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Articles

Half full? Dare we say three-quarters?

Sure, there are still reasons for pessimism, but what do we make of all the signs that the global economy is picking up strength? Go with it
By Ian McGugan
May 19th, 2017

Look! Over there—could that be sunrise on the horizon? It certainly seems so. After years of struggling through the long shadows cast by the financial crisis, the world economy is brightening. Maybe, just maybe, managers should stop worrying about the … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Handbook | Tagged ,

After the AGM: a compensation committee reset?

With the heavy lifting over for another year, the next few months serve as an opportune time to review mandates and renew committee relationships
By Ken Hugessen
May 19th, 2017

The annual general meeting represents a time of change for boards, as long-serving directors step down and new individuals join on. This time of renewal may also suggest a need for boards and committees to reflect on their mandates. For … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized, Views | Tagged , , , ,

The eyes have it

Make no mistake. Institutional investors are watching—and taking aim—at companies with less-than-stellar governance practices. That, in turn, puts IR professionals in the line of fire
By Chaya Cooperberg
May 19th, 2017

If it wasn’t already clear, both passive and active institutional investors continue to demonstrate to public companies that they care about good governance. Over the past year, the world’s three largest asset managers—BlackRock, Vanguard and State Street—have bulked up their … Continue reading

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The EBITDA fallacy

Securities regulators in Canada and the U.S. are taking a harder line on non-GAAP disclosures and this columnist agrees, calling for an “old school” approach where profit and cash flow reflect reality
By John Caldwell
May 19th, 2017

The photo of the individual who concocted the concept of EBITDA should be prominently displayed on a wall of shame in every commercial centre worldwide. EBITDA, in case you’ve forgotten, is short for Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization. … Continue reading

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Directors with devices: driven to distraction?

Tablets, cellphones and laptops make us all more efficient—until those same tools, coupled with social media, become a distraction and an intrusion. Why it pays to be smart with smart tech
By Richard Leblanc
May 19th, 2017

You can be sure PwC partner Brian Cullinan learned his lesson after his distracted-tweeting gaff at the Academy Awards in February. But we should study it as a teachable moment for directors, too. Cullinan, you’ll recall, was in charge of … Continue reading

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SPACs: a slow climb toward legitimacy

Special Purpose Acquisition Corporations have struggled to gain solid traction in Canada, but recent successes point to their long-term potential as an alternative to traditional private equity financing
By Robert Olsen
May 18th, 2017

One of the poorer acronyms in the corporate finance world is SPACs, or Special Purpose Acquisition Corporations, as they are properly called. SPACs have been around since the early ’90s, but only in their most recent form in Canada since … Continue reading

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Wanna be a talk star?

Know your audience, sure. But first, know thyself
By Listed Staff
May 18th, 2017

The ability to deliver good presentations is a staple in the successful executive’s toolkit. It’s also true that the number of people who can actually make engaging, informative, enlightening and inspiring presentations is, frankly, darn small. So the quickest way … Continue reading

Posted in Handbook | Tagged , , ,

Board chair evaluation: does the UK know best?

Good governance in Canada typically means separating the chairman and CEO roles. But that’s really just a half measure without also having an airtight process to evaluate the chair’s leadership
By Beverly Behan
May 18th, 2017

Canadian boards take pride in their long-standing practice of separating the roles of chairman and CEO. But British boards go even further—not only appointing independent non-executive chairs but also actively managing their performance. Like Canada, the UK takes a “comply … Continue reading

Posted in Handbook, The Boardroom | Tagged , , ,

Who’s writing your climate narrative?

We hear a lot about climate-related divestment in energy, but investors are paying increasing attention to climate change risk in all sectors. If your disclosure is poor, it leaves you offside and out of the loop
By Mai Nguyen
May 18th, 2017

On Easter Monday, Suncor Energy Inc. quietly released a 15-page report that laid out several plausible climate futures and how it plans to stay “climate resilient” in a low-carbon economy. In a note addressed to shareholders, CEO Steve Williams wrote: … Continue reading

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

Second opinions still the exception

Last fall’s Yukon court ruling on fairness opinions for M&A transactions created shockwaves. However, so far the impact on subsequent deals in the rest of Canada has been more subtle than severe
By Poonam Puri
May 18th, 2017

You’re in the middle of a significant M&A deal, negotiating with a buyer of your Canadian public company. And, just when you thought you had your banker’s success fees under control, out comes a Canadian court decision suggesting that you’d … Continue reading

Posted in Top Stories, Views | Tagged , , , , ,

Growing like weed

It’s official: legalized recreational cannabis is coming to Canada. An already hot market for marijuana companies is set to explode—and a horde of start-ups now face the task of becoming grown-ups in a controversial industry on a short political leash
By Chris Sorensen
May 17th, 2017

New York hedge fund managers pride themselves on being able to spot big moneymaking opportunities long before anyone else. But somehow they failed to notice Bruce Linton when he travelled to Manhattan three years ago to drum up interest in … Continue reading

Posted in Features, Top Stories | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

In search of alignment

Good governance used to be about fixing companies and boards. Then came the rise of the shareholder. Now the ideal lies more in bringing the two sides together in a quest for long-term value. Part 1 of our Special Report on Governance
By Paul Brent
May 17th, 2017

As companies work through the last stages of the 2017 proxy season, it’s tempting to ask what’s changed or improved? A small number of proxy fights are generating headlines and attention as activists take aim at perceived underperformance, while other … Continue reading

Posted in Special Reports, Top Stories | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

How to think like an activist

Board advisers are always telling directors to think like an activist to avoid getting blindsided. Here’s a primer on how to get that perspective—and a hypothetical list of seven companies that our screens suggest could be on activist hit lists today. Part 2 of our Special Report on Governance
By John Greenwood
May 17th, 2017

High atop a sleek downtown tower a small group of analysts is peering intently at an Excel spreadsheet. Thirtysomethings, all with dark shadows under their eyes and grey complexions, telltale signs of the 20-hour workdays demanded of staff at Activists … Continue reading

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IPO activity getting real in 2017—but will it last?

Optimism builds after a healthy array of initial public offerings from firms in tech, bioscience, energy and retail
By Listed Staff
May 17th, 2017

When you’re coming off the worst year in the last 19, it’s hard not to show some improvement. But will 2017 actually do one better and go down as a bumper year for initial public offerings in the Canadian markets? … Continue reading

Posted in Ticker, Top Stories | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Governance in motion

Insider: Anita Anand
May 17th, 2017

Who Anita Anand, professor of law at the University of Toronto and J.R. Kimber Chair in Investor Protection and Corporate Governance. Involvement In 2016, Anand was named the first research chair for investor rights in North America. She has a … Continue reading

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