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Robert L. Crandall: The board as wingman

In The Director’s Chair with David W. Anderson: Robert L. Crandall, chair of Celestica Inc. and former CEO and chair of AMR Corp. and American Airlines, shares some strong thoughts on CEOs and boards working closer together
March 15th, 2012

Robert Crandall is best known globally for being the CEO and chair of AMR Corp. and American Airlines Inc. through much of the 1980s and ’90s. He played a central role in making American the leading innovator in the industry … Continue reading

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Saying no to social media

Now here’s a contrarian view: for many companies, communicating with shareholders through social media may be a massive waste of time
By Michael Salter
March 15th, 2012

This is the new orthodoxy: social media is an irresistible force and it’s increasingly being used to communicate with existing or prospective shareholders. If your company’s investor relations officer (IRO) isn’t on board, she or he is a technophobe who … Continue reading

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Water: your next risk factor

Once just a concern for certain users, water management and water risks are fast becoming every company’s business. Canada is not immune—though our bounty could be a strategic edge
By Sandra Odendahl
March 15th, 2012

In recent years, it’s seemed like the only environmental issue getting any attention from the business community is climate change. However, a newer environmental risk is emerging in business conversations and in business publications—water. Every product and almost every service … Continue reading

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How to see it coming

The failure to understand and evaluate the interconnectivity and compounding effects of risks is a major flaw in the way many boards oversee enterprise risk
By John Caldwell
March 15th, 2012

While board members from time to time may lay awake thinking about a so-called “Black Swan” event that could cause catastrophic damage to the company for which they serve as directors, we would assert that far fewer directors share sleepless … Continue reading

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Hired today, gone tomorrow

Boards are spending more time than ever scrutinizing CEO compensation. Yet many fail to do the same when it comes to exit packages. Don’t be caught out: as with celebrity prenups, it pays to plan ahead
By Ken Hugessen
March 15th, 2012

Boards today spend a lot of time and energy on establishing appropriate compensation arrangements for the CEO—including base salary levels, incentive plan design, and performance measures and targets. Often though, not enough time is spent on provisions triggered on various … Continue reading

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Lead from the front

When it comes to moving targets in governance, few things are moving faster today than executive compensation. Here are 10 key areas to address to ensure your board stays ahead of the rules
By Richard Leblanc
March 15th, 2012

The governance of executive compensation by boards continues to be in the headlines. Regulation has emphasized the independence of compensation committees and consultants, similar to what Sarbanes-Oxley did for audit committees and auditors. However, given the occupy movements and wealth … Continue reading

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Cash out? Or double down?

Cheap debt has played a big part in pushing Canadian commercial real estate prices back to pre-recession 2007 levels. For a growing number of companies, the question is how to play the next round?
By Robert Olsen
March 15th, 2012

Credit is the lifeblood of commercial real estate. Real estate is a capital-intensive industry so debt, and lots of it, is typically required to support real estate transactions. Fortunately, the Canadian commercial real estate sector has benefited from a healthy … Continue reading

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2011 Report on M&A: Welcome to Splitsville

M&A? For some, 2011 was the year of the breakup. Here’s how Toromont caught the wave
January 6th, 2012

Interview by Paul Brent What do Tyco, McGraw-Hill, Hewlett-Packard, Abbott Laboratories, Kraft Foods, ConocoPhillips and Sara Lee all have in common? In 2011, all of those giant U.S. corporations discussed or executed company-rending spinoffs, splits or demergers. All the action … Continue reading

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My portal or yours?

Board portals: once a sleepy software product, now a disruptive technology. Courtesy of the iPad
By Joel Kranc
January 6th, 2012

STEVE JOBS’ VISION and understanding of what people wanted—sometimes before they even knew it—runs the spectrum from everyday iPod user to the most senior directors at the boardroom table. Case in point: the iPad. The iPad is single-handedly changing the … Continue reading

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Did someone say ‘perp walk?’

New crime bill could up convictions, increase jail time and delay pardons for Canadian executives
By Rachel Graham
January 6th, 2012

The Safe Streets and Communities Act (Bill C-10), passed in the House of Commons in December, could have harsh implications for violators of The Competition Act. Richard Wagner, an Ottawa-based partner at Norton Rose, warns that Wall Street “perp walks” may be … Continue reading

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Follow these leaders: 2011 Corporate Reporting Awards

Start a master course in Canadian reporting with the CICA's 2011 Corporate Reporting Award winners
January 3rd, 2012

We gave a nod to Suncor Energy Inc. in the adjoining column as a leading example among Canadian issuers in sustainable development reporting. So it won’t be a total surprise to learn that Suncor has won the award of excellence … Continue reading

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The future is integrated

The real story in corporate reporting is what it says about the way companies operate, and how shifting demands and expectations—from shareholders, regulators and other stakeholders—are driving business to embrace the big picture
By Cooper Langford
January 3rd, 2012

SIXTY YEARS AGO, when the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants began its annual program honouring best practices in corporate reporting, public companies could be certain of at least one thing: the audience for their statements consisted almost exclusively of well-heeled … Continue reading

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Who owns the strategy?

Is it the CEO? Or the board? The answer, says board consultant and author Beverly Behan, is the CEO. But woe the chief who thinks the board’s a rubber stamp. A better approach: engage directors early, and often
By Beverly Behan
January 3rd, 2012

MANY BOARDS consider the oversight of corporate strategy their most important governance responsibility. For the past two years, “strategic planning and oversight” has ranked first—by a wide margin—in national surveys of U.S. public company directors about their top priorities. Despite … Continue reading

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Charles Sirois: The ownership imperative

In The Director’s Chair, with David W. Anderson: Charles Sirois, veteran telecom CEO and CIBC chair, talks accountability, short-term thinking and what’s needed most to restore the fortunes of Western capitalism
January 3rd, 2012

A fixture in the Canadian telecommunications industry, Charles Sirois has led a leading global carrier, two of Canada’s top wireless companies and financed many more through his private capital fund. Sirois is also a long-time director, chair on multiple boards … Continue reading

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Top 10 Deals 2011; Top Banks, Law Firms

Top 10 M&A deals in 2011 by Canadian acquirers
January 3rd, 2012

Rank: 1 Target: Equinox Minerals Ltd. Buyer: Barrick Gold Corp. Value: $7.7 billion** Investment Banks: Barrick: RBC Capital Markets; Morgan Stanley Equinox: CIBC World Markets; Goldman Sachs; TD Securities Law Firms: Barrick: Clayton Utz; Mallesons Stephen Jaques (advising Morgan Stanley; … Continue reading

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