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Top Stories

You gotta own it

Why culture, not compliance, is the key to making diversity stick—and to helping companies realize its full potential
By Robert Thompson
May 30th, 2016

Nancy Hopkins has witnessed shifts in a company’s culture firsthand. A lawyer at McDougall Gauley in Saskatoon, Hopkins was a female pioneer almost a quarter-century ago when she took a posting to the board of directors of uranium miner Cameco … Continue reading

Something new under the sun

These are boom times in solar power. But deals are moving so quickly, some of the world’s top manufacturers are getting crushed. Not Canadian Solar. What’s keeping it above the fray—and out of the headlines?
By John Greenwood
May 30th, 2016

The sprawling, low-rise industrial building in a business park on the outskirts of Guelph, Ont., about an hour’s drive west of Toronto, is pretty much indistinguishable from its neighbours, except for the higher flow of cars and trucks moving in … Continue reading

Taking back the dialogue

The ICD’s new guide to director-shareholder engagement is more than a helpful how-to. In encouraging Canadian boards to initiate dialogue with shareholders, it also signals a shift from defence to offence. With directors no longer back on their heels, where do meetings with shareholders go next?
By Paul Brent
May 30th, 2016

The Canadian Coalition for Good Governance didn’t invent board-shareholder dialogue. But in 2009, the CCGG’s decision to start arranging meetings with the boards of large public companies in which its institutional investor supporters had significant holdings, marked the beginning of … Continue reading

The end of coal?

Face it. Even putting a question mark on that headline is just a technicality. As long as the world needs steel, there will be a cyclical market for metallurgical coal. But when it comes to the business of mining, moving and burning coal for energy, its demise is no longer a matter of if, but when
By John Greenwood
March 4th, 2016

It had been a brutal quarter for Teck Resources Ltd. (TSX:TCK.B) and Don Lindsay, the chief executive, speaking on a scheduled earnings call with analysts in late October was doing his best to put a bright face on things. Although … Continue reading

Move mountains? Easy. Boost diversity? Oof!

It’s proxy season for many Canadian issuers, and that means the second year of “comply or explain” disclosure on diversity. In year one, mining companies lagged with the most male-only boards. Will anything change in year two?
By Brenda Bouw
March 4th, 2016

Alex Johnston has seen a dramatic change in the conversations she’s been having about the lack of women leaders in the mining industry. Five or six years ago, when the now former executive director of women’s advocacy group Catalyst Canada … Continue reading

Five ways to someday

Even as the mining industry languors, change is afoot. And when the next rally is in high gear, it’s a sure bet some companies, practices and even conventional mining logic will have changed. We’ll still need a commodities comeback to make it happen, but it won’t be a carbon copy of the last boom. Here’s our look at five areas of fresh thinking that will define the next cycle
By Jim Middlemiss
March 4th, 2016

Michael Johnston says one thing he has learned in his 20-plus years of mining is that “you can’t manufacture grade. The ore body is what it is. Generally, it is something you have very little control over.” But what mining … Continue reading

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Ticker

Nasdaq stokes Canadian expectations

Buying Chi-X Canada was just the start. A suite of follow-on deals and Nasdaq’s announcement of plans to enter the dark pool market have many in Canada’s trading and listing community anticipating what’s to come
By Jim Middlemiss
May 30th, 2016

From the moment Nasdaq Inc. cemented its arrival into Canada last December with the $US110-million purchase of Chi-X Canada and its 22% share of the order flow of S&P/TSX Composite securities, expectations of a shake-up in the country’s trading and … Continue reading

What happens offshore…winds up onshore

Fallout from the massive Panama Papers leaks has been predictably and justifiably widespread. It’s also emboldened regulators and cleared a path for new rules and a stepped-up war on tax evaders
By Ken Mark
May 30th, 2016

The recent Panama Papers data breach is to hiding ill-gotten gains in tax havens what last year’s Ashley Madison website leak is to arranging extramarital affairs close to home. If you were named in the latter, however, not much could … Continue reading

Road show to renewal

Facing a long decline in its business, the TSX Venture Exchange kicked off 2016 by publishing details of a major “revitalization” plan. Then it took its pledge of savings and simplification on a cross-country, town-hall tour. Audiences listened. But will the business return?
By Brian Banks
March 4th, 2016

Imagine a prototypical issuer. Call him Issuer XYZ. Issuer XYZ runs a small TSX-V junior resources company that, like so many in recent years, is barely scraping by. He’s worked an angle on a modest deal, pays the exchange the … Continue reading

Move mountains? Easy. Boost diversity? Oof!

It’s proxy season for many Canadian issuers, and that means the second year of “comply or explain” disclosure on diversity. In year one, mining companies lagged with the most male-only boards. Will anything change in year two?
By Brenda Bouw
March 4th, 2016

Alex Johnston has seen a dramatic change in the conversations she’s been having about the lack of women leaders in the mining industry. Five or six years ago, when the now former executive director of women’s advocacy group Catalyst Canada … Continue reading

Damn the torpedoes, Suncor speeds ahead

However its contentious hostile takeover bid for Canadian Oil Sands ultimately turns out, Suncor’s decision to gear up spending and M&A expansion—buying into the market crash—has the potential to be a rued, or revered, industry gambit
By Paul Brent
December 14th, 2015

Alberta’s oil patch is viewed as a small, close-knit community, where disagreements are handled in gentlemanly fashion in the quiet confines of the Calgary Petroleum Club. That’s a major reason why Suncor Energy Inc.’s (TSX:SU) $4.3-billion hostile bid for Syncrude … Continue reading

Masters of M&A

Three architects of some of Canada’s highest-value and largest-volume deals in 2015 got together to compare notes on tactics, targets and market trends
By Listed staff
December 14th, 2015

It was a rare and revealing opportunity: two Canadian CEOs who are dominant global M&A players and a third who also features prominently on this year’s top 10 Canadian-led M&A deals list, speaking candidly about market trends and their own … Continue reading

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Views

Private equity primed for moves in energy

Billions earmarked for energy investments are piling up on the sidelines. Meanwhile, the longer energy prices languish, the more producer and oil-service firms’ coffers dry up. It’s setting up the kind of scenario where PE shines
By Robert Olsen
May 30th, 2016

There has been a lot of talk since the oil crisis began about the interest of private equity investors in the sector, and their ability to fill the capital gap required to restart the energy engine in Western Canada. Private … Continue reading

IR: a lifeline in hard times

As companies in our energy economy struggle for survival, everything is on the table. That’s also why there’s a strong case to be made for continuing to invest in investor relations
By Chaya Cooperberg
May 30th, 2016

Last summer, I advertised for a mid-level position on my investor relations team, based in Toronto. The responses rolled in, with the calibre and seniority of applicants higher than I anticipated. More than half of the résumés were from Western … Continue reading

Rethinking reputational risk

Warren Buffett rightly observed, “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it.” Yet even as many directors try to heed those words, boards still miscalculate their reputational exposure
By John Caldwell
May 30th, 2016

According to Deloitte’s 2014 Global Survey on Reputational Risk, 87% of executives surveyed rated reputation risk as more important or much more important than other strategic risks their companies are facing. In addition, 87% say their companies are explicitly focusing … Continue reading

Dilution for a rainy day

The more commodities drop, the clearer it is which companies factored the strategic risk of a slump into their actions back in the boom. Those that contained costs, built reserves and used equity for expansion then, are riding high today riding out the gloom
By John Caldwell
March 6th, 2016

On September 26, 2012, gold was trading at US$1,778.00 per ounce, close to its all-time high. That same day, silver was at US$33.93 an ounce and a pound of copper was US$3.74. Fast-forward 39 months to the start of this … Continue reading

Parents’ subsidiary liabilities hit home

Hudbay, Nevsun, Chevron...multiple Canadian resource companies are now facing suits in Canadian courts for the actions of their offshore subsidiaries. It’s time other firms took steps to address their own risk
By Poonam Puri
March 6th, 2016

In 2013, a group of indigenous Guatemalan plaintiffs commenced legal proceedings against Canadian mining giant Hudbay Minerals Inc. (TSX:HBM), alleging that security personnel hired by Hudbay’s wholly owned subsidiary in Guatemala perpetrated violent human rights abuses when carrying out security … Continue reading

Looking back on the year ahead

Wherein we embark on a short, time-traveling leap to the end of 2016 to take a look back at what went down—or up—in the mining sector in the year that was...or soon might be
By Robert Olsen
March 6th, 2016

Have you had enough of bad news in the mining sector and predictions for more of the same for the rest of 2016? Ever find yourself wishing you could just hit a switch and fast-forward another year? You’re not alone. … Continue reading

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Features

You gotta own it

Why culture, not compliance, is the key to making diversity stick—and to helping companies realize its full potential
By Robert Thompson
May 30th, 2016

Nancy Hopkins has witnessed shifts in a company’s culture firsthand. A lawyer at McDougall Gauley in Saskatoon, Hopkins was a female pioneer almost a quarter-century ago when she took a posting to the board of directors of uranium miner Cameco … Continue reading

Something new under the sun

These are boom times in solar power. But deals are moving so quickly, some of the world’s top manufacturers are getting crushed. Not Canadian Solar. What’s keeping it above the fray—and out of the headlines?
By John Greenwood
May 30th, 2016

The sprawling, low-rise industrial building in a business park on the outskirts of Guelph, Ont., about an hour’s drive west of Toronto, is pretty much indistinguishable from its neighbours, except for the higher flow of cars and trucks moving in … Continue reading

The end of coal?

Face it. Even putting a question mark on that headline is just a technicality. As long as the world needs steel, there will be a cyclical market for metallurgical coal. But when it comes to the business of mining, moving and burning coal for energy, its demise is no longer a matter of if, but when
By John Greenwood
March 4th, 2016

It had been a brutal quarter for Teck Resources Ltd. (TSX:TCK.B) and Don Lindsay, the chief executive, speaking on a scheduled earnings call with analysts in late October was doing his best to put a bright face on things. Although … Continue reading

Five ways to someday

Even as the mining industry languors, change is afoot. And when the next rally is in high gear, it’s a sure bet some companies, practices and even conventional mining logic will have changed. We’ll still need a commodities comeback to make it happen, but it won’t be a carbon copy of the last boom. Here’s our look at five areas of fresh thinking that will define the next cycle
By Jim Middlemiss
March 4th, 2016

Michael Johnston says one thing he has learned in his 20-plus years of mining is that “you can’t manufacture grade. The ore body is what it is. Generally, it is something you have very little control over.” But what mining … Continue reading

An uneasy duty

It’s been 12 years since the landmark ruling that established the Crown’s “duty to consult” with aboriginal groups. Most mining and resource projects navigate this process, but it’s hardly routine. More than growing pains, industry says governments aren’t doing their job
By Kerry Banks
March 4th, 2016

In November 2015, closing arguments were heard in a lawsuit that may have important consequences for the Canadian mining industry. Northern Superior Resources Inc. (TSX-V:SUP), a Sudbury, Ont.-based junior exploration outfit, is seeking $25 million in compensation from the Ontario … Continue reading

M&A 2015: Canada shops the world

It’s been a banner year in Canadian M&A, especially for Canadian companies and pension funds buying abroad. That, plus a hot IPO market and strong private equity showing, have made up for some lacklustre action at home
By Jim Middlemiss
December 14th, 2015

The 2015 Canadian mergers and acquisitions market will be remembered as a year when domestic organizations went on an international buying spree, despite a dollar that was less than robust. Everyone from retailers to banks and real estate firms to … Continue reading

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The Director's Chair

Rob McEwen: A sense of purpose

In The Director’s Chair with David W. Anderson: For Rob McEwen, it’s not only about knowing where you want to go, but figuring out the best way to get there
February 27th, 2015

Rob McEwen has been a dominant presence in gold mining since he founded and, as chair and CEO, built Goldcorp—now among the world’s largest gold companies—into an industry leader. Today he’s chair, CEO and 25%-owner of McEwen Mining, a TSX- … Continue reading

Gail Cook-Bennett: Been there, pioneered that

In The Director’s Chair with David W. Anderson: There are a lot of firsts associated with Gail Cook-Bennett’s 16 years as a chair and 36 years on crown and corporate boards. Adding value as a director, she says, means innovating
December 17th, 2014

An unlikely convergence of opportunity and expertise opened the boardroom door for Gail Cook-Bennett in an era when even men her age were typically deemed too young. Since then, she’s played a key role in many corporate and public sector … Continue reading

Ira Millstein: Why governance is our best defence

In The Director's Chair with David W. Anderson: Ira Millstein, a man whose name is practically synonymous with corporate governance, issues a passionate reminder: it’s the people’s money that funds corporations and governance exists to protect it
October 30th, 2014

If you’re looking to build a list of the giants of corporate governance, you’d be hard pressed not to put Ira Millstein at the top. A lawyer, professor at Columbia law and business schools, and chair of the epynonymous Millstein … Continue reading

Claude Lamoureux: Making smart moves seem easy

In The Director’s Chair with David W. Anderson: Claude Lamoureux isn’t the first CEO and senior director to stress the importance of meeting, listening to and trusting the people you lead. But he might have perfected it
August 24th, 2014

When it comes to a track record of smart management, sound investment decisions and excellent governance, few organizations can top the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan. For that, Claude Lamoureux, Teachers’ president and CEO for 17 years, starting with its founding in … Continue reading

Rick George: Give people the tools and cut them loose

In The Director’s Chair with David W. Anderson: As a former CEO and a boardroom veteran, Rick George knows that fundamentals count—and that tough questions can have simple answers
June 5th, 2014

If the oilsands have a face, it belongs to Richard “Rick” George, who stepped down as CEO of Suncor Energy Inc. in 2012, after 21 years in office. But that’s only one narrative line in George’s story. He’s enjoyed a … Continue reading

William Etherington: Boards’ last blind spots: themselves

In The Director’s Chair with David W. Anderson: Recruitment may be professionalized, and diversity is taking hold, but when it comes to accountability, William Etherington says boards still have a ways to go
April 21st, 2014

As a director and now chairman of the board at Celestica Inc., where he’s sat since 2001, William Etherington personifies continuity of leadership. Celestica itself started as a spinoff from IBM Canada, where Etherington was CEO for a number of … Continue reading

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Handbook

Taking back the dialogue

The ICD’s new guide to director-shareholder engagement is more than a helpful how-to. In encouraging Canadian boards to initiate dialogue with shareholders, it also signals a shift from defence to offence. With directors no longer back on their heels, where do meetings with shareholders go next?
By Paul Brent
May 30th, 2016

The Canadian Coalition for Good Governance didn’t invent board-shareholder dialogue. But in 2009, the CCGG’s decision to start arranging meetings with the boards of large public companies in which its institutional investor supporters had significant holdings, marked the beginning 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

Micromanagement: the dirtiest word in governance

Make no mistake, directors and boards that micromanage can be a problem. But it’s far from cut-and-dried. There are many reasons micromanagement occurs—and circumstances where it’s warranted
By Beverly Behan
May 30th, 2016

“The board is micromanaging.” How many times have we heard this lament from CEOs, corporate executives and even board members, themselves? Essentially, it is an accusation that the board is delving into picayune details and/or making decisions that should be … Continue reading

Boards must re-up on responsibility

Most Canadian mining management has kept pace with corporate responsibility’s growth and complexity. But the makeup of mining boards has not. To help: a look at the new skills required and how to find directors that have them
By Craig Ford
March 6th, 2016

In the business of mining resource development, the past decade has seen a dramatic rise in the scope and complexity of corporate responsibility issues. This has been driven by two primary factors. First, societal expectations of business and especially resource … 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

In vogue for 2016? Pay cuts

Their share prices have been falling for years. Now more mining boards, having signed off on cuts to everything else, are wondering if it’s time executive pay followed suit
By Paul Brent
March 4th, 2016

Mining companies are accustomed to working with long lead times: potential plays can take years to assess, mines can take a decade to develop and operate for decades more while commodity cycles rise and fall. This year, as those companies’ … Continue reading

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Economy

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

How our new PM can help grow the economy

Generations of rhetoric notwithstanding, Canadian prime ministers don’t have that many tools at their disposal to boost economic growth. So here are three ideas to get Justin Trudeau started
By Ian McGugan
December 15th, 2015

You should feel sorry for federal politicians—at least during elections and just afterward. It’s then that these would-be leaders are forced to stand up and pretend they possess the magic formula to generate prosperity. Of course, their hopeful rhetoric often … Continue reading

Global economy down, but far from out

Regional gridlock and wobbles in China prompt legitimate fears. But when the two biggest inputs for business—money and energy—are as cheap as they are today, growth should prevail
By Ian McGugan
October 10th, 2015

Let’s acknowledge the obvious. With Canada at least technically in a recession, China slowing and Europe trapped in political gridlock, business leaders in this country have good reason to be worried about the outlook for the world economy over the … Continue reading

Chasing prosperity? Or votes?

Why is a balanced federal budget like a picnic? Because neither is responsible for what their promoters promise—be it economic well-being or a sunny, summer day
By Ian McGugan
July 24th, 2015

Balanced budgets are what pass for sexy among a certain swath of the electorate—most notably the part that votes Conservative. Hence it’s no big surprise that the federal Tories pulled out all stops this spring to announce their first balanced … Continue reading

Low rate rendezvous

Outside the U.S., interest rates are trending down, not up. For the Bank of Canada, the goal is a lower dollar that boosts exports. But if you’re counting on that for your business, here are a few thoughts to keep in mind
By Ian McGugan
May 15th, 2015

Beware falling interest rates. They’re evidence of how desperately most countries want to goose their underperforming economies and mark down their currencies. Since the oil price crash last year, roughly two dozen central banks around the world have eased back … Continue reading

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Insider

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

Growing public

Insider: Anton Rabie
December 14th, 2015

Who Anton Rabie, co-CEO Spin Master Corp. (TSX:TOY), a Toronto-based children’s toys, games and entertainment company. Spin Master’s best-known brands include Bakugan and Air Hogs; its latest TV series, Paw Patrol, is broadcast in over 160 countries. Rabie co-founded Spin … Continue reading

ROI meets ESG

Insider: Michael Jantzi
October 10th, 2015

Who Michael Jantzi, CEO of Sustainalytics, a leading Amsterdam-headquartered, global ESG and corporate governance research, ratings and analysis firm. Jantzi founded Jantzi Research in Toronto in 1992 and merged it with Sustainalytics in 2009. Involvement In August, Sustainalytics announced a … Continue reading

Leading in

Insider: Linda Hasenfratz
July 24th, 2015

Who Linda Hasenfratz, chief executive officer and a director of Linamar Corp. (TSX:LNR) of Guelph, Ont., a position she has held since 2002. Linamar, ranked 31st among the top 100 automotive parts suppliers in North America, also has operations in … Continue reading

Who is seeing i2i?

Insider: Stephen Davis
May 12th, 2015

Who Stephen Davis, associate director of the Harvard Law School Programs on Corporate Governance and Institutional Investors and a senior fellow at the Program on Corporate Governance. Davis is also a nonresident senior fellow in governance at the Brookings Institution … Continue reading

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