Category Archives: Features

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Every symbol tells a story

Fending off giants, blazing new trails, spotting hot trends—companies don’t get to be the best TSX Venture Exchange performers unless they’re willing to put everything on the line
By Celia Milne
April 14th, 2013

What makes junior ventures successful? Holding steady toward strategic, long-term goals was a key feature for this year’s crop of TSX Venture 50 companies. Selected from a pool of nearly 400 eligible Venture-listed companies, the 2013 Venture 50 is made … Continue reading

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Director PROTIP: action beats reaction

Shareholder activism is on the rise. No surprise there. What is news is that, in scrambling proactively to address anything that might make them activist targets, boards are starting to change how they’re built and how they operate
By Mark Anderson
April 14th, 2013

For the past 10 months, Calgary-based fertilizer giant Agrium Inc. (TSX:AGU) has been the focus of a very public proxy war with New York hedge fund Jana Partners, which had sought to replace five of Agrium’s 13 board members with … Continue reading

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Canada’s boards, by the numbers

We hear a lot about key governance indicators such as independence, diversity and director compensation. But how do Canada’s boards shape up today on these important factors? Vital extracts from an exclusive survey of nearly 300 listed companies
April 14th, 2013

Twenty years can go by in a blink. And sometimes, it can seem like a century. In the two decades that title partner Korn/Ferry International and Patrick O’Callaghan and Associates have been publishing Corporate Board Governance and Director Compensation, taking … Continue reading

Posted in Features, Top Stories

Fear not

Securities laws back whistleblower programs, some even with rewards. Yet a lot of company leaders still think of whistleblowers as “rats.” The longer those executives and directors take to buy in, the more they put themselves, their employees and shareholders at risk
By Paul McLaughlin
April 14th, 2013

In late 2011 someone blew the whistle at SNC-Lavalin Group Inc., the Montreal-based engineering giant, and what a loud and piercing sound it made. Senior executives and board members received an anonymous tip that serious criminal activities had taken place … Continue reading

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In from the cold

Jobs and community investment? That’s a given. Today, First Nations involvement in mining and energy development also means early consultation, equity partnerships and, increasingly, deals on their terms
By Mark Anderson
February 25th, 2013

Anyone looking to gain an understanding of the scope and complexity of First Nations engagement in the mining and energy sectors need look no further than the Frog Lake First Nation northwest of Lloydminster, Alta. In 2000, Frog Lake became the … Continue reading

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Fracking faces the future

It took less than a decade for hydraulic fracturing to transform the calculus of the oil and gas industry. What will happen now that the eyes of activists, regulators and shareholders are fixed upon it?
By Susan Mohammad
February 25th, 2013

Few technologies have transformed an industry or become an economic game changer the way advancements in the hydraulic fracturing process, or “fracking” has. In under a decade, fracking has made vast reserves of natural gas and oil previously uneconomical to … Continue reading

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Let them see you sweat

Think like an prepared...know your shareholders...earn their vote...expect the unexpected. These days, when it comes time for proxy season and your annual AGM, a little paranoia goes a long way
By Paul Brent
December 20th, 2012

Proxy season used to be a straightforward, no-drama exercise for Canadian issuers. True, it’s been a while since information and opinions traveled a one-way street from company to shareholder, when issues and director slates were put up for vote and … Continue reading

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Deal of the year: Europe bound

Canada’s largest convenience store empire, Alimentation Couche-Tard, just grabbed its first big foothold in Europe. The $2.9-billion deal wasn’t 2012’s largest, but it could be the one we’ll most want to watch
By Mark Anderson
December 18th, 2012

When it came time to select Listed magazine’s Deal of the Year, Quebec convenience store giant Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc.’s $2.9-billion acquisition of Norwegian gas bar operator Statoil Fuel and Retail ASA was a relatively easy choice. Sure, there’s been a … Continue reading

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M&A 2012: Nexen’s the one

China National Offshore Oil Co.’s takeover of Nexen has made the loudest 2012 M&A headlines. But it’s actually been a busy year for all sorts of companies and dealmakers
By Jim Middlemiss
December 15th, 2012

The 2012 mergers and acquisitions market is one that many in the listed community won’t soon forget. For much of the year, the markets have been on a roller-coaster, undulating between a fickle European debt crisis and concerns over slowing … Continue reading

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Everyone into the pool

Call it the .P boom. Even as the conventional IPO market languishes, the TSX Venture Exchange’s capital pool program is bringing a steady stream of companies to market
By Robert Thompson
September 24th, 2012

Ron Schmeichel shouldn’t have been restless, but he was. Though only in his 20s, and busy with the demands of law school at the University of Western Ontario, Schmeichel was already pondering ways of involving himself in Canada’s public markets. When … Continue reading

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The changing face of risk management

That suit at the last executive meeting throwing around terms like “impact pathways?” Meet your company’s CRO. As Canadian issuers wake up to the harsh realities of today’s commercial and regulatory workspace, a new breed of senior risk executive is emerging to steer them straight
By Mark Anderson
September 20th, 2012

Risk management, once the redheaded stepchild of corporate governance, is coming in from the cold—and coming with it is a newly empowered executive class of chief risk officers (CROs), vice-presidents of risk and other assorted risk-related personnel. Who better to … Continue reading

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Fishing with dynamite

Whom do CEOs and boards work for? Today’s answer is a given: the shareholder. Their purpose: to maximize shareholder value. Right? Wrong. Here, a leading U.S. lawyer and professor argues that shareholder value thinking is a myth that fuels short-term thinking and hurts companies, communities and investors
By Lynn Stout
September 19th, 2012

The Deepwater Horizon was an oil drilling rig, a massive floating structure that cost more than a third of a billion dollars to build and measured the length of a football field from bottom to top. On the night of … Continue reading

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What is this thing called liquidity?

Among issuers and in financial circles generally, few concepts are more cherished, more misunderstood or carry more urgency than liquidity. Should you seek it? Where is it? Does it exist? We went looking for answers—and found plenty
By Peter Shawn Taylor
June 18th, 2012

Love might make the world go ’round, if you happen to be a songwriter or a poet. But when it comes to the market, it’s all about liquidity. Just ask Max Lof, chief financial officer of Surge Energy Inc., a … Continue reading

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Reimagining insurance

No new CEO in insurance these days can preach “steady as she goes.” But at Sun Life, Dean Connor’s early moves and talk of bigger change could be a litmus test for the industry
By Robert Thompson
June 18th, 2012

Dean Connor leans forward in his chair at the boardroom table at Sun Life Financial Inc.’s downtown Toronto offices, and starts talking about history. Connor, who took on the role of Sun Life’s chief executive in December, may only be starting … Continue reading

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Change time is anytime

There’s only one Hunter Harrison. But the fight he’s led with activist Bill Ackman for Canadian Pacific Railway should have every director thinking about board renewal—and what happens when it slips
By Cooper Langford
March 16th, 2012

UP UNTIL THIS YEAR, E. Hunter Harrison’s reputation as a railway titan rested squarely on his tenure as CEO of Canadian National Railway Co. when, from 2003 to 2009, he built CN into a North American leader in efficiency and … Continue reading

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