Category Archives: Handbook

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The term-limit era has begun

The new “comply or explain” regime for gender diversity on boards and in senior management that comes into effect for 2015 also requires issuers to embrace board renewal. For some, it will be a challenge—and that’s the point
By Ken Mark
December 18th, 2014

Boards and senior staff at many Canadian publicly listed companies face new paperwork and then some before their 2015 annual general meetings. That’s because as of December 31, 2014, securities regulators in nine of Canada’s 13 provinces and territories will … Continue reading

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Helping Europe at our expense?

The timing of Canada’s free trade deal with Europe—as euro zone economies continue to struggle—couldn’t be worse. Some Canadian companies may benefit, but the deal’s likely winners will be low-priced European competitors expanding here
By Ian McGugan
December 18th, 2014

Europe’s economic crisis is over—isn’t it? The headlines have calmed down, bond markets are tranquil, a Greek default no longer hangs over the global economy. It’s enough to make a casual observer conclude that the worst is past. Look closer, … Continue reading

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Board offsite as shareholder activism boot camp

Instead of waiting for a shareholder activist attack, boards should use strategic retreats to look at themselves through an activist lens—and then take steps to be ready if the real thing occurs
By Beverly Behan
December 18th, 2014

Boards that find themselves in the crosshairs of a shareholder activist spend inordinate amounts of time and money developing a defensive strategy and putting it into play. Yet, by the time a shareholder activist comes knocking, it may already be … Continue reading

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Test of character

It seems obvious that good directors and top executives be individuals of good character. But is it possible to measure and screen for it when recruiting?
By Ken Mark
October 30th, 2014

It’s been six years since the rock-bottom depths of the financial crisis, yet that period remains a constant point of reference when business people, economists, academics and even social commentators assess root causes of failure at companies and in the … Continue reading

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Be safe, not sorry

As the RCMP targets offshore bribery, companies should prepare for a knock on their door
October 29th, 2014

Earlier this year, Canadian courts handed down the first prison sentence to someone convicted of conspiracy to bribe a foreign public official under the Corruption of Foreign Public Officials Act. Legal experts immediately flagged the decision for their corporate clients … Continue reading

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More blue collar than blue chip

Building a small-cap board? It takes a different mindset and different skill sets than what big-cap companies face. Here, several experts explain how the challenges compare
By Ken Mark
August 28th, 2014

While most corporate governance duties appear to be etched in stone, company size matters because small-cap and large-cap boards diverge on how they carry out such tasks as representing shareholders’ interests, identifying and managing risk, setting executive pay, ensuring financial … Continue reading

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CCGG targets REITs, other trusts

Model DOT provisions expected this year
August 28th, 2014

Among its objectives for 2014, announced in June, the Canadian Coalition for Good Governance (CCGG) is reviving a goal that it first started working on almost a decade ago. Specifically, it is initiating a campaign to replace the current inconsistent, … Continue reading

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The executive’s guide to working with boards

Would-be CEOs and other senior managers can make or break their careers in presentations to boards. So take the time to learn what directors need to hear—and how they need to hear it
By Beverly Behan
August 25th, 2014

Being invited to present to the board of directors—or to work with the board on an ongoing basis—is often viewed as a hallmark of an executive career. It also has significant implications for anyone with their eye on the corner … Continue reading

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IP: Monetization is the message

We no longer have Steve Jobs to wow us. In his place, Elon Musk is laying down the epoch’s big ideas. His latest—“giving away” Tesla’s patents—should make companies think twice about intellectual property assets
By Mark Anderson
August 24th, 2014

Ever since Tesla founder Elon Musk announced in June that the electric carmaker would allow its patented technology to be freely used by third parties acting “in good faith,” industry observers have been attempting to make sense of the move. … Continue reading

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Divided we stand

Western Canada’s place as the country’s economic engine isn’t changing anytime soon. That puts the onus on policy makers to take a new look at their priorities—for all Canadians’ sake
By Ian McGugan
August 24th, 2014

Nearly 70 years ago, a novel by Hugh MacLennan captured the struggle that then weighed on many Canadian minds. Two Solitudes told the story of a young writer torn between French and English cultures. If that quintessentially Canadian novel were … Continue reading

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How strong is this castle?

King Cotton once ruled the economy of the southern U.S. Then it didn’t. The reign of oil may be no more secure
By Ian McGugan
June 5th, 2014

In the run-up to the U.S. Civil War, southern secessionists argued the slave-owning states had nothing to fear by going it alone. The Deep South produced so much of the world’s cotton—a vital commodity in the mid-19th century—that “King Cotton” … Continue reading

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How to build a renewable energy company

Wind, solar, hydro and geothermal may be rising energy plays, but building a company around them isn’t easy. John Carson, CEO of Alterra Power Corp., offers up his lessons learned on the frontlines of green energy
By Brenda Bouw
June 5th, 2014

The renewable energy sector has taken its fair share of blows in recent years. It was hit especially hard in the crisis of 2008, as financing fell off in the bank credit squeeze and investors moved to lower risk, less … Continue reading

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CEO succession planning in the energy sector

No job is more important for a board than appointing the right chief executive officer. And nothing better serves this task than a great CEO succession plan
By Beverly Behan
June 5th, 2014

Over the past three years, I had the privilege of working with the chairman of a Fortune 500 company in the energy sector in developing one of the most progressive and rigorous CEO succession plans ever undertaken in the United … Continue reading

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Making a speech? Be real

Speeches and presentations that gain buy in and move people can make a good CEO great. But don’t try to be Steve Jobs, says our expert—be you
By Mark Anderson
April 21st, 2014

When the late, great Steve Jobs first began unveiling his paradigm-shifting electronic wonders—iTunes, iPhone, iPad—in a series of glitzy product launches, the world was captivated as much by the laid-back style and effortless cool of the turtleneck-wearing tech visionary, as … Continue reading

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Where are the great new female directors hiding?

Boards seeking to expand their ranks of women directors and boost diversity will only succeed if they also rethink how and where they’re looking
By Beverly Behan
April 21st, 2014

The title of this column echoes a question many nominating and governance committee chairs will be asking if the Ontario Securities Commission implements its new proposals on gender diversity. But many will find those answers only if they break away … Continue reading

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