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Views
Ken Hugessen

Executive Compensation
Richard Leblanc

Governance
Robert Olsen

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The Director's Chair David W. Anderson

Poonam Puri

Law
Chaya Cooperberg

Investor Relations
John Caldwell

Risk
The Boardroom Beverly Behan


Top Stories

Deciding the Deal of the Year

Weighing the factors to determine which transaction gets the nod is in no way a popularity contest
December 19th, 2016

I’ll admit it. When it came time to making a final decision on Listed’s pick for the 2016 Deal of the Year, we knew it might draw some fire if the winner was a pipeline company and we splashed it … 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

If pills are out, are private placements in?

Canada’s new takeover bid regime got its first serious test with Hecla Mining’s hostile move on Dolly Varden Silver. The regulators’ ruling answered important questions about the limits of a target’s defence
By Poonam Puri
December 17th, 2016

Consider this: a cash-strapped junior resource company listed on the TSX Venture Exchange is looking for ways to continue its exploration program for the coming year. With only $200,000 in its bank account, a $2-million loan from a significant shareholder … Continue reading

Locking up the vote

Special Report: Compensation, composition, communications ... with the 2017 proxy season looming for most issuers, it’s time to get a handle on the trends and tactics that will win the day for one side or the other
By Diane Peters
December 16th, 2016

On the eve of a special shareholders’ meeting last May by Taseko Mines Ltd. (TSX:TKO), activist shareholder Raging River Capital LP threw in the towel. The firm, created for the sole purpose of lobbying Taseko to replace two directors and … 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

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

If pills are out, are private placements in?

Canada’s new takeover bid regime got its first serious test with Hecla Mining’s hostile move on Dolly Varden Silver. The regulators’ ruling answered important questions about the limits of a target’s defence
By Poonam Puri
December 17th, 2016

Consider this: a cash-strapped junior resource company listed on the TSX Venture Exchange is looking for ways to continue its exploration program for the coming year. With only $200,000 in its bank account, a $2-million loan from a significant shareholder … Continue reading

Insider trading: are your practices onside?

The OSC has introduced new rules on insider trading. Here’s some advice to make sure your company’s internal guidelines for directors, officers and employees are not only up to date—but the best that they can be
By Poonam Puri
October 11th, 2016

Consider this: a senior officer of a Canadian public company learns that the company has just received a significant, unsolicited bid, suggesting that the company could be in play. He calls his accountant and says: “Buy shares in my company … Continue reading

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Features

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

Locking up the vote

Special Report: Compensation, composition, communications ... with the 2017 proxy season looming for most issuers, it’s time to get a handle on the trends and tactics that will win the day for one side or the other
By Diane Peters
December 16th, 2016

On the eve of a special shareholders’ meeting last May by Taseko Mines Ltd. (TSX:TKO), activist shareholder Raging River Capital LP threw in the towel. The firm, created for the sole purpose of lobbying Taseko to replace two directors and … Continue reading

The bottom line comes full circle

Triple bottom line was a great concept. But as investors clamour to include ESG (environmental, social and governance) factors in their decision-making, a new era of harmonized reporting—effectively, a single, integrated bottom line—is nigh
By John Greenwood
October 10th, 2016

“History will judge today’s effort as pivotal,” said U.S. president Barack Obama, as he and Xi Jingping, the president of China, ratified the Paris climate accord in early September. If the comments sounded auspicious, they are. That the leaders of … Continue reading

Beware the weakest link

As business ecosystems become more integrated and the number of third-party partners and suppliers grows, supply chain risk should be a top-line agenda item for directors and management alike. Our report, with a five-step guide for boards, can help
By Jim Middlemiss
October 10th, 2016

When the world’s seventh-largest container shipping line, Hanjin Shipping Co., filed for bankruptcy protection at the end of August, it left retailers, manufacturers and resource companies around the world scrambling and fearing the worst. Dozens of container-ships and tankers carrying … Continue reading

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The Director's Chair

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

Mike Wilson: Out of the fray, still in the fire

In The Director’s Chair with David W. Anderson: He had a long executive career, culminating in a decade as president and CEO of Agrium. Now Mike Wilson is bringing it as a non-executive director on four boards
October 10th, 2015

If you need any testimony to Mike Wilson’s knowledge, experience, boardroom savvy and the high esteem in which he’s held by his peers, consider that within a year of retiring as president and CEO of Agrium Inc. at the end … Continue reading

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Handbook

Every port is a storm

Business and personal productivity is booming thanks to embedded technology and the growing interconnectedness of our devices. The down side? The security vulnerabilities are a hacker’s dream
By Jonathan Woods
December 15th, 2016

These days, whenever a well-known public company suffers a major data breach, bulletins and news alerts circulate quickly among most boards and the governance community. But in October, when a botnet army of hijacked network-connected surveillance cameras, Wi-Fi routers and … Continue reading

The last phase of CEO succession? A new board

CEO succession and board renewal are typically seen as separate concerns. In fact, a comprehensive review of board composition—creating “Board 2.0”—is the last, best act directors can do for a new CEO
By Beverly Behan
December 15th, 2016

Good work! Your board has completed a robust CEO succession process and everyone’s confident about your choice of a new corporate leader. He/she has now spent about a year assembling an outstanding executive team and either confirming or changing the … 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

Confronting the road next taken

Strategic reviews? Sometimes they’re a company’s do-or-die moment. At minimum, change is afoot. We asked veterans of the process to tell us what to get right and what not to get wrong
By Paul Brent
October 11th, 2016

In good times and bad, whether the economy and markets are up or down, there appears to be no shortage of companies calling for a public timeout. The infamous “strategic review” can be called because the business is running out … Continue reading

Met your match?

A simple guide to the tricky economics driving today’s top companies
October 10th, 2016

A traditional business challenge is to reach customers. Matchmaker businesses do something else: they bring different groups of customers together, providing value through their network or their platform. It’s not a new concept—think magazines or shopping malls—but it is one … Continue reading

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Economy

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

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

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Insider

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

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

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