Category Archives: Views

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IR: a lifeline in hard times

As companies in our energy economy struggle for survival, everything is on the table. That’s also why there’s a strong case to be made for continuing to invest in investor relations
By Chaya Cooperberg
May 30th, 2016

Last summer, I advertised for a mid-level position on my investor relations team, based in Toronto. The responses rolled in, with the calibre and seniority of applicants higher than I anticipated. More than half of the résumés were from Western … Continue reading

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Rethinking reputational risk

Warren Buffett rightly observed, “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it.” Yet even as many directors try to heed those words, boards still miscalculate their reputational exposure
By John Caldwell
May 30th, 2016

According to Deloitte’s 2014 Global Survey on Reputational Risk, 87% of executives surveyed rated reputation risk as more important or much more important than other strategic risks their companies are facing. In addition, 87% say their companies are explicitly focusing … Continue reading

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Dilution for a rainy day

The more commodities drop, the clearer it is which companies factored the strategic risk of a slump into their actions back in the boom. Those that contained costs, built reserves and used equity for expansion then, are riding high today riding out the gloom
By John Caldwell
March 6th, 2016

On September 26, 2012, gold was trading at US$1,778.00 per ounce, close to its all-time high. That same day, silver was at US$33.93 an ounce and a pound of copper was US$3.74. Fast-forward 39 months to the start of this … Continue reading

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Parents’ subsidiary liabilities hit home

Hudbay, Nevsun, Chevron...multiple Canadian resource companies are now facing suits in Canadian courts for the actions of their offshore subsidiaries. It’s time other firms took steps to address their own risk
By Poonam Puri
With Luis Sarabia
March 6th, 2016

In 2013, a group of indigenous Guatemalan plaintiffs commenced legal proceedings against Canadian mining giant Hudbay Minerals Inc. (TSX:HBM), alleging that security personnel hired by Hudbay’s wholly owned subsidiary in Guatemala perpetrated violent human rights abuses when carrying out security … Continue reading

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Looking back on the year ahead

Wherein we embark on a short, time-traveling leap to the end of 2016 to take a look back at what went down—or up—in the mining sector in the year that was...or soon might be
By Robert Olsen
With Jeremy South
March 6th, 2016

Have you had enough of bad news in the mining sector and predictions for more of the same for the rest of 2016? Ever find yourself wishing you could just hit a switch and fast-forward another year? You’re not alone. … Continue reading

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Getting boards engaged with shareholders

The practice of investor relations is beginning to reach beyond the corporate office and into the boardroom. How and when should directors meet with the Street?
By Chaya Cooperberg
December 15th, 2015

Long the domain of corporate executives, investor relations is starting to extend beyond the C-suite into boardrooms as shareholders seek access to independent directors and a clear process for interaction on issues of governance. Some of the world’s largest institutional … Continue reading

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Successful M&A hinges on board discipline

A rigorous framework for board oversight of M&A can help companies boost their chances of dealmaking success—and, just as importantly, steer clear of flawed transactions that leave acquirers in the hole
By John Caldwell
December 15th, 2015

“Opportunity,” “uncertainty” and “risk” are three words that go hand-in-hand when considering a mergers and acquisition strategy. While acquisitions can offer unique opportunities for growth and add significant long-term value, they are by nature complex and fraught with risk. Typical … Continue reading

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Board reform: the writing on the wall

Provincial securities regulators are calling out boards for their inadequate response to new policies on diversity and term limits. Directors can keep doing nothing, but they shouldn’t be surprised by what happens next
By Richard Leblanc
December 15th, 2015

When a regulator advises corporate directors that progress on gender diversity is “simply not good enough,” as OSC chair Howard Wetston did this summer, that is code that the status quo will not continue, and that more regulation may result. … Continue reading

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Venture debt: get it while it’s hot

Once an extreme niche product, venture debt is on the rise in the start-up sector. Does it have the potential to be a mainstay of venture company capital structures? Or will the current surge be short-lived?
By Robert Olsen
With Andrew Luetchford and Fady Nakhla
December 15th, 2015

According to traditional corporate finance logic, the best way to fund a seasoned business opportunity is to use and exhaust the cheapest, most available capital first, and move through the next most attractive capital options sequentially. However, such an approach … Continue reading

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Will we always have Paris?

After 20 years of international negotiations to cut greenhouse gas emissions, with one aging protocol to show, talks among nations face a critical climax this December in France. New climate legislation and a brake on global warming hang in the balance
By Sandra Odendahl
October 12th, 2015

In December, hundreds of delegates and thousands more will gather in Paris, France for the 21st Conference of Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The goal of the Paris conference, known as COP21, is to adopt … Continue reading

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Bad strategy or execution? How to know which

Your company rolled out a big, new initiative, results are underwhelming and the board needs to know what happened: time for some advanced metrics
By John Caldwell
October 11th, 2015

Most directors understand that the cornerstone to achieving shareholder value is effective formulation and execution of strategy. Boards typically spend considerable time in overseeing strategy formulation yet many fall short, after the fact, in allocating sufficient time and using appropriate … Continue reading

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Long-term compensation alternatives

Stock options are out of favour and the best-known alternatives aren’t really long-term at all. When it comes to executive pay, what’s a long-term oriented board to do? Try these ideas on for size
By Ken Hugessen
With Bridget McKellar
October 11th, 2015

Corporate boards and management teams of public issuers often bemoan the challenge of making effective long-term strategic business decisions in the face of short-term pressure from financial markets and investors to deliver quarterly results. Recently, however, there has been growing … Continue reading

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How to talk to Wall Street about Canada

As the U.S. market’s view of Canada’s flagging economy becomes circumspect, here are some tips for communicating with the U.S. buy and sell sides as an interlisted Canadian company
By Chaya Cooperberg
October 11th, 2015

After posting two quarters of GDP contraction in the first half of this year, Canadians are still divided as to whether we’ve experienced a true recession or a statistical anomaly that belies the nuanced and complex components of the Canadian … Continue reading

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Private debt a very public success

The strong surge in supply and demand for private debt keeps powering forward, although a volatile environment could start shifting some of that business back to the banks
By Robert Olsen
October 11th, 2015

It wasn’t an especially big deal, but as an indicator of the evolution and diverse activity in Canadian and international private debt markets, GoodLife Fitness Centres Inc.’s completion of a $70-million second lien facility in April was notable. Penfund, a … Continue reading

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Ethical imperatives for every board

A must-follow ethics oversight checklist for Canadian directors, based on lessons learned from boards that have succeeded in preventing ethical failure as well as those that have failed, sometimes infamously
By Richard Leblanc
October 11th, 2015

I recently moderated an address by Andrew Fastow, the former CFO of Enron, and followed up by delivering a keynote on the role of the board in ethics, tying in aspects of Mr. Fastow’s speech. What follows—10 ways that boards … Continue reading

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