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John Caldwell

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The Boardroom Beverly Behan


Top Stories

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

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

Cool, calm and calculated

In choosing David Garofalo as its new CEO last year, Goldcorp’s board decided its problems not only needed rapid change, but someone who could deliver it with discipline
By John Greenwood
March 2nd, 2017

David Garofalo isn’t the type to get easily excited. Just back from Davos, the annual schmooze-fest in the Alps for movers and shakers of the world, the chief executive of Vancouver-based Goldcorp Inc. (TSX:G) encountered a big change at the … Continue reading

The great white hope

In 2015, it was a rare light in the darkness; last year, a market driver. Today, junior lithium mining is a frantic race for reserves, scale, output and orders to win a spot among the sector’s established producers
By Kerry Banks
March 2nd, 2017

Gambling in Nevada is typically conducted in Las Vegas or Reno, but there is now an entirely new type of gambling taking place in a bleak, sun-blasted valley located midway between these two cities. Here a cluster of sharp-eyed speculators, … Continue reading

Not-so-innocent abroad

Like it or not, Canadian mining companies have a growing reputation in the developing world as bad actors who commit and condone environmental and human rights abuse. Would the appointment of an independent federal ombudsman help us clean up our act?
By Kerry Banks
March 2nd, 2017

It’s no secret to anyone managing or sitting on the board of a Canadian mining company: in recent years, a startling litany of accusations of human rights abuses, including such serious crimes as murder, rape, slave labour and environmental destruction, … 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

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Ticker

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

Diversity’s future less than clear

Despite new OSC regulations, the proportion of women directors and senior executives on TSX-listed companies in 2016 is unchanged from 2015. What will it take to move the dial?
By Listed staff
October 10th, 2016

Here’s a free tip for any member of the board or senior management of a TSX-listed company. Steer clear of fortune-tellers unless you can bear to hear the following: “I see quotas in your future.” Not tomorrow, not next year, … Continue reading

Mining: still down, but no longer out

The good news? The sector’s brutal, four-year decline is history. The bad? The hole’s still mighty deep
By Ken Mark
October 10th, 2016

“A small ray of light.” Ask David Poynton, president and CEO of Toronto-based Daycon Minerals Corp., a tiny, privately held junior copper-silver explorer, for his take on the mining sector’s apparent rebound in 2016, and you’d be hard-pressed to call … Continue reading

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Views

Spot prices: a spotty indicator, at best?

Amid all the enthusiasm about the mining sector’s bounce-back year in 2016, a large, dark cloud remains—all the action has been short-term. Long-term prices and the long-term outlook have barely moved at all
By Robert Olsen
March 2nd, 2017

Ask most in the mining world and they would say 2016 was a pretty darned good year. News reports began by pointing to evidence of a market recovery or, if nothing else, an end to the doldrums of a market … Continue reading

Mine safety: could your company be criminally liable?

Mining companies must aim for zero tolerance on worker health and safety violations or face criminal consequences, including corporate probation and jail time for management
By Poonam Puri
March 2nd, 2017

In November 2009, three miners descended nearly half a kilometre below ground to refurbish a mine shaft at Bachelor Lake gold mine in northwestern Quebec. What the miners didn’t know was that water had been filling the recesses of the … Continue reading

The problem with independent directors

Director independence is essential to protect boards—and shareholders—from governance failure. Yet compromised independence is rampant. Here’s what we can do about it
By Richard Leblanc
December 19th, 2016

“The board chair is owned by the CEO,” the directors told me after the regulator called me in to assess their board. I wasn’t surprised. I have not assessed a board when there was not at least one director, and … Continue reading

One-time awards: use sparingly

A well-designed compensation framework should negate the need for most one-time awards. Where exceptions arise, they must be handled with care
By Ken Hugessen
December 19th, 2016

One-time compensation awards can be a useful tool for boards to attract and retain key talent. While such awards have drawn considerable scrutiny of late, shareholders and proxy advisers are not always opposed to their use. This article explores how … Continue reading

Reform follows dysfunction

The consequences for an enterprise with a dysfunctional board can be devastating. To make things worse, identifying the problem isn’t easy and fixing it takes courageous leadership
By John Caldwell
December 19th, 2016

Dysfunctionality in the boardroom, while somewhat difficult to define, may be best characterized by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart’s famous expression, “I know it when I see it.” Board dysfunctionality is a step function higher (or lower, depending on … Continue reading

One voice for many audiences

Transformative events like mergers or acquisitions often hinge on an integrated approach to investor relations. But the value of coordinated communications for a company’s brand is evident every day, in every area of the operation
By Chaya Cooperberg
December 19th, 2016

A merger or acquisition often involves a long courtship. The announcement of the transaction can feel anti-climactic after months, or even years, of cultivating the relationship. For public companies, though, a pitch-perfect announcement is critical to earning the approval of … Continue reading

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Features

Cool, calm and calculated

In choosing David Garofalo as its new CEO last year, Goldcorp’s board decided its problems not only needed rapid change, but someone who could deliver it with discipline
By John Greenwood
March 2nd, 2017

David Garofalo isn’t the type to get easily excited. Just back from Davos, the annual schmooze-fest in the Alps for movers and shakers of the world, the chief executive of Vancouver-based Goldcorp Inc. (TSX:G) encountered a big change at the … Continue reading

The great white hope

In 2015, it was a rare light in the darkness; last year, a market driver. Today, junior lithium mining is a frantic race for reserves, scale, output and orders to win a spot among the sector’s established producers
By Kerry Banks
March 2nd, 2017

Gambling in Nevada is typically conducted in Las Vegas or Reno, but there is now an entirely new type of gambling taking place in a bleak, sun-blasted valley located midway between these two cities. Here a cluster of sharp-eyed speculators, … Continue reading

Big offset on the Prairie

K+S Potash Canada just built Saskatchewan’s first greenfield potash mine in more than 40 years. To ensure no net loss of rare native habitat, it’s also financing the province’s first-ever grassland biodiversity offset
By Brian Banks
March 2nd, 2017

A two-square-kilometre (200-hectare) mine site might not sound massive. But when its construction is earmarked for one of the world’s most threatened ecosystems—the moist mixed grasslands of central Saskatchewan, where more than 80% of the native vegetation has been converted to … Continue reading

Better a buyer than a builder be?

It’s the biggest foreign deal for a Canadian company ever. Yet at a time when new pipelines are an extremely tough sell, Enbridge’s $37-billion Spectra Energy buy stands tallest for solving that problem—and earns distinction as Listed’s 2016 Deal of the Year
By Robert Thompson
December 18th, 2016

Al Monaco had been planning something big for years. All the indicators were there. After all, Monaco, who became chief executive of energy giant Enbridge Inc. (TSX:ENB) in 2012, announced last year that his company was freeing up $30 billion … Continue reading

Our Deal of the Year short list

Three deals came close before falling just short in our Deal of the Year judging. Here’s why they were worthy, but ultimately not chosen
December 18th, 2016

FIRST RUNNER-UP Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. If Enbridge’s Spectra purchase wasn’t such a monster deal in a difficult sector, Alimentation Couche-Tard’s (TSX:ATD.B) $5.5-billion outlay for CST Brands Inc., a Texas-based gas station chain, had a good shot at being our pick … Continue reading

A lower loonie still goes a long way

For the second straight year, outbound deals take top billing in our Special Report on M&A. But don’t be deceived: domestic action has been steady, too
By Jim Middlemiss
December 18th, 2016

While there are many ways to evaluate this year’s mergers and acquisitions activity as the calendar draws to a close, it’s hard not to declare 2016 as a year for building Canadian power abroad. The source of that pronouncement: outbound … Continue reading

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The Director's Chair

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

Helen Kearns: Purpose, process…results

In The Director’s Chair with David W. Anderson: An accomplished wealth manager, financial markets executive and veteran director, Helen Kearns has relied on a disciplined, strategic, long-term approach to create lasting value in every role
December 14th, 2015

With an exemplary career in wealth management and capital market finance, Helen Kearns, president and CEO of Bell Kearns & Associates Ltd., not only knows as much as anyone about making and managing money, but also how to anticipate and repel setbacks … Continue reading

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Handbook

Blockades: a test of wills and skills

Company outreach and respect for the process of working with First Nations and other local communities ensures most mining projects never face direct action. But conflicts still happen and, if handled poorly, can be very costly
By Brenda Bouw
February 26th, 2014

When members of the Attawapiskat First Nation blocked the only winter road to the De Beers’ Victor diamond mine in Northern Ontario last year, the company was unable to move in critical supplies such as fuel and equipment. The blockade … Continue reading

Trading one super-cycle for another

Good times follow bad, often sooner than people expect. So, unlikely as it might sound in mining, signs of a pending breakout are mostly there. Don’t expect China 2.0, but the deal making could get furious
By Ian McGugan
February 26th, 2014

Cheer up, folks. Sure, Canadians enjoyed the good times more than most nations and, as a result, felt the crash of the super-cycle with particular intensity. But the recovery has been far quicker than many people expected. I’m referring, of … Continue reading

The price of admission

Despite the ebb and flow of GDP, Canada admits roughly the same number of immigrants each year. Would the country and new arrivals alike be better served if we tied admission rates to the state of the economy?
By Ian McGugan
December 16th, 2013

This year, as it does every year, Canada will import enough people to fill a mid-sized city. And this year, as it does every year, the federal government will assure us that the annual flood of immigrants helps build a … Continue reading

Who’s got your back?

Corporate Canada is becoming an increasingly risky place. Directors and boards may not be keeping up with issues surrounding liability and insurance—threatening their companies and themselves
By Cooper Langford
December 16th, 2013

There are two news stories from recent months that are—or at least should be—top of mind in governance circles these days. The first is the railway disaster at Lac-Mégantic, Que., in which a 72-car train derailed and exploded killing 47 … Continue reading

CEO hiring: a process, not an event

The hard work involved in landing a new chief executive doesn’t end with the hire. Boards must then give the new CEO his or her best shot at success
By Susan Mohammad
December 15th, 2013

Contract signed? Check. Markets notified? Check. Handshakes all around? Check. Once the time-consuming and stressful search for a new CEO is over, many boards might be tempted to sit back and sigh with relief. Temptation is fine—as long as you … Continue reading

Less talk, more discussion, better decisions

Attention management: you’ve got a great group of directors, with highly relevant expertise and backgrounds. It’s time you turned to them more as a sounding board on critical issues
By Beverly Behan
December 13th, 2013

One of my favourite questions in conducting board interviews involves asking the directors, CEO and other company executives to tell me about the balance of presentation time versus discussion time in their board meetings. In other words, roughly how much … Continue reading

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Economy

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

Will the giants inherit the earth?

Grim as the economics of mining and minerals are for everyone right now, looking ahead, things are lining up strongly in favour of the industry’s biggest players. Expect them to dominate increasingly large swaths of the business for years to come
By Ian McGugan
March 4th, 2016

After four years of relentlessly bad news, the one bright spot for the mining industry in 2016 is that there are no high hopes left to disappoint. The compelling question that hangs over the sector is no longer how bad … Continue reading

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Insider

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

It’s buying time [again]

Insider: Ross Beaty
March 4th, 2016

Who: Ross Beaty, founder and chairman of Pan American Silver Corp. (TSX:PAA), founder and executive chairman of renewable energy company Alterra Power Corp. (TSX:AXY) and a lauded geologist and lawyer with 40-plus years of mining industry experience. Involvement: Beaty has … Continue reading

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