Category Archives: Handbook

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OSC hears it—and responds

It took some stakeholder activism, but now board diversity and shareholder democracy, including reform of the proxy voting system, are high on the Ontario Securities Commission’s priority list for this fiscal year
By Celia Milne
September 16th, 2013

Shareholder and stakeholder pressure may already be a way of life for listed companies. But over the summer, the Ontario Securities Commission got a taste of the same medicine when it came to setting its line-up of priority issues and … Continue reading

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Wanted: new brooms with new ideas

The next generation of central bankers are arriving on the scene just as their predecessors’ policies seem to have run their course. How much will they have to change to reignite economic recovery?
By Ian McGugan
September 16th, 2013

Mark Carney is gone and Ben Bernanke is going, but the Great Recession is still an unwelcome guest in many living rooms. So long as it lingers, the next generation of North American central bankers will have to ask some … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Handbook, Top Stories | Tagged , , , , , ,

Advice on the side

Here’s a trend that should spread: the appointment of special advisers to CEOs and special advisory committees to boards. No legal commitments, plenty of available insight
By Paul Brent
June 19th, 2013

Neil Tait’s company-mandated retirement from the Bank of Montreal in the spring of 2001 lasted less than one day. Tait, BMO’s senior vice-president of Asian banking and architect of its expansion into China, had decades’ worth of experience and knowledge … Continue reading

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It’s on: .goldrush meets .headache

Is your company ready for the great generic top-level Internet domain land rush?
June 19th, 2013

Internet marketers and trademark lawyers are alerting senior corporate managers and, by extension, savvy directors, about coming, potentially dramatic, changes to the world of generic top-level domains on the Internet. The changes, which are due to kick in late summer … Continue reading

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Is this all there is?

Some economists are calling low GDP growth the “new normal.” Before dismissing them, optimists should look carefully at what the numbers say about where we’ve been and where we’re going
By Ian McGugan
June 19th, 2013

We used to know what an economic recovery looked like. First would come a recession—usually short and sharp. Then a vigorous rebound would inevitably follow. GDP growth could be counted on to rocket past 5% a year as businesses and … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Handbook | Tagged , , , ,

Directors wanted: operational experience required

It’s a common lament at many boards: we can’t find new directors with CEO-level operational experience. It’s also mostly hogwash. A much bigger problem: tired, safe, word-of-mouth recruiting practices
By Robert Thompson
April 15th, 2013

It isn’t a lack of talent, but a myopic viewpoint that limits Canadian boards when it comes to adding new directors. That’s the take of corporate governance expert Beverly Behan. Her remarks come at a time when yet another report, … Continue reading

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Loonie’s letdown for real

Don’t let the last of the Canadian-dollar bulls dissuade you—the loonie’s value is falling and it’s not finished yet. But don’t worry. A lighter dollar doesn’t necessarily mean a lighter order book
By Ian McGugan
April 14th, 2013

The beaver is cute and the maple leaf packs a certain whole-earth appeal but, when it comes to national symbols, it’s the loonie that provides the highest-profile gauge of how our national economy is faring. Over the past decade the … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Handbook | Tagged , ,

Conflict goes up the chain

New SEC rules on conflict-mineral disclosure put scrutiny on sourcing
By Celia Milne
March 1st, 2013

Does your company use conflict minerals? Where do your suppliers source their ingredients? If you haven’t heard that question a lot yet, you soon will—now that management and boards in many sectors are tracking use of minerals that might fund … Continue reading

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Directors, it’s time for the talk

When it comes to emerging market operations, high-profile governance failures don’t just fire up the regulators. They give boards impetus to press their own CEOs: could it happen to us?
By Robert Thompson
February 25th, 2013

To Carol Hansell, the most fundamental issue facing the directors of Canadian energy, mining and resource companies isn’t happening in the boardroom, but in countries in Africa, South America and Asia. Hansell, a senior partner in capital markets and corporate … Continue reading

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Missing info speaks volumes

A B.C. Securities Commission study pinpoints serious shortfalls in junior miners’ reporting and technical disclosure
By Omar Kahn
February 25th, 2013

Canadian listings of public mining companies may be centralized on Toronto-based exchanges, but with more than half of all listed Canadian mining companies located in British Columbia, the B.C. Securities Commission continues to assert its place as Canada’s leading junior … Continue reading

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Personal branding tips for the C-suite

No matter how high their rank or how thick their résumé, business leaders can—and should—keep defining their personal brand
By Celia Milne
January 7th, 2013

What are you known for? What’s your reputation on the Street? In the boardroom community? If that question leaves you puzzled, chances are pretty good your personal brand is not everything it could be. All your attributes might be positive. … Continue reading

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Career maker—or career breaker?

Is the immediate celebration of CEOs who lead their companies to winning M&A bids premature? The data—not to mention a couple of recent, high-profile examples—say just that
By Robert Thompson
December 21st, 2012

Go for the high-impact takeover deal or play the slower, safer growth percentages? It’s a question chief executives wrestle with constantly. And, as we’ve seen elsewhere in this issue, a lot of them ultimately decide to take the M&A plunge. “CEOs … Continue reading

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The ultimate impasse

There’s a lot at stake when boards of directors and CEOs disagree. Sometimes, the tension is creative and easily resolved. But when it’s not, boards must act
By Paul Brent
September 26th, 2012

Conflict happens. It is a natural outcome of putting a group of people together in a room and asking them to make oftentimes-difficult decisions. That dynamic is magnified when corporate directors and officers with varied backgrounds, skills, life lessons and … Continue reading

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Your next CFO

Too often, companies only miss good chief financial officers when they’re gone. But if you’re hiring, be prepared to make the most of it: the job’s changing, and so are the personnel
By Paul Brent
June 17th, 2012

They might be the second-most important executives at many companies, but the role, demands and make-up of the chief financial officer vary immensely, as do the times—and the reasons—companies find themselves looking to hire a new one. For small- and … Continue reading

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Emerging market issuer survival guide

While the Sino-Forest saga unfolds, regulators and law enforcement are paying close attention to all emerging market issuers. What’s a director to do?
By Jim Middlemiss
March 16th, 2012

IT WASN’T EXACTLY a quiet winter for scandal-plagued Sino-Forest Corp. Yet spring promises to get noisier still. On tap: year-end results, updates on ongoing fraud-allegation investigations and class-action suits, and a potential lifting in April of the trading halt imposed … Continue reading

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