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Articles

Risk rises to the top

A new survey of corporate secretaries sheds fresh light on Canada’s C-suites and boards
September 16th, 2013

They have an eye on the board, the ear of management and know where most of the bodies are buried—so it’s a bit surprising that corporate secretaries aren’t surveyed more often when it comes to corporate governance practices and priorities … Continue reading

Posted in Handbook | Tagged , , ,

Chairing isn’t chairmanship

Anyone can run a meeting. It takes a certain kind of leadership to run a successful board
By Cooper Langford
September 16th, 2013

Here’s a simple question: What is the most important skill the chair brings to a board of directors? Answer: The ability to lead so that the decision-making process is both efficient and effective. While there’s no doubt today that individuals … Continue reading

Posted in Handbook | Tagged , , , ,

Take the long view

Company directors may not be able to control long-term seismic shifts in the economy, technology or world culture, but failing to plan for the opportunities and risks they’ll pose is shortsighted and irresponsible
By John Caldwell
September 16th, 2013

While the debate in governance circles around short- and long-termism continues, what is clear is that corporations ignore short-term performance at their peril. Allied to that, understandably boards of directors tend to focus on risks that are “here and now” … Continue reading

Posted in Views | Tagged , , , ,

CEO pay: the short and long-term of it

Recent Canadian CEO pay trends indicate more boards are shaking up their pay mix and incentive design to align pay to long-term performance. For those that haven’t, some self-appraisal might be in order
By Ken Hugessen
September 16th, 2013

With the 2013 proxy season now behind us, it is worth pausing to consider the evolution in CEO compensation levels, mix and incentive design over the past few years. The trends observed—including moderate increases in pay opportunity, bonus payouts at … Continue reading

Posted in Views | Tagged , , , , ,

M&A in the Americas: a two-way street

Few sectors in North and South America have seen more dealmaking of late than consumer business—activity fueled to a sizable extent by companies in each hemisphere chasing growth in the other
By Robert Olsen
September 16th, 2013

The driving forces behind mergers and acquisitions are diverse and vary between country and industry in which the deals are executed. A closer look at one of the hottest such sectors for M&A of late—consumer business—offers some instructive and potentially … Continue reading

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Your next climate defence: adaptation

Extreme weather events and the resulting damage and disruption are on the rise. Companies that don’t want to end up as grim statistics need a climate change adaptation strategy
By Sandra Odendahl
September 16th, 2013

If you don’t believe the climate is changing, you can stop reading right now. But if you run a business and are concerned about how an increasingly unpredictable and changing climate might impact your operations and your bottom line, then … Continue reading

Posted in Views | Tagged , , , ,

The end of shareholder ownership surprises?

Proposed amendments to the CSA’s ownership disclosure “early warning system” would create a level field for all investors and help companies prepare for activists
By Chaya Cooperberg
September 16th, 2013

Much of the investment community takes a breather during the summer. Trading volumes thin out while arteries out of the city clog. Yet this year, even as the longer, warmer days brought a respite from harried investor portfolios, some new … Continue reading

Posted in Views | Tagged , , ,

Directors, incentivize thyselves

Why are most directors paid in cash and restricted or deferred shares that accrue regardless of performance, when shareholders would be better served by pay schemes that reward directors for value creation?
By Richard Leblanc
September 16th, 2013

Activist investors in both Canada and the U.S. recently proposed—for Hess Corp. and Agrium Inc. (TSX:AGU)—that the independent director nominees they nominated to serve on both Hess’s and Agrium’s boards should be paid incentive pay, directly by the activist investor, … Continue reading

Posted in Views | Tagged , ,

Renaissance woman

With luxury nameplate Saks now in the fold, can HBC's Bonnie Brooks—already a turnaround master in Asia and North America—use her makeover magic to make a global powerhouse?
By Robert Thompson
September 16th, 2013

With more than two decades of success and failure behind her, Bonnie Brooks is preparing to enter what may well be the final act of a fascinating executive career. At year’s end, Brooks, 60, will complete the transition to the … Continue reading

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

Old rival, new high ground

Don’t tell Jos Schmitt it’s trendy to blame high-frequency traders for corrupting the stock market. The former CEO of Alpha, the alternative exchange whose owners bought TMX Group in 2012, is launching a new exchange where predatory, high-frequency trading will be banned. In Schmitt’s view, the problem is so bad that issuers and investors will want to switch
By Jim Middlemiss
September 16th, 2013

Fairness. It’s a classic underdog sales pitch. But will it work when the “underdogs” are a group of high profile, deep-pocketed financial institutions, headed by a familiar CEO, planning to launch their own stock exchange in Toronto? That’s the gamble—and … Continue reading

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

OSC hears it—and responds

It took some stakeholder activism, but now board diversity and shareholder democracy, including reform of the proxy voting system, are high on the Ontario Securities Commission’s priority list for this fiscal year
By Celia Milne
September 16th, 2013

Shareholder and stakeholder pressure may already be a way of life for listed companies. But over the summer, the Ontario Securities Commission got a taste of the same medicine when it came to setting its line-up of priority issues and … Continue reading

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

Gary Colter: Setting the bar high—where it belongs

In The Director’s Chair with David W. Anderson: No matter what the business, director Gary Colter says there’s no excuse for boards to cling to dated, inefficient and ineffective modes of governance
September 16th, 2013

As a member of the dissident slate of directors that shareholders voted into power in the gripping Canadian Pacific Railway proxy battle of 2012, Gary Colter has had a front row seat for recent debates over directors’ duties and effective … Continue reading

Posted in The Director's Chair | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

The best defence

What are the hot-button risk issues facing companies today? How should you deal with them? Our survival guide has got you covered
By Susan Mohammad
September 16th, 2013

It was a summer of unexpected calamity in Canada, from west to east. Who could have predicted an oil-filled train would derail, slam into the town of Lac-Mégantic, Que., and ignite, killing 50 people, leveling a swath of buildings and … Continue reading

Posted in Fall Report, Features, Special Reports | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

A double dose of transparency

Paired with its new anti-corruption rules, Ottawa’s call for explicit disclosure of all payments made by Canadian companies to foreign governments and officials brings a new standard of offshore accountability to the boardroom
By Rob Colapinto
September 16th, 2013

The world’s most active player in global natural resource extraction will soon be facing new federal legislation mandating beefed-up disclosure of payments made to foreign governments. Canada has long been viewed as a transnational laggard when it comes to its … Continue reading

Posted in Ticker | Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Wanted: new brooms with new ideas

The next generation of central bankers are arriving on the scene just as their predecessors’ policies seem to have run their course. How much will they have to change to reignite economic recovery?
By Ian McGugan
September 16th, 2013

Mark Carney is gone and Ben Bernanke is going, but the Great Recession is still an unwelcome guest in many living rooms. So long as it lingers, the next generation of North American central bankers will have to ask some … Continue reading

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