Listed's Expert Community


Views
Ken Hugessen

Executive Compensation
Richard Leblanc

Governance
Robert Olsen

Corporate Finance
The Director's Chair David W. Anderson

Poonam Puri

Law
Chaya Cooperberg

Investor Relations
John Caldwell

Risk
The Boardroom Beverly Behan


Top Stories

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Ticker

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

Majority voting plans spark a plurality of opinions

The federal government is now well down the road toward amending the Canada Business Corporations Act to enshrine majority voting into law. But the plan has its critics, and they’re still determined to be heard
By Jim Middlemiss
May 17th, 2017

While Canada lags the world when it comes to majority voting laws for directors, that gap appears to be on the brink of major change. Everyone from the TSX, which recently issued new guidance on its majority voting policy, to … Continue reading

Parting company

Diamond mining has helped put Yellowknife on the world map. Now the largest of the local miners, Dominion Diamond, is moving its head office to Calgary. The move will save millions, but at the cost of a CEO
By Paul Brent
March 2nd, 2017

Usually, when a CEO steps down “for personal reasons,” markets think the worst and are quite often right to do so. The company has performed poorly, the chief executive has clashed with the board, or investors are clamouring for change. … Continue reading

Did we say transparency? Never mind

Just as Canadian miners are reporting payments to governments for the first time under ESTMA, the new Republican administration has done a full 180. The U.S., once a disclosure leader, is now bucking the trend
By Diane Peters
March 2nd, 2017

Irony is great when it turns up in novels or movies. But when it surfaces where it doesn’t belong—in connection with legislation governing the business and reporting practices of international mining and resources companies, say—things can get awkward. Or worse. … Continue reading

Blind to corruption?

Companies urged to raise awareness, boost due diligence and compliance
By Listed Staff
December 19th, 2016

Peter Dent and Ken Jull may not have seen it all, but as two of Canada’s leading experts on corporate corruption, foreign corrupt practices, and anti-bribery due diligence and compliance—Dent as a partner at Deloitte specializing in forensic financial crime; … Continue reading

Energy board reset faces long odds

In November, the federal Liberals appointed a five-person panel to make recommendations to fix the discredited National Energy Board. But a bigger question frames the task: Are the NEB’s problems beyond repair?
By John Greenwood
December 15th, 2016

For most of its nearly 60-year history the National Energy Board, Canada’s pipeline regulator, quietly did its job, mostly beyond the glare of the public spotlight, surfacing occasionally in the pages of the business press. Pipelines got built and people … Continue reading

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Views

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Features

In from the cold

Jobs and community investment? That’s a given. Today, First Nations involvement in mining and energy development also means early consultation, equity partnerships and, increasingly, deals on their terms
By Mark Anderson
February 25th, 2013

Anyone looking to gain an understanding of the scope and complexity of First Nations engagement in the mining and energy sectors need look no further than the Frog Lake First Nation northwest of Lloydminster, Alta. In 2000, Frog Lake became the … Continue reading

Fracking faces the future

It took less than a decade for hydraulic fracturing to transform the calculus of the oil and gas industry. What will happen now that the eyes of activists, regulators and shareholders are fixed upon it?
By Susan Mohammad
February 25th, 2013

Few technologies have transformed an industry or become an economic game changer the way advancements in the hydraulic fracturing process, or “fracking” has. In under a decade, fracking has made vast reserves of natural gas and oil previously uneconomical to … Continue reading

Let them see you sweat

Think like an activist...be prepared...know your shareholders...earn their vote...expect the unexpected. These days, when it comes time for proxy season and your annual AGM, a little paranoia goes a long way
By Paul Brent
December 20th, 2012

Proxy season used to be a straightforward, no-drama exercise for Canadian issuers. True, it’s been a while since information and opinions traveled a one-way street from company to shareholder, when issues and director slates were put up for vote and … Continue reading

Deal of the year: Europe bound

Canada’s largest convenience store empire, Alimentation Couche-Tard, just grabbed its first big foothold in Europe. The $2.9-billion deal wasn’t 2012’s largest, but it could be the one we’ll most want to watch
By Mark Anderson
December 18th, 2012

When it came time to select Listed magazine’s Deal of the Year, Quebec convenience store giant Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc.’s $2.9-billion acquisition of Norwegian gas bar operator Statoil Fuel and Retail ASA was a relatively easy choice. Sure, there’s been a … Continue reading

M&A 2012: Nexen’s the one

China National Offshore Oil Co.’s takeover of Nexen has made the loudest 2012 M&A headlines. But it’s actually been a busy year for all sorts of companies and dealmakers
By Jim Middlemiss
December 15th, 2012

The 2012 mergers and acquisitions market is one that many in the listed community won’t soon forget. For much of the year, the markets have been on a roller-coaster, undulating between a fickle European debt crisis and concerns over slowing … Continue reading

Everyone into the pool

Call it the .P boom. Even as the conventional IPO market languishes, the TSX Venture Exchange’s capital pool program is bringing a steady stream of companies to market
By Robert Thompson
September 24th, 2012

Ron Schmeichel shouldn’t have been restless, but he was. Though only in his 20s, and busy with the demands of law school at the University of Western Ontario, Schmeichel was already pondering ways of involving himself in Canada’s public markets. When … Continue reading

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The Director's Chair

Warren Holmes: Share success, shoulder the blame

In The Director’s Chair with David W. Anderson: After nearly a decade as chair of Hudbay Minerals and a career in Canadian mining, Warren Holmes has learned a few things about leadership and creating a culture that puts company performance ahead of personal ego
May 17th, 2017

It takes all kinds of skill sets and personalities to make the business world go around. But when Warren Holmes talks about lessons learned and his accumulated wherewithal as an executive, a board chair and a corporate director, it’s clearly … Continue reading

Daniella Dimitrov: Fresh eyes on old problems

In The Director’s Chair with David W. Anderson: When you’ve worn as many different hats as mining director and corporate adviser Daniella Dimitrov, you always see the big picture
March 2nd, 2017

Daniella Dimitrov’s mining résumé—as a director, board chair, CEO, CFO and COO at an array of small- and mid-cap companies—would qualify as an impressive life’s work for many in the industry. Yet in Dimitrov’s case, this is actually her third … Continue reading

Charles Curran: Bright ideas, maximum leverage

In The Director’s Chair with David W. Anderson: The common thread in director and investor Charles Curran’s long list of career successes? Always finding ways to ensure money, people, boards and organizations work better
December 15th, 2016

Australia’s Charles Curran began with the essentials—an early background in law, accounting and stockbroking. Then he started making things happen. First tabbed to help lead the reform of his country’s capital markets system, he’s since chaired many company boards, including … Continue reading

Jean-René Halde: An open playbook

In The Director’s Chair with David W. Anderson: Sports teams thrive on trust among teammates. Successful boards and board-chair-CEO relationships work the same way, says veteran CEO and director Jean-René Halde
October 9th, 2016

Jean-René Halde is the first one to say he doesn’t have all the answers. But it’s clear from his varied and illustrious career as a CEO, board chair and director, and from his remarks in the following conversation with governance … Continue reading

Shann Turnbull: How good is “good” governance?

In The Director’s Chair with David W. Anderson: Don’t let the friendly appearance fool you. Shann Turnbull’s best ideas have the power to bust up a boardroom
May 30th, 2016

Most doctorates awarded to business leaders with lengthy careers are of the honourary kind. Not Australia’s Shann Turnbull’s. His 2000 PhD thesis proposed a science of governance inspired, in part, by communication in nature. A prolific thinker and reformer, with … Continue reading

Jim Carter: Do you buy value, or build it?

In The Director’s Chair with David W. Anderson: Jim Carter may sit on four boards, in different sectors, but when it comes to creating value and long-term success, his measuring stick stays the same: get the culture right and results will follow
March 4th, 2016

Mining executives and directors, Jim Carter feels your pain. The former president of Syncrude Canada, now a director on four corporate boards—Finning International, Brand Energy, Alberta Treasury Branch Financial and Irving Oil—has navigated his share of industry slumps, and his … Continue reading

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Handbook

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

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

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

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

There’s value in them thar hills!

Mining used to be simple. Find a deposit, build a mine, get it out of the ground and sell it. Today the hardest thing to find is a low-risk growth strategy that delivers investors and results
By Ian McGugan
March 2nd, 2017

What a difference a year makes. At the start of 2016, the mining industry was reeling. Metals prices were in freefall and investors had long since fled from the sector. Then everything changed. As new signs of global growth emerged, … Continue reading

Corporate responsibility: from policy to performance

Boards must oversee the development and implementation of practical, operationally focused management systems to ensure corporate responsibility commitments and performance are achieved
By Craig Ford
March 2nd, 2017

Everybody understands the essential role that internal controls play in upholding the financial side of a business. So it only makes sense that when it comes to ensuring that corporate responsibility policies are being properly executed, a similar set of … Continue reading

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Economy

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

There’s value in them thar hills!

Mining used to be simple. Find a deposit, build a mine, get it out of the ground and sell it. Today the hardest thing to find is a low-risk growth strategy that delivers investors and results
By Ian McGugan
March 2nd, 2017

What a difference a year makes. At the start of 2016, the mining industry was reeling. Metals prices were in freefall and investors had long since fled from the sector. Then everything changed. As new signs of global growth emerged, … Continue reading

Poloz: selling life in the slow lane

It’s in business leaders’ DNA to expect big returns. So what should we make of the Bank of Canada’s rush to embrace and preach the doctrine of slow growth?
By Ian McGugan
December 15th, 2016

Senior executives have one overwhelming goal, at least so far as shareholders are concerned, and that goal is to create decent returns on the money invested in their companies. But what constitutes a reasonable profit in this age of low … Continue reading

Much ado about little

Both of Canada’s current signature international trade pacts are foundering just shy of completion. But given the paltry contributions the TPP and CETA are expected to make to our economy, should anyone care?
By Ian McGugan
October 11th, 2016

Can you hear the gnashing of teeth in Ottawa? Both of Canada’s flagship trade initiatives are in trouble and all the usual suspects are predicting problems as a result. Without the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) to help Canadian exports expand in … Continue reading

As go home values, so goes the economy. But why?

Many agree with Bank of Canada governor Stephen Poloz when he says big-city house prices are too high. Even so, there are two different schools of thought—with wildly different outcomes—on how to handle the issue
By Ian McGugan
August 1st, 2016

Across the street from my family’s modest Toronto house, workers are building a condo tower. From Monday through Friday, the rumble of dump trucks and clank of bulldozers punctuates our breakfast. Mind you, we’re not unusual: the creaky clatter of … Continue reading

Two words: revenue neutral

National action on carbon emissions is coming. It’s expected, it’s needed and rather than fight it, smart businesses should weigh in on the discussion to help create the best outcome
By Ian McGugan
May 30th, 2016

Should Ottawa tax carbon emissions? British Columbia already imposes a levy on greenhouse gas emitters and Alberta will begin doing so next year. Meanwhile, Quebec forms part of a cap-and-trade system with California, and will soon be joined by Ontario … Continue reading

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Insider

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

Bidding up change

Insider: Elena Mayer
March 2nd, 2017

Who Elena Mayer, president and CEO of Women Who Rock (WWR), a volunteer organization that facilitates mentoring and sponsorship opportunities to help women establish and advance careers in mining. Involvement Mayer, a lawyer and MBA whose day job is senior … Continue reading

Fintech: growing up fast

Insider: Jesse McWaters
December 15th, 2016

Who Jesse McWaters, financial innovation lead at the World Economic Forum in New York. McWaters, a Canadian, heads WEF research on fintech, manages its council on the future of blockchain, and coauthored its influential 2015 “Future of Financial Services” report. … Continue reading

Métis rights: beyond debate

Insider: Tom Isaac
October 9th, 2016

Who Tom Isaac, Vancouver-based partner at Cassels Brock & Blackwell, is a nationally recognized authority in Aboriginal law, advising business and government clients on Aboriginal legal matters and constitutional issues. Involvement In June 2015, Isaac was asked by the federal … Continue reading

Showing the way

Insider: Deborah Gillis
August 2nd, 2016

Who Deborah Gillis, president and CEO of Catalyst. Gillis, a Canadian, became the first non-American head of the New York-based, global organization in 2013. Catalyst champions gender diversity and the advancement of women on boards of directors and in the … Continue reading

Agenda: sustainability

Insider: Annette Verschuren
May 30th, 2016

Who Annette Verschuren, chair and CEO of NRStor Inc., a Toronto-based energy storage project developer and owner. Verschuren also sits as a director on the boards of Air Canada (TSX:AC), Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. (TSX:CNQ); Saputo Inc. (TSX:SAP) and Liberty … Continue reading

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