Monthly Archives: May 2016

You gotta own it

Why culture, not compliance, is the key to making diversity stick—and to helping companies realize its full potential
By Robert Thompson
May 30th, 2016

Nancy Hopkins has witnessed shifts in a company’s culture firsthand. A lawyer at McDougall Gauley in Saskatoon, Hopkins was a female pioneer almost a quarter-century ago when she took a posting to the board of directors of uranium miner Cameco … Continue reading

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Something new under the sun

These are boom times in solar power. But deals are moving so quickly, some of the world’s top manufacturers are getting crushed. Not Canadian Solar. What’s keeping it above the fray—and out of the headlines?
By John Greenwood
May 30th, 2016

The sprawling, low-rise industrial building in a business park on the outskirts of Guelph, Ont., about an hour’s drive west of Toronto, is pretty much indistinguishable from its neighbours, except for the higher flow of cars and trucks moving in … Continue reading

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Nasdaq stokes Canadian expectations

Buying Chi-X Canada was just the start. A suite of follow-on deals and Nasdaq’s announcement of plans to enter the dark pool market have many in Canada’s trading and listing community anticipating what’s to come
By Jim Middlemiss
May 30th, 2016

From the moment Nasdaq Inc. cemented its arrival into Canada last December with the $US110-million purchase of Chi-X Canada and its 22% share of the order flow of S&P/TSX Composite securities, expectations of a shake-up in the country’s trading and … Continue reading

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Private equity primed for moves in energy

Billions earmarked for energy investments are piling up on the sidelines. Meanwhile, the longer energy prices languish, the more producer and oil-service firms’ coffers dry up. It’s setting up the kind of scenario where PE shines
By Robert Olsen
With Andrew Luetchford and John Hague
May 30th, 2016

There has been a lot of talk since the oil crisis began about the interest of private equity investors in the sector, and their ability to fill the capital gap required to restart the energy engine in Western Canada. Private … Continue reading

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What happens offshore…winds up onshore

Fallout from the massive Panama Papers leaks has been predictably and justifiably widespread. It’s also emboldened regulators and cleared a path for new rules and a stepped-up war on tax evaders
By Ken Mark
May 30th, 2016

The recent Panama Papers data breach is to hiding ill-gotten gains in tax havens what last year’s Ashley Madison website leak is to arranging extramarital affairs close to home. If you were named in the latter, however, not much could … Continue reading

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IR: a lifeline in hard times

As companies in our energy economy struggle for survival, everything is on the table. That’s also why there’s a strong case to be made for continuing to invest in investor relations
By Chaya Cooperberg
May 30th, 2016

Last summer, I advertised for a mid-level position on my investor relations team, based in Toronto. The responses rolled in, with the calibre and seniority of applicants higher than I anticipated. More than half of the résumés were from Western … Continue reading

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Rethinking reputational risk

Warren Buffett rightly observed, “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it.” Yet even as many directors try to heed those words, boards still miscalculate their reputational exposure
By John Caldwell
May 30th, 2016

According to Deloitte’s 2014 Global Survey on Reputational Risk, 87% of executives surveyed rated reputation risk as more important or much more important than other strategic risks their companies are facing. In addition, 87% say their companies are explicitly focusing … Continue reading

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Taking back the dialogue

The ICD’s new guide to director-shareholder engagement is more than a helpful how-to. In encouraging Canadian boards to initiate dialogue with shareholders, it also signals a shift from defence to offence. With directors no longer back on their heels, where do meetings with shareholders go next?
By Paul Brent
May 30th, 2016

The Canadian Coalition for Good Governance didn’t invent board-shareholder dialogue. But in 2009, the CCGG’s decision to start arranging meetings with the boards of large public companies in which its institutional investor supporters had significant holdings, marked the beginning of … Continue reading

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Two words: revenue neutral

National action on carbon emissions is coming. It’s expected, it’s needed and rather than fight it, smart businesses should weigh in on the discussion to help create the best outcome
By Ian McGugan
May 30th, 2016

Should Ottawa tax carbon emissions? British Columbia already imposes a levy on greenhouse gas emitters and Alberta will begin doing so next year. Meanwhile, Quebec forms part of a cap-and-trade system with California, and will soon be joined by Ontario … Continue reading

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Micromanagement: the dirtiest word in governance

Make no mistake, directors and boards that micromanage can be a problem. But it’s far from cut-and-dried. There are many reasons micromanagement occurs—and circumstances where it’s warranted
By Beverly Behan
May 30th, 2016

“The board is micromanaging.” How many times have we heard this lament from CEOs, corporate executives and even board members, themselves? Essentially, it is an accusation that the board is delving into picayune details and/or making decisions that should be … Continue reading

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Shann Turnbull: How good is “good” governance?

In The Director’s Chair with David W. Anderson: Don’t let the friendly appearance fool you. Shann Turnbull’s best ideas have the power to bust up a boardroom
May 30th, 2016

Most doctorates awarded to business leaders with lengthy careers are of the honourary kind. Not Australia’s Shann Turnbull’s. His 2000 PhD thesis proposed a science of governance inspired, in part, by communication in nature. A prolific thinker and reformer, with … Continue reading

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Agenda: sustainability

Insider: Annette Verschuren
May 30th, 2016

Who Annette Verschuren, chair and CEO of NRStor Inc., a Toronto-based energy storage project developer and owner. Verschuren also sits as a director on the boards of Air Canada (TSX:AC), Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. (TSX:CNQ); Saputo Inc. (TSX:SAP) and Liberty … Continue reading

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