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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

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

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

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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

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

Is your barrel half empty or half full?

Everybody’s talking about the impact of plunging oil prices on petro regions and energy producers—but what about the mining sector? Our correspondent sees a range of consequences, many of them good
By Ian McGugan
February 27th, 2015

The unexpected and still largely unexplained plunge in the price of oil is enough to throw a scare into any commodity producer. When the world’s most vital and heavily traded raw material can lose half its value in six months—for … 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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