Category Archives: Features

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No director left behind

Most boards recognize that director education and development is essential and ongoing. But many still struggle with the complicated challenge of packaging and delivering useful, relevant, timely training for rookies and veterans alike
By Jim Middlemiss
May 13th, 2015

Ask Gwyn Morgan what he thinks about continuing education programs for company directors and the corporate titan has mixed feelings. On one hand, Morgan, the former CEO and president of Encana Corp. (TSX:ECA), says continuing education programs are good at … Continue reading

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Mining’s last, best good news story

Profits in the mining sector? Earnings growth? They exist. Yes, Silver Wheaton has some important tests ahead—but every day is still a good day for the king of the stream
By Robert Thompson
February 27th, 2015

“Please stay tuned, we should have a very good fourth quarter.” Randy Smallwood signs off Silver Wheaton Corp.’s (TSX:SLW) most recent quarterly conference call with investment analysts from the major banks and brokerages, in mid-November, sounding eager and bullish. As … Continue reading

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Ripples on the land

In a first-ever judgment last June, the Supreme Court of Canada awarded the Tsilhqot’in First Nation aboriginal title to 1,700 square kilometres of territory in the B.C. interior. What does it mean for mining and resource development in Canada?
By Kerry Banks
February 27th, 2015

The long-awaited decision came down on June 26, 2014. By a unanimous 8-0 decision, the Supreme Court of Canada granted declaration of aboriginal title to more than 1,700 square kilometres of land in British Columbia’s interior to the Tsilhqot’in (chil-ko-teen) … Continue reading

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Deets from above

Exploration companies have been dropping claiming stakes from helicopters for 30 years. But it’s never been ruled ok in Ontario, until now
By Brian Banks
February 27th, 2015

Hearing lawyer Richard Butler describe it, one imagines only two things were missing in the airborne claim-staking blitz that KWG Resources Inc. (TSX-V:KWG) unleashed on unsuspecting rival Noront Resources Ltd. (TSX-V:NOT) on a potentially important Ring of Fire property the … Continue reading

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Once repatriated, twice shy

SPECIAL REPORT ON M&A: DEAL OF THE YEAR | Tim Hortons, a national icon, wasn’t for sale. If Burger King was intent on buying the coffee shop giant, Tim Hortons’ management and board said premium price was just a starting point. Then they insisted on—and got—conditions to help the deal go down on Main Street
By Robert Thompson
December 17th, 2014

They weren’t looking for it, were not expecting it, and it initially elicited as much interest as a day-old cruller. But Tim Hortons Inc.’s takeover by fast-food giant Burger King Worldwide Inc. is Listed’s 2014 “Deal of the Year,” for … Continue reading

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Big, bold and bountiful

SPECIAL REPORT ON M&A: 2014 REVIEW | In one of the best years on record for mergers and acquisitions in Canada, activity crossed all sectors and strategic buyers were out in force capitalizing on perfect conditions for buying and selling assets
By Jim Middlemiss
December 17th, 2014

Canada’s mergers and acquisition markets were on fire in 2014, hitting some of the highest levels since the financial crisis. What fueled such activity? Low interest rates, a stock market that didn’t get choppy until the fourth quarter, and a … Continue reading

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Money talks, excessive pay walks

SPECIAL REPORT: PREPARING FOR PROXY SEASON | An effective proxy season strategy takes in many elements. But these days, nothing within the board’s oversight is more critical to the process, and to AGM voting itself, than executive compensation
By John Greenwood
December 17th, 2014

One of the distinguishing traits of a good board of directors is they try to be prepared, so they’re always looking ahead, craning their necks to figure out what’s coming around the next bend. Back in 2010 the board at … Continue reading

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Cyber risk takes centre stage

A string of high-profile cybersecurity breaches has focused attention on an emerging challenge in the boardroom: are directors doing enough to ensure their companies are adequately protecting sensitive data and technology?
By Jim Middlemiss
October 30th, 2014

When Doug Hayhurst traveled on company business in the 1980s, the former IBM and PwC executive used a briefcase with no corporate logo when visiting certain jurisdictions so as not to attract attention. Fast-forward to today. Hayhurst, an independent director … Continue reading

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The elephant in the room

Mining veteran Rudi Fronk, CEO of Seabridge Gold, has hit the mother lode—the largest undeveloped gold-copper project in the world. Now comes the hard part: finding a major partner to buy him out
By Kerry Banks
October 30th, 2014

Rudi Fronk is back on the road. The smooth-talking 56-year-old CEO and chairman of Toronto-based Seabridge Gold Inc. (TSX:SEA) is in the midst of a month-long travel itinerary that will take him to various mining conferences and industry showcases in … Continue reading

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How to build a pharma giant [and win friends and incite critics]

Valeant Pharmaceuticals has been the biggest story on Canadian markets the past two years. But with a $50-billion takeover in the balance, CEO Michael Pearson’s controversial high-debt, low-R&D model faces its stiffest test yet
By Robert Thompson
August 24th, 2014

Michael Pearson is a divisive figure. To some, he’s shaking up an industry—big pharma—that needed to be rocked to its core, that had become bloated and fat, reliant on spending billions on research and development that often failed to fulfill … Continue reading

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Is everybody out there?

What’s the biggest way social media and online culture is changing how companies communicate? Exclusivity is history.Whatever message you’re delivering, know that every shareholder, stakeholder and critic is within earshot
By Jim Middlemiss
August 24th, 2014

When Bombardier Inc. launched the maiden flight of its CSeries jet last September, the company broadcast the three-hour-plus event in a live, bilingual webcast that was more Canada AM than a traditional corporate video. Held outdoors at the Mirabel airport … Continue reading

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The bubble in the room

Carbon-bubble theory says the value of hydrocarbons may be poised for a fall, taking energy company valuations with them. Nonsense? Doesn’t matter. Shareholders are asking questions—and looking for answers
By Robert Thompson
June 5th, 2014

Regardless of what industry you’re talking about, ExxonMobil is a towering giant. It is the world’s largest publicly traded oil-and-gas company (in addition to being the world’s third-largest public business) and it will play a central role going forward in … Continue reading

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Trust never sleeps

Canadian pipeline companies are fighting an uphill battle in efforts to obtain approval of their latest projects. They're learning it's more about managing relations than moving bitumen
By Mark Anderson
June 5th, 2014

It’s been a tough seven months for Canada’s pipeline companies on the stakeholder management front. In April, the Obama administration announced it was delaying a decision to approve TransCanada Corp.’s (TMX:TRP) $5.4-billion Keystone XL pipeline, designed to transport Alberta crude … Continue reading

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Hostile makeover

Until recently, boards and shareholder activists knew only conflict. Now you see them working together. What happened?
By Robert Thompson
April 21st, 2014

It was as the executive director of the Canadian Coalition for Good Governance, an organization supported by Canadian pension funds, that Stephen Griggs started paying attention to the influx of shareholders seeking change. These days these shareholders are tagged as … Continue reading

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Barrick turns the page

Peter Munk, iconic founder and long-time chairman of Barrick Gold, will step down this spring. His departure, after prolonged shareholder upheaval, plunging gold prices and massive write-downs, heralds a sweeping governance overhaul. It might fix the board—but what of the bottom line?
By Robert Thompson
February 26th, 2014

Maybe his Indianapolis office kept him oblivious to the profile of Barrick Gold Corp. (TSX:ABX) and its flamboyant 86-year old founder and chairman, Peter Munk, but hedge fund manager Mike Morris wasn’t looking to gain publicity for his boutique investment … Continue reading

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