Category Archives: Handbook

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Engaging with investors on ESG issues

Boards that proactively implement effective practices on environmental, social and governance issues have much to gain from engagement with shareholders. Those that don’t risk being held to account—by their investors and the marketplace
By Beverly Behan
October 5th, 2017

Investor-board engagement is a growing trend, with many of the world’s largest asset managers, including BlackRock, Vanguard and State Street, expanding their stewardship teams to engage more frequently with both management and boards of their investee companies. Many directors either … Continue reading

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Miners shed secrecy, team up on cybersecurity

Beset by cyberattacks, several major Canadian mining companies have taken a lead role in the creation of an open, industry-wide alliance that’s forging a new front in the battle to protect sensitive data and digital assets
By Kerry Banks
October 4th, 2017

In April 2016, executives at Vancouver’s Goldcorp Inc. (TSX:G) were shocked to learn that hackers had penetrated the company’s computer network and stolen a load of data, including bank accounts, wire transfers, payroll records, contracts, budget documents and treasury reports. … Continue reading

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Higher interest rates: the latest contagion?

Canada and the U.S. see their first serious whiffs of economic growth in ages and what happens? Our central banks race to put on the brakes. As long as inflation’s still negligible, why not let the good times roll?
By Ian McGugan
October 4th, 2017

Nobody ever claimed it was easy to be a central banker, but at least your guiding principles used to be clear enough. If you spotted signs that inflation was growing uncomfortably strong, you would hike interest rates to slow the … Continue reading

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REITs get a new route to market

Introducing the capital pool company trust, a niche vehicle with potentially big appeal
By Ken Mark
October 4th, 2017

Private real estate firms with a goal of obtaining a public listing as a real estate investment trust (REIT) now have a new path to market. Ironically, this path comes courtesy of one of the TSX Venture Exchange’s oldest vehicles, … Continue reading

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Is it time for a hard look at “softer” pay targets?

With so much company value tied up in reputation, social licence, integrity and sustainability, there’s growing support for basing a greater share of executive pay on meeting “non-financial” metrics that reflect these goals
By Mai Nguyen
August 3rd, 2017

Back in April, you may have seen a video of an older, Asian man being forcibly dragged by police off an overbooked United Airlines flight. This viral clip not only sparked horror, outrage and vows to never ever fly with … Continue reading

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One-dimensional? Us?

Two University of Calgary researchers have crunched the numbers and found Canada’s economy to be a model of healthy diversification. But not everyone is convinced
By Ian McGugan
August 3rd, 2017

For years, politicians and policy wonks have urged Ottawa to take action to ensure that Canadians become more than hewers of wood and drawers of water. But maybe it’s time to think again. Trevor Tombe and Robert Mansell of the … Continue reading

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A board’s secret sauce: industry expertise

While most boards list industry expertise on their skills matrixes, what passes for “expertise” varies widely. And when it’s lacking, investors and activists see a red flag
By Beverly Behan
August 3rd, 2017

Twenty years ago, more than one-third of TSX 100 boards lacked any independent directors with experience working as executives in the industry of the company they governed. That data may seem shocking in 2017. But even today, many companies lack … Continue reading

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Half full? Dare we say three-quarters?

Sure, there are still reasons for pessimism, but what do we make of all the signs that the global economy is picking up strength? Go with it
By Ian McGugan
May 19th, 2017

Look! Over there—could that be sunrise on the horizon? It certainly seems so. After years of struggling through the long shadows cast by the financial crisis, the world economy is brightening. Maybe, just maybe, managers should stop worrying about the … Continue reading

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Wanna be a talk star?

Know your audience, sure. But first, know thyself
By Listed Staff
May 18th, 2017

The ability to deliver good presentations is a staple in the successful executive’s toolkit. It’s also true that the number of people who can actually make engaging, informative, enlightening and inspiring presentations is, frankly, darn small. So the quickest way … Continue reading

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Board chair evaluation: does the UK know best?

Good governance in Canada typically means separating the chairman and CEO roles. But that’s really just a half measure without also having an airtight process to evaluate the chair’s leadership
By Beverly Behan
May 18th, 2017

Canadian boards take pride in their long-standing practice of separating the roles of chairman and CEO. But British boards go even further—not only appointing independent non-executive chairs but also actively managing their performance. Like Canada, the UK takes a “comply … Continue reading

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Who’s writing your climate narrative?

We hear a lot about climate-related divestment in energy, but investors are paying increasing attention to climate change risk in all sectors. If your disclosure is poor, it leaves you offside and out of the loop
By Mai Nguyen
May 18th, 2017

On Easter Monday, Suncor Energy Inc. quietly released a 15-page report that laid out several plausible climate futures and how it plans to stay “climate resilient” in a low-carbon economy. In a note addressed to shareholders, CEO Steve Williams wrote: … Continue reading

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There’s value in them thar hills!

Mining used to be simple. Find a deposit, build a mine, get it out of the ground and sell it. Today the hardest thing to find is a low-risk growth strategy that delivers investors and results
By Ian McGugan
March 2nd, 2017

What a difference a year makes. At the start of 2016, the mining industry was reeling. Metals prices were in freefall and investors had long since fled from the sector. Then everything changed. As new signs of global growth emerged, … Continue reading

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Corporate responsibility: from policy to performance

Boards must oversee the development and implementation of practical, operationally focused management systems to ensure corporate responsibility commitments and performance are achieved
By Craig Ford
March 2nd, 2017

Everybody understands the essential role that internal controls play in upholding the financial side of a business. So it only makes sense that when it comes to ensuring that corporate responsibility policies are being properly executed, a similar set of … Continue reading

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Not-so-innocent abroad

Like it or not, Canadian mining companies have a growing reputation in the developing world as bad actors who commit and condone environmental and human rights abuse. Would the appointment of an independent federal ombudsman help us clean up our act?
By Kerry Banks
March 2nd, 2017

It’s no secret to anyone managing or sitting on the board of a Canadian mining company: in recent years, a startling litany of accusations of human rights abuses, including such serious crimes as murder, rape, slave labour and environmental destruction, … Continue reading

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Every port is a storm

Business and personal productivity is booming thanks to embedded technology and the growing interconnectedness of our devices. The down side? The security vulnerabilities are a hacker’s dream
By Jonathan Woods
December 15th, 2016

These days, whenever a well-known public company suffers a major data breach, bulletins and news alerts circulate quickly among most boards and the governance community. But in October, when a botnet army of hijacked network-connected surveillance cameras, Wi-Fi routers and … Continue reading

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