Category Archives: Views

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The risk behind the reward

The CSA has amended its executive compensation disclosure guidelines. Issuers must now disclose details about compensation risk and compensation committee expertise; they might also want to rethink their disclosure overall
By Ken Hugessen
December 19th, 2011

Again this year, the Canadian Securities Administrators has issued amendments to executive compensation disclosure guidelines with compliance required for the 2012 proxy season. Following a more comprehensive set of changes in 2008, these latest amendments are more limited, with a … Continue reading

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Mining: A regular money magnet

In a lot of sectors these days, financing isn’t so easy to come by. But not mining. There, thanks to strategic investors and bullish pricing forecasts, the deals continue to flow
By Robert Olsen
December 19th, 2011

What could be worse for a cyclical sector such as mining than the headlines of the past few months? Sovereign debt crisis spreading to the U.S., negative earnings reports, continued global central bank cuts, depressed consumer confidence, China’s slowing demand … Continue reading

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Secrets of succession

Boards’ compensation duties don’t end at setting CEO pay—they also include putting in place the right people and plans for the CEO’s replacement
By Ken Hugessen
October 7th, 2011

Developing and executing a plan for internal CEO succession is one of the critical challenges boards face. The importance of effective succession planning is widely recognized by institutional shareholders and industry analysts; among others, the Canadian Coalition for Good Governance’s … Continue reading

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Facing up to the future

Are we expending too much time, money and goodwill on "easy" environmental initiatives like swapping light bulbs and using cloth bags, when it’s massive change we need?
By Sandra Odendahl
October 7th, 2011

Opinion polls are again showing that public concern for environmental issues is slipping in relation to economic concerns. At one level, given the fragile state of the economy, it’s understandable. People are always inclined to put short-term needs for food, … Continue reading

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On the road with the CEO

Does your IRO provide leadership on roadshows? And is the CEO prepared to be led? The ability to cross traditional boundaries holds the key to successful investor roadshows
By Michael Salter
October 7th, 2011

The CEO had just delivered a subpar presentation to an institutional investor, losing track of time—and much of the audience—in the minutia of biotechnology. After the meeting the investor relations officer (IRO) told him: “The next group we’re meeting doesn’t … Continue reading

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A board’s last, best chance

When serious corporate wrongdoing or transactional conflict surfaces at a company, the board's next course of action is to strike a special committee. Adhering to a few key steps will help ensure its success
By Poonam Puri
October 7th, 2011

When serious wrongdoing within a corporation is suspected, it often falls to the board of directors to identify and address the allegations. It comes up time and time again, from financial statement irregularities and stock option backdating, to insider trading … Continue reading

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Two ways to go south

Lots of smart Canadian companies are investing in South America. But along with the opportunity comes a financing challenge: is it better to raise funds in the host country, or here at home?
By Robert Olsen
October 7th, 2011

Many regions of South America are growing quickly and have enjoyed a tremendous amount of capital infusion from Canadian and other foreign investors over the past five years. In 2010, foreign direct investment into South America was up approximately 56% … Continue reading

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Boreal deal putting down roots

Last year’s boreal forest peace agreement between foresters and environmentalists was rightly celebrated. But its success still depends on greater inclusion
By Sandra Odendahl
June 25th, 2011

A year ago in May, an unlikely alliance was struck between 21 of the biggest forest products companies in Canada and nine leading environmental organizations, who agreed to work together to protect Canada’s boreal forest and species at risk within … Continue reading

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Will it hold its charge?

Despite decades of interest, investment and innovation, commercial success has been a long time coming for the alternative power sector. Now, even as new financing models fuel demand, small and mid-size producers are being driven out
By Robert Olsen
June 25th, 2011

Instead of talking in this issue about another debt market or some generic, alternative source of capital, I thought I’d switch things up a bit, and look at financing in a specific sector—alternative power, aka green energy. It’s not your … Continue reading

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The pay-for-performance challenge

Boards are ultimately accountable for aligning executive pay with performance. With the right structures and processes in place, it’s an achievable task
By Ken Hugessen
June 25th, 2011

Shareholders are continuing to challenge boards to up their game when it comes to aligning executive pay with performance. It is more often a weak link between pay and performance than high pay alone that attracts shareholder and public criticism … Continue reading

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Keeping boards in the know

Are directors aware of what shareholders think? Sometimes. But too often, they have no clue. Here’s a novel idea: ask the IR department to find out
By Michael Salter
June 25th, 2011

We’re all familiar with shareholder activism—which may lead to the dreaded proxy contest—and the growing shareholder democracy movement. Indeed, the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) is now studying possible regulatory changes on director nomination (slate voting vs. individual voting for directors), … Continue reading

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Securitization market stirs to life

Mortgage-backed securities, a vital source of corporate borrowing until the credit crunch and market crash, are back. Better deals for corporate borrowers? You might have to wait
By Robert Olsen
March 25th, 2011

Has the thaw finally started? More than three years after its sudden decline and a subsequent near-stall, the Canadian securitization market—the packaging of loans, their resale as interest-bearing securities, and the billions in associated corporate and institutional lending—had a modest … Continue reading

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Taking disclosure gaps seriously

The Canadian Securities Administrators vows to get tough on governance disclosure by Canadian listed companies after a national review found many corporate practices not up to par
By Poonam Puri
March 25th, 2011

Given that governing boards of Canadian public companies have been under increased scrutiny in the wake of financial failure, one would think that their compliance with corporate governance disclosure requirements would be greater than ever. But according to a recent … Continue reading

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Taking back the bonus

More boards are starting to wield greater discretion in determining executive bonuses. Done right, the results are better than with pay-by-numbers formulas
By Ken Hugessen
March 25th, 2011

It’s a common refrain: boards would like a reprieve from packaged pay formulas; to have the latitude to apply more discretion in determining executive bonuses. Increasingly, they’re getting it. As shareholder and regulatory communities continue to focus on improving executive … Continue reading

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Climate change as usual

Enthusiasm for federal carbon trading programs may be at an all-time low. But you’re still doing business on a warmer planet
By Sandra Odendahl
March 25th, 2011

You may have noticed that the conversation around climate change regulation has shifted in recent months. Those who began 2010 betting on a North American-wide carbon cap-and-trade system to help lower greenhouse gases have been bitterly disappointed. A suite of … Continue reading

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