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Articles

New sharks in the shark tank

They’re called special purpose acquisition corporations—capital pools on steroids—and they’d never existed on the TSX before 2015. The first four to IPO raised $1 billion and feature a who’s who in Canadian capital. Are there more where they came from?
By John Greenwood
October 10th, 2015

Simon Romano is a busy man. The veteran securities lawyer has helped deliver a brand-new set of arrivals on the Toronto Stock Exchange this year—all four of the special purpose acquisition corporations, or SPACs, that went public between April and … Continue reading

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After the IPO

Congratulations, you’ve gone public. It only gets harder from here
By Listed staff
October 10th, 2015

It’s been a good year for initial public offerings on the Canadian markets. But now that means there are a lot of management teams and newly minted boards learning on the fly what it’s like to run a public company. … Continue reading

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Decisions! Decisions!

Issuers face many challenges, but key rulings by Canada’s highest courts often have the biggest impact on public company affairs. Here, in a Listed exclusive, we present the six most important court decisions for 2014-15
By Jim Middlemiss
July 29th, 2015

The environment in which publicly traded companies operate is shaped by everything from the competitive landscape to rules and regulations set by governments. However, often it is court rulings that have the final say on the impact of corporate actions … Continue reading

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Social bonds: an impact opportunity?

Social impact bonds, an emerging tool in the world of impact investing, are gaining a foothold in Canada. Companies seeking financial return and social impact should pay attention
By Robert Olsen
July 29th, 2015

Impact investing is an investment approach, as defined by the Global Impact Investing Network, that intentionally seeks to create both financial return and positive social impact and actively measures the achievement of both. The expected financial return can range from … Continue reading

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All quiet? Keep it that way

Say-on-pay support was up this year and proxy advisers had fewer beefs. Rather than be complacent, boards should build on this goodwill by stepping up shareholder communications and engagement
By Ken Hugessen
July 29th, 2015

Anyone reading the headlines during the 2015 proxy season might think recent efforts to reform executive compensation in Canada have suddenly fallen off the rails with this year’s multiple say-on-pay failures. But judging by shareholder votes, we see that the … Continue reading

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Integrity? The buck stops at the board

Companies are quick to blame “rogue employees” when they experience an ethical failure within. But employees merely reflect a company’s true and actual culture, internal controls and practices—all of which point right back to the board
By Richard Leblanc
July 28th, 2015

There is not an excuse I have not heard for ethical failure. But when I investigate a company after allegations of fraud, corruption or workplace wrongdoing, I almost always find a complacent, captured or entrenched board that did not take … Continue reading

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Same goals, opposing timelines

Mitigation and response strategies are inseparable partners in enterprise risk management. But their design and execution are in no way alike
By John Caldwell
July 28th, 2015

Enterprises face no shortages of risks everyday, be they external or self-inflicted. An effective enterprise risk management system has both mitigation and response strategies designed to lesson the impact of any material adverse exposure. This column provides a closer look … Continue reading

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This should only hurt a bit

There’s no longer any argument about carbon pricing: it’s here. The challenge for companies now is to be active stakeholders in the transition process while adapting their own operations to keep pace
By Sandra Odendahl
July 28th, 2015

For too long, the earth’s atmosphere has been used a free waste disposal site by, well, everybody. The types of waste and their impacts are myriad, but as we all know there is deep concern about the emission of greenhouse … Continue reading

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Why there are virtually no virtual AGMs

Some U.S. companies now have online-only annual meetings, and our regulatory framework allows for it, but shareholder opposition is vocal
By Chaya Cooperberg
July 28th, 2015

When Hewlett-Packard held its first virtual-only annual meeting in March, it did so to give more shareholders the opportunity to participate. What it got in return was vocal shareholder opposition. Accessed online via video webcast, the meeting was technically well … Continue reading

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Effective board and director evaluations

Board and director evaluations used to be mostly about compliance. Today they’re about making good boards better while improving the credibility of board and director performance management. Here, an expanded recap of emerging trends and tactics
By Beverly Behan
July 27th, 2015

Now that directors have had more than a decade of experience with board evaluations, their objectives for the exercise have begun to shift. Rather than seeking a rote compliance objective, increasingly board chairs and nominating/governance committee chairs want to use … Continue reading

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In search of awareness

Clear thinking, better decision making, improved leadership skills, greater self-awareness—if mindfulness training helps you get there, what director or senior executive doesn’t want more of that?
By Paul Brent
July 26th, 2015

It got its start at Google, it involves meditation and it is really, really trendy. If those clues don’t immediately conjure up images of cross-legged coworkers grounding themselves in meditation and mindfulness training, don’t feel too out of touch. The … Continue reading

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Bill Achtmeyer: Artisan of the deal

In The Director’s Chair with David W. Anderson: A conversation with Boston-based Bill Achtmeyer serves up an advanced class in M&A strategy and execution
July 26th, 2015

After decades of M&A advisory experience, first with Bain & Co., then as founder, chair and managing partner of the Parthenon Group, plus a distinguished director career, Bill Achtmeyer has an acute, board’s-eye view of M&A. Here, in conversation with … Continue reading

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The stock heard ’round the world

Shopify’s blockbuster spring IPO struck a resounding chord for the quiet revival in Canadian tech
By John Greenwood
July 25th, 2015

An initial public offering is a kind of coming-out party, the moment when the rest of the world decides if it likes your business. As a chief executive you pray that the market sees the same things in your company … Continue reading

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Chasing prosperity? Or votes?

Why is a balanced federal budget like a picnic? Because neither is responsible for what their promoters promise—be it economic well-being or a sunny, summer day
By Ian McGugan
July 24th, 2015

Balanced budgets are what pass for sexy among a certain swath of the electorate—most notably the part that votes Conservative. Hence it’s no big surprise that the federal Tories pulled out all stops this spring to announce their first balanced … Continue reading

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Whose company is it, anyway?

In the U.S., it’s been a big year for proxy access—a process allowing shareholders to nominate directors on equal terms with the board and CEO. Now the Canadian Coalition for Good Governance and its members want to make it the norm here
By Robert Thompson
July 24th, 2015

Stephen Erlichman says he doesn’t understand the controversy, but he fully recognizes it is there nonetheless. In May, the Canadian Coalition for Good Governance, a lobby group that Erlichman leads as executive director, published a report [pdf] insisting shareholders should … Continue reading

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