Daily Archives: August 1, 2016

Who wins the battle? Who wins the war?

Resolute may be just a name, but Canada’s largest newsprint producer is living up to the meaning of the moniker in its determination to challenge both its biggest environmental critics and a global certifier of sustainable forestry
By John Greenwood
August 1st, 2016

Given the growing shift in public support for the environmental movement, it’s not surprising that resource companies generally prefer to avoid disputes with the greens. Even energy giants like Exxon Mobil Corp. and Royal Dutch Shell PLC, formerly climate change … Continue reading

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Find an edge? Or just hedge?

Canadian business weighs the options as Brexit vote turmoil gives way to long-term strategizing
By Paul Brent
August 1st, 2016

It was a heedless gamble that cost a sitting Prime Minister his job, prompted the resignation of another party leader and a revolt against a third, has cast a pall over the world’s fifth-largest economy and thrown trade treaties and … Continue reading

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Bringing investor relations into the boardroom

As boards—not to mention regulators and other stakeholders—put greater emphasis on board diversity and shareholder engagement, the need for IR professionals at the table is growing
By Chaya Cooperberg
August 1st, 2016

Here’s a question for boards to consider: is it time to add an investor relations expert to your slate? IROs are indeed starting to take on director roles in corporate North America, and with good reason. In this era of … Continue reading

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Setting pay through strategic transitions

Establishing performance standards and setting and managing executive pay is never easy. But what happens in a period of structural change? How do boards measure a moving target?
By Ken Hugessen
With Guillaume Poulin and Erin Poeta
August 1st, 2016

Over the last few years, many traditional business models have been threatened by obsolescence, including, to name a few, travel agencies, print media and more recently, coal-fired power plants. Boards and management teams in such sectors are often faced with … Continue reading

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Simplifying the risk universe for boards

Philosophers can see the universe in a single grain of sand. An effective corporate board should be able to lay out its risk universe on a single sheet of paper
By John Caldwell
August 1st, 2016

Enterprise risk is an entangled subject with no shortage of complexities. And many risk-management systems have evolved unwittingly into mind-numbing risk-register spreadsheets, stoplight charts that would rival any Manhattan rush hour, and obligatory mitigation plans with more form that actionable … Continue reading

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Don’t say they didn’t warn you

In the face of stepped up anti-corruption laws in Canada, the U.S. and the UK, companies have no excuse for not proactively managing their corruption risk
By Poonam Puri
With Melanie Shishler
August 1st, 2016

This past March, Canadian health sciences firm Nordion Inc. settled charges under the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act for lacking sufficient internal controls to detect and prevent bribes paid by a former employee to Russian government officials. Nordion settled with … Continue reading

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Divestitures: look before you list

Selling a company is a big step for anyone, be it a family business owner or a private equity firm. So what separates deals that succeed from those that fail? Often, it’s the planning that’s done before taking the business to market
By Robert Olsen
With Adam Brown and Brian McKenzie
August 1st, 2016

Whenever we see articles on M&A, the typical focus is the number and dollar value of successful deals closed versus the previous year. However, much less is written about the number of divestitures that are planned but don’t close, or … Continue reading

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As go home values, so goes the economy. But why?

Many agree with Bank of Canada governor Stephen Poloz when he says big-city house prices are too high. Even so, there are two different schools of thought—with wildly different outcomes—on how to handle the issue
By Ian McGugan
August 1st, 2016

Across the street from my family’s modest Toronto house, workers are building a condo tower. From Monday through Friday, the rumble of dump trucks and clank of bulldozers punctuates our breakfast. Mind you, we’re not unusual: the creaky clatter of … Continue reading

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How to use your network to get on a board

If board headhunters don’t find you, how do director-to-be hopefuls find a board? By all means tap into your network, but do your homework first
By Beverly Behan
August 1st, 2016

Only about half of board searches for public companies involve the use of headhunters. So, where does the other half find their new directors? A few go into databases at the Institute of Corporate Directors or Board Prospects—or if they’re … Continue reading

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Sorry shouldn’t be the hardest word

Executives are trained, conditioned and typically believe its their job to stick to a positive script. But when an apology is called for, the good ones get it right
By Ken Mark
August 1st, 2016

It might no longer fall into the category of “things they never taught me at business school,” but there’s no doubt the art of the public apology for corporate wrongdoing, failure, error or just plain stupidity still doesn’t get the … Continue reading

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