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Articles

United they stand-ardize

Insider: Kevin Dancey
September 16th, 2013

Who Kevin Dancey, president and CEO of Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada, the new (January 2013) umbrella certification program under which Canada’s three former accounting designations—chartered accountants (CAs), certified management accountants (CMAs) and certified general accountants (CGAs)—are now being united. … Continue reading

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Robert Monks: It’s broke, let’s fix it

In The Director’s Chair with David W. Anderson: Shareholder activist and avowed capitalist Robert Monks doesn’t have it in for senior corporate managers—just the system that gives them all the power and too much pay
June 20th, 2013

If you read Robert Monks’ bio—founder of Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS), author of eight books, and a chair and director many times over—your first inclination is to say that’s résumé enough for two. Yet the substance of his work—shareholder and … Continue reading

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A man with a plan

At the end of June, Kevin Clarke steps down as CEO of Catalyst Paper—just three years after taking the job and only months after he successfully led the B.C. specialty paper, newsprint and pulp producer through possibly the fastest major CCAA restructuring ever. Easy? In your dreams
By Robert Thompson
June 20th, 2013

Even during his job interview for the role of chief executive of Catalyst Paper Corp. (TSX:CYT), a diversified paper producer based in Richmond, B.C., Kevin Clarke knew that he was being approached as Mr. Fixit. Clarke, an executive with a … Continue reading

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Playing for keeps

In a world increasingly dominated by multitasking and game-like distractions, companies are discovering that building “gamification” into their own strategies and approaches—fighting fire with fire—improves engagement of employees and customers
By Gabe Zichermann and Joselin Linder
June 19th, 2013

In 1994 three pioneers in game theory were awarded the Nobel Prize. John Nash, Richard Selton and John Harsanyl had each developed and refined ground-breaking mathematical theories around economics and games. In particular, they achieved notoriety for their work on … Continue reading

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Directors: ready for their close-up

Not long ago, the subjects of communications strategies and boards of directors' duties would rarely even appear in the same sentence. Today, as boards’ visibility and shareholder scrutiny increases, a growing number of directors are finding communications counsel and training are becoming essential to their jobs
By Celia Milne
June 19th, 2013

Excellence in communications strategy and implementation has long been management’s purview. Savvy businesses have an ongoing commitment to corporate communications, investor relations and transparency. The smarter they communicate their messages and the more acutely they listen to stakeholders, the fewer … Continue reading

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Advice on the side

Here’s a trend that should spread: the appointment of special advisers to CEOs and special advisory committees to boards. No legal commitments, plenty of available insight
By Paul Brent
June 19th, 2013

Neil Tait’s company-mandated retirement from the Bank of Montreal in the spring of 2001 lasted less than one day. Tait, BMO’s senior vice-president of Asian banking and architect of its expansion into China, had decades’ worth of experience and knowledge … Continue reading

Posted in Handbook | Tagged , ,

It’s on: .goldrush meets .headache

Is your company ready for the great generic top-level Internet domain land rush?
June 19th, 2013

Internet marketers and trademark lawyers are alerting senior corporate managers and, by extension, savvy directors, about coming, potentially dramatic, changes to the world of generic top-level domains on the Internet. The changes, which are due to kick in late summer … Continue reading

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Is this all there is?

Some economists are calling low GDP growth the “new normal.” Before dismissing them, optimists should look carefully at what the numbers say about where we’ve been and where we’re going
By Ian McGugan
June 19th, 2013

We used to know what an economic recovery looked like. First would come a recession—usually short and sharp. Then a vigorous rebound would inevitably follow. GDP growth could be counted on to rocket past 5% a year as businesses and … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Handbook | Tagged , , , ,

New kid on the board

Insider: Gerald Grandey
June 18th, 2013

Who Gerald Grandey, director at Canadian Oil Sands Ltd., Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan Inc. and Sandspring Resources Ltd.; former president and CEO of Cameco Corp. of Saskatoon (2003-2011) Involvement Two years ago this July, Gerald Grandey made the transition from … Continue reading

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Year of the buyback

Surplus cash, cheap debt and antsy shareholders looking for a return have companies hot on their own stock
By Mark Anderson
June 18th, 2013

Even if your company hasn’t done one—yet—you have to know share buybacks are all the rage. Over the last year Royal Bank, Bank of Montreal and CIBC all announced that they would be implementing share buyback programs and, in May, … Continue reading

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Barrick vote symbolic—and then some

The impact of its shareholders’ massive say-on-pay vote rejection of new co-chair John Thornton’s huge bonus deal doesn’t end with Barrick Gold. Boards across Canada will be feeling it, too
By Jim Middlemiss
June 18th, 2013

Every AGM and proxy season has its seminal, defining moment—the shot across the bow that sends a message not to just one board, one set of directors, one company, but to every board and every director in the land. This … Continue reading

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Should banking be a choke point?

Meet the next frontier for supply chain responsibility: your customers. New draft Greenhouse Gas Protocol accounting standards would require banks to restrict financing to customers based on their carbon emissions
By Sandra Odendahl
June 18th, 2013

The first few months of 2013 have seen an interesting and perhaps long overdue conversation underway in Canada regarding the role of corporations in ensuring that their suppliers are following appropriate codes of practice. Few people would argue against the … Continue reading

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Managing financial risk

Companies with strong balance sheets seldom become distressed, those with high debt or lack of liquidity do. Here are some director keys to keeping your company in the right group
By John Caldwell
June 18th, 2013

The core of financial risk broadly falls into two categories: ineffective financial management and flawed financing strategy. Before directors can effectively execute their oversight role of financial strategy and its execution, they should understand the factors that underlie those areas … Continue reading

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Analyst coverage a moving target

Cuts to equity research at the big banks are pushing certain deals—and company coverage—to mid-tier and boutique outfits. And it could mean a few new stops on your next road show
By Chaya Cooperberg
June 18th, 2013

Even as equity markets in the U.S. and Canada have rallied in the wake of the recession, equity research analysts who earn a living researching and recommending stocks have not fared as well. The mammoth U.S. banks such as Goldman … Continue reading

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Unfiltered, unscripted, invaluable

As shareholders become more assertive, directors need to be proactively engaged and start listening. The knowledge gained will support informed decisions on pay and executive performance—and prevent a nasty AGM surprise
By Ken Hugessen with Lisa Oldridge
June 18th, 2013

Boards of directors have long been responsible for taking shareholder interests into consideration as part of their fiduciary duty to the company, but until recently, direct engagement by directors with shareholders has been more of a laudable concept than a … Continue reading

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