Category Archives: Top Stories

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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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The long arm of the lawsuit

Canadian companies with foreign subsidiaries are traditionally immune from liability for those subsidiaries’ actions abroad. Klippensteins, a Toronto public interest law firm, is trying to change that—with HudBay Minerals first in its sights
By Jim Middlemiss
April 13th, 2013

Watch out corporate Canada, Klippensteins is gunning for you. The five-person public interest law firm has made its name defending human rights, particularly among indigenous peoples. Its high-profile cases include representing the family of slain native activist Dudley George, who … Continue reading

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Want a real-world read on the commodity markets? Try selling a drill rig
By Paul Brent
March 1st, 2013

It’s blue, big as a CEO’s office and can be helicoptered or dragged through the woods to its next job. It’s also proving to be very, very hard to get rid of. The “it” in question is a $300,000 drilling … 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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Rebuilding the ranks

Mining leaders say there’s a dearth of new executive talent in their industry—a lost generation—that can only be replaced through specialized education and training. Enter the first-ever MBA in global mining management
February 25th, 2013

Insider Richard Ross Who Executive-in-Residence and director of Schulich School of Business’s MBA in Global Mining Management; former chairman and CEO of Inmet Mining Corp. Involvement Last September, York University’s Schulich School of Business launched the first-ever MBA specialization in … 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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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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Whither the commodity super-cycle?

For years, surging demand and higher prices for all kinds of commodities have been a boon for resource companies and the economy. Now they’ve mostly flattened out. Is the party over? Or simply on hold?
By Ian McGugan
February 25th, 2013

Iron ore, usually a sedate citizen of the commodity world, has acted like a giddy teenager in recent months. From a low of US$86 a tonne in September, the metal soared above US$158 by January as a wave of Asian … Continue reading

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Ottawa’s long game on takeovers

From Nexen and Progress to 50% caps on state-owned buyers and the net-benefit test, the federal government is walking a fine line to preserve access to future foreign investment
By Jim Middlemiss
February 25th, 2013

A few months have passed since the federal Conservative government outlined how it would amend the Investment Canada Act to clamp down on future takeovers by foreign state-owned enterprises (SOEs) while making other changes to clarify approval parameters for all … Continue reading

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Saving for a sunny day

Mark Carney says Canadian companies are hoarding cash and holding back recovery. Executives say they’re not. The only point on which most agree: there are too many reasons to put off spending and not enough to put money in play
By Ian McGugan
January 7th, 2013

Having a bit of cash on hand used to be considered a virtue. As the clock winds down on 2012, it’s coming to be regarded as a borderline crime. Mark Carney gave voice to the sentiment back in late August, … 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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Proxy advisers face restraints

The Canadian Securities Administrators got a frothy response when it asked for feedback on potential regulation of proxy advisory firms. Experts predict voluntary guidelines sometime in 2013 with firmer rules down the road
By Julie Cazzin
December 20th, 2012

It’s been six months since the Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) put out consultation paper 25-401 Potential Regulation of Proxy Advisory Firms, which aims to address concerns about the services provided by proxy advisory firms (PAs) and their potential impact on … 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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