHYY, Philadelphia’s public broadcast affiliate, a trustee of Duke University, Board President of Episcopal Community Services, an anti-poverty agency, a Trustee of People's Light, a professional non-profit theater, and a trustee of the National Constitution Center. Mr. Sutherland holds an MBA Degree in Finance from the Katz School of the University of Pittsburgh and a Bachelors in Physics and Mathematics from Duke University.
Mr. Cohen is a Chartered Professional Accountant and a former partner in an audit practice of a public accounting firm. Mr. Cohen is currently the Vice Chairman and Lead Director of Colliers and the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of a number of private companies including The Dawsco Group, Building Value Realty Group and BV Glazing Systems Inc.. Mr. Cohen was a co-founder and Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Centrefund Realty Corporation, a publicly traded shopping center investment company until August 2000 when control of the company was sold. Mr. Cohen serves as Chair of the Board of Directors of Sinai Health in Toronto, Ontario. The SEC has indicated that the designation of each of Messrs. Sutherland and Cohen as an audit committee financial expert does not make them an “expert” for any purpose, impose on them any duties, obligations or liability that are greater than the duties, obligations or liability imposed on them as a member of the Audit Committee and the Board of Directors in absence of such designation, or affect the duties, obligations or liability of any other member of the Audit Committee or Board of Directors.
The SEC has indicated that the designation of each of Messrs. Sutherland and Cohen as an audit committee financial expert does not make them an “expert” for any purpose, impose on them any duties, obligations or liability that are greater than the duties, obligations or liability imposed on them as a member of the Audit Committee and the Board of Directors in absence of such designation, or affect the duties, obligations or liability of any other member of the Audit Committee or Board of Directors.
CODE OF ETHICS
The Registrant has adopted a Code of Ethics and Conduct that applies to all directors, officers and employees of the Registrant and its subsidiaries, and a Financial Management Code of Ethics, which applies to senior management and senior financial and accounting personnel of the Registrant and its subsidiaries. A copy of the Code of Ethics and Conduct and the Financial Management Code of Ethics can be obtained, free of charge, on the Registrant’s website (www.colliers.com) or by contacting the Registrant at (416) 960-9500. Information contained or otherwise accessed through the Registrant’s website or any other website, other than those documents filed as exhibits hereto or otherwise specifically referred to herein, does not form part of this Annual Report on Form 40-F, and any reference to the Registrant’s website herein is as an inactive textual reference only.
PRINCIPAL ACCOUNTANT FEES AND SERVICES
The following table sets out the fees billed to the Registrant by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP for professional services rendered in each of the years ended December 31, 2020 and 2019. During these years, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP was the Registrant’s only external auditor.
|(in thousands of C$)||Year ended December 31, 2020||Year ended December 31, 2019|
|Audit fees (note 1)||$|
|Audit-related fees (note 2)||344||121|
|Tax fees (note 3)||397||518|
|All other fees (note 4)|
|1.||Refers to the aggregate fees billed by the Registrant's external auditor for audit services relating to the audit of the Registrant and statutory audits required by subsidiaries.|
|2.||Refers to the aggregate fees billed for assurance and related services by the Registrant's external auditor that are reasonably related to the performance of the audit or review of the Registrant's financial statements and are not reported under (1) above, including professional services rendered by the Registrant's external auditor for accounting consultations on proposed transactions and consultations related to accounting and reporting standards. Such fees included amounts incurred in respect of: due diligence and other work related to the disposition and acquisition of businesses, such work being unrelated to the audit of the Registrant's financial statements, as well as other audit-related services.|
|3.||Refers to the aggregate fees billed for professional services rendered by the Registrant's external auditor for tax compliance, tax advice and tax planning.|
|4.||Refers to fees for consulting and subscriptions to accounting and tax research tools.|
The Registrant’s Audit Committee pre-approves all audit services and permitted non-audit services provided to the Registrant by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP. The Audit Committee has delegated to the Chair of the Audit Committee, who is independent, the authority to act on behalf of the Audit Committee with respect to the pre-approval of all audit and permitted non-audit services provided by its external auditors from time to time. Any approvals by the Chair are reported to the full Audit Committee at its next meeting. All of the services described in footnotes 2, 3 and 4 under “Principal Accountant Fees and Services” above were approved by the Audit Committee pursuant to paragraph (c)(7)(i)(C) of Rule 2-01 of Regulation S-X.
IDENTIFICATION OF THE AUDIT COMMITTEE
The Registrant has a separately designated standing Audit Committee established in accordance with section 3(a)(58)(A) of the Exchange Act. The members of the Audit Committee are L. Frederick Sutherland (Chair), Peter F. Cohen, John (Jack) P. Curtin, Jr. and Katherine M. Lee.
The Registrant is a “foreign private issuer” as defined in Rule 3b-4 under the Exchange Act and its Subordinate Voting Shares are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange and the NASDAQ Global Select Market. NASDAQ Marketplace Rule 5615(a)(3) permits a foreign private issuer to follow its home country practices in lieu of certain requirements in the NASDAQ Listing Rules. A foreign private issuer that follows home country practices in lieu of certain corporate governance provisions of the NASDAQ Listing Rules must disclose each NASDAQ corporate governance requirement that it does not follow and include a brief statement of the home country practice the issuer follows in lieu of the NASDAQ corporate governance requirement(s), either on its website or in its annual filings with the Commission. A description of the significant ways in which the Registrant’s corporate governance practices differ from those followed by domestic companies pursuant to the applicable NASDAQ Listing Rules is disclosed on the Registrant’s website at https://corporate.colliers.com/en/Investor-Relations/Governance-Documents.
MINE SAFETY DISCLOSURE
UNDERTAKING AND CONSENT TO SERVICE OF PROCESS
The Registrant undertakes to make available, in person or by telephone, representatives to respond to inquiries made by the staff of the SEC, and to furnish promptly, when requested to do so by the SEC staff, information relating to the securities registered pursuant to Form 40-F; the securities in relation to which the obligation to file an Annual Report on Form 40-F arises; or transactions in said securities.
B. Consent to Service of Process
The Registrant has previously filed with the SEC an Appointment of Agent for Service of Process and Undertaking on Form F-X in connection with its Subordinate Voting Shares.
Any change to the name or address of the agent for service of process of the Registrant shall be communicated promptly to the SEC by an amendment to the Form F-X referencing the file number of the Registrant.
Pursuant to the requirements of the Exchange Act, the Registrant certifies that it meets all of the requirements for filing on Form 40-F and has duly caused this annual report to be signed on its behalf by the undersigned, thereto duly authorized.
|Date: February 18, 2021||Colliers International Group Inc.|
|By:||/s/ Christian Mayer|
|Title:||Chief Financial Officer|