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Articles

Purdy Crawford: Fifty years of fresh air

In The Director's Chair with David W. Anderson: The unifying theme of Purdy Crawford's career has been a dedication to progress, renewal and moving the ball forward
June 25th, 2011

Few have made a greater mark on Canada’s regulatory and business landscape than Purdy Crawford. From early in his career when he helped draft Ontario’s securities laws, to his recent role in unlocking the asset-backed commercial paper (ABCP) imbroglio, Crawford … Continue reading

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

The prices are all right

There may be lots of things to worry about when it comes to the economic outlook—but inflation isn’t one of them
By Ian McGugan
June 25th, 2011

Statistics Canada shook things up when it reported that consumer prices surged 3.3% in the 12-month period ending March 31. It was the largest year-over-year increase in inflation since September 2008. Meanwhile, oil prices have soared, food costs are up … Continue reading

Posted in Economy

Class actions in session

Corporate class actions left behind novelty status in Canada a long time ago. Are you up to speed?
By Lyndsie Bourgon
June 25th, 2011

For many years, company directors in Canada assumed class action lawsuits were an issue that only concerned their counterparts on U.S. boards. Anyone still thinking that today needs a refresher. All it takes is a regular scan of the headlines—or … Continue reading

Posted in Handbook

Will it hold its charge?

Despite decades of interest, investment and innovation, commercial success has been a long time coming for the alternative power sector. Now, even as new financing models fuel demand, small and mid-size producers are being driven out
By Robert Olsen
June 25th, 2011

Instead of talking in this issue about another debt market or some generic, alternative source of capital, I thought I’d switch things up a bit, and look at financing in a specific sector—alternative power, aka green energy. It’s not your … Continue reading

Posted in Views

The pay-for-performance challenge

Boards are ultimately accountable for aligning executive pay with performance. With the right structures and processes in place, it’s an achievable task
By Ken Hugessen
June 25th, 2011

Shareholders are continuing to challenge boards to up their game when it comes to aligning executive pay with performance. It is more often a weak link between pay and performance than high pay alone that attracts shareholder and public criticism … Continue reading

Posted in Views

Keeping boards in the know

Are directors aware of what shareholders think? Sometimes. But too often, they have no clue. Here’s a novel idea: ask the IR department to find out
By Michael Salter
June 25th, 2011

We’re all familiar with shareholder activism—which may lead to the dreaded proxy contest—and the growing shareholder democracy movement. Indeed, the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) is now studying possible regulatory changes on director nomination (slate voting vs. individual voting for directors), … Continue reading

Posted in Views

Mission: Critical

Research In Motion needs a hit with its new PlayBook tablet. Kunal Gupta’s Polar Mobile may hold the key
June 15th, 2011

Insider Kunal Gupta Who Cofounder and CEO of Polar Mobile, maker of a media-focused applications-advertising-analytics platform for smartphones. Involvement The 40-person Toronto-based company will be vital to the success of Research In Motion’s (TSX:RIM) PlayBook tablet. Not only does Polar’s … Continue reading

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Flat is where it’s at

Expect to see a lot more tablet computers around the boardroom in 2011
By Danny Bradbury
March 26th, 2011

This time last year, talk was all about the new, original Apple iPad. Would it sell? Would it be a success? Would it be a useful professional device? You won’t find many people who’ll admit to it now, but back … Continue reading

Posted in Handbook

OSC moving on democratic reform

Call for public comment on say-on-pay, director elections and proxy reform marks first step towards regulatory changes for issuers
By Dana Lacey
March 25th, 2011

The Ontario Securities Commission, spurred in part by a recent run of shareholder-friendly reform in Europe and the United States, has spent the first part of 2011 fielding public comments on three potentially dramatic regulatory reforms: mandated say-on-pay, an end … Continue reading

Posted in Ticker

Measuring up: trends in director evaluation

By Cooper Langford
March 25th, 2011

Interview by Cooper Langford Q&A with Patrick O’Callaghan on the state of individual director evaluations in Canada Individual director evaluations have become a priority for the majority of Canadian boards. In 2010, 88% of boards report that they have developed … Continue reading

Posted in Features

Is there an alternative to director independence?

The intentions of fairness behind director independence are unassailable. But that doesn't mean it's worth pursuing at all costs and ignoring other options (Sidebar to "Change or be changed")
March 25th, 2011

By David W. Anderson Ever-tightening rules for director independence are hard at work in a full-on effort to banish conflicts of interest from the boardroom. And, in light of front-page board behaviour featuring apparent abuses of power and questionable decisions … Continue reading

Posted in Features

Directorship U

SPECIAL REPORT ON DIRECTOR EDUCATION
By Paul Brent
March 25th, 2011

By now it’s well understood that director education programs inCanada, like most of their counterparts stateside, were born out of the corporate ashes of Enron. The infamous 2001 U.S. corporate accounting fraud, which played a major role in the creation … Continue reading

Posted in Features

Change or be changed

Michael McCain, CEO of Maple Leaf Foods, avoided a winner-take-all proxy battle by agreeing to shrink the board and give hedge fund activist Greg Boland a seat at the table. It bought time—and fresh perspective—but McCain’s future and his family’s Maple Leaf legacy are still at stake
By Mark Anderson
March 25th, 2011

In August of 2008, consumers of Maple Leaf Foods Inc. deli meat products began showing up at emergency wards throughout the country. By the time the contagion had run its course, 23 Canadians had died and scores more had been … Continue reading

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William Dimma: 100 boards! (and counting)

In The Director's Chair with David W. Anderson: If the Guinness Book of World Records included a category for most directorships, we'd nominate William Dimma. The common thread? His faith in free enterprise
March 25th, 2011

It’s hard to imagine anyone with more to teach you than William Dimma. Chair, director, president, he’s done it all, exceptionally well, dozens of times over. In this instalment of The Director’s Chair, governance expert and Listed contributing editor David … Continue reading

Posted in The Director's Chair

Texas-backed two-step

Bruce Walter looked outgunned in the bidding for Baffinland Iron Mines. But then he brought up partnership
By Robert Thompson
March 25th, 2011

Insider: Bruce Walter Who: Chairman, Nunavut Iron Ore Acquisition Inc. Involvement: Bruce Walter is one of Canada’s great dealmakers. He’s worked as a lawyer on mergers and acquisitions, headed up senior banking groups at BMO, and worked with Ian Delaney … Continue reading

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