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Ken Hugessen

Executive Compensation
Richard Leblanc

Law and Governance
Robert Olsen

Corporate Finance
The Director's Chair David W. Anderson

Sandra Odendahl

Environmental Affairs
Chaya Cooperberg

Investor Relations
John Caldwell

Risk
The Boardroom Beverly Behan


Top Stories

Dealing from strength

An ill-conceived merger or acquisition can be more damaging to a company than no deal at all. How early and ongoing board oversight of M&A can ultimately lessen the risk
By John Caldwell
December 13th, 2013

Mergers and acquisitions are a lot like marriages—they all start out happily, but many ultimately fail. While actual M&A failure rates can be debated, it’s safe to say a substantial number of deals do not deliver expected results, often resulting … Continue reading

Renaissance woman

With luxury nameplate Saks now in the fold, can HBC's Bonnie Brooks—already a turnaround master in Asia and North America—use her makeover magic to make a global powerhouse?
By Robert Thompson
September 16th, 2013

With more than two decades of success and failure behind her, Bonnie Brooks is preparing to enter what may well be the final act of a fascinating executive career. At year’s end, Brooks, 60, will complete the transition to the … Continue reading

Old rival, new high ground

Don’t tell Jos Schmitt it’s trendy to blame high-frequency traders for corrupting the stock market. The former CEO of Alpha, the alternative exchange whose owners bought TMX Group in 2012, is launching a new exchange where predatory, high-frequency trading will be banned. In Schmitt’s view, the problem is so bad that issuers and investors will want to switch
By Jim Middlemiss
September 16th, 2013

Fairness. It’s a classic underdog sales pitch. But will it work when the “underdogs” are a group of high profile, deep-pocketed financial institutions, headed by a familiar CEO, planning to launch their own stock exchange in Toronto? That’s the gamble—and … Continue reading

OSC hears it—and responds

It took some stakeholder activism, but now board diversity and shareholder democracy, including reform of the proxy voting system, are high on the Ontario Securities Commission’s priority list for this fiscal year
By Celia Milne
September 16th, 2013

Shareholder and stakeholder pressure may already be a way of life for listed companies. But over the summer, the Ontario Securities Commission got a taste of the same medicine when it came to setting its line-up of priority issues and … Continue reading

Wanted: new brooms with new ideas

The next generation of central bankers are arriving on the scene just as their predecessors’ policies seem to have run their course. How much will they have to change to reignite economic recovery?
By Ian McGugan
September 16th, 2013

Mark Carney is gone and Ben Bernanke is going, but the Great Recession is still an unwelcome guest in many living rooms. So long as it lingers, the next generation of North American central bankers will have to ask some … Continue reading

United they stand-ardize

Insider: Kevin Dancey
September 16th, 2013

Who Kevin Dancey, president and CEO of Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada, the new (January 2013) umbrella certification program under which Canada’s three former accounting designations—chartered accountants (CAs), certified management accountants (CMAs) and certified general accountants (CGAs)—are now being united. … Continue reading

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Ticker

Less boom, but no bust

Recent setbacks, especially the departure of American giant Cliffs Natural Resources, have deflated much of the original hype around Ontario’s Ring of Fire and Quebec’s Plan Nord. In the long run, that might not be a bad thing
By Susan Mohammad
February 26th, 2014

If the stories of the mining industry in Quebec and Ontario as of late were books, the same author could easily have written them both. Only a few years ago, each province’s mining sector was full of fresh promise. Initial … Continue reading

Comply or explain: enough of a push?

The Ontario Securities Commission seems poised to recommend that the province adopt a new “comply or explain” regime for public issuers in a bid to move companies to boost gender diversity on boards and in management. Despite iffy results elsewhere, it’s got widespread support
By Mark Anderson
December 15th, 2013

Whatever is or isn’t on the table from the Ontario Securities Commission by the time you read this, any director, senior executive, corporate secretary, or governance or proxy adviser worth his or her salary will have already started thinking about … Continue reading

Defined benefit plans’ rebound now a test of discipline

By Bruce Freedman/Street Smarts
December 15th, 2013

Living in a zero-rate world has made many a homebuyer happy, but for those companies that still have material defined benefit pension liabilities, the last five years have been rather gray-hair inducing indeed. The discount rate is the single most … Continue reading

Old rival, new high ground

Don’t tell Jos Schmitt it’s trendy to blame high-frequency traders for corrupting the stock market. The former CEO of Alpha, the alternative exchange whose owners bought TMX Group in 2012, is launching a new exchange where predatory, high-frequency trading will be banned. In Schmitt’s view, the problem is so bad that issuers and investors will want to switch
By Jim Middlemiss
September 16th, 2013

Fairness. It’s a classic underdog sales pitch. But will it work when the “underdogs” are a group of high profile, deep-pocketed financial institutions, headed by a familiar CEO, planning to launch their own stock exchange in Toronto? That’s the gamble—and … Continue reading

A double dose of transparency

Paired with its new anti-corruption rules, Ottawa’s call for explicit disclosure of all payments made by Canadian companies to foreign governments and officials brings a new standard of offshore accountability to the boardroom
By Rob Colapinto
September 16th, 2013

The world’s most active player in global natural resource extraction will soon be facing new federal legislation mandating beefed-up disclosure of payments made to foreign governments. Canada has long been viewed as a transnational laggard when it comes to its … Continue reading

Year of the buyback

Surplus cash, cheap debt and antsy shareholders looking for a return have companies hot on their own stock
By Mark Anderson
June 18th, 2013

Even if your company hasn’t done one—yet—you have to know share buybacks are all the rage. Over the last year Royal Bank, Bank of Montreal and CIBC all announced that they would be implementing share buyback programs and, in May, … Continue reading

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Views

The recovery is out there

Last year, talk of green shoots on the parched mining financing landscape proved premature. In 2014, while times remain tight in the short term, conditions are more favourable for a comeback
By Robert Olsen
February 26th, 2014

The current challenges facing the mining industry have been well documented—with cost escalation and increased resource nationalism hitting at the same time as decreasing commodity prices—and they continue to deplete profitability. This reduction in operating performance, driven by decreasing demand … Continue reading

Mining for common ground

As a country, we waste too much energy and stir up too much bitterness fighting over resource development. Some concerted cross-fertilization of viewpoints is in order
By Sandra Odendahl
February 26th, 2014

In late January, respected First Nation leader and former National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, Phil Fontaine, was shouted down while giving a speech at the University of Manitoba. Fontaine was there to share his insights on resource … Continue reading

Dealing from strength

An ill-conceived merger or acquisition can be more damaging to a company than no deal at all. How early and ongoing board oversight of M&A can ultimately lessen the risk
By John Caldwell
December 13th, 2013

Mergers and acquisitions are a lot like marriages—they all start out happily, but many ultimately fail. While actual M&A failure rates can be debated, it’s safe to say a substantial number of deals do not deliver expected results, often resulting … Continue reading

High rolling with the in crowd

It might seem a long way from capital market bank towers to the small change of online microfinance, but look again. Crowdfunding platforms are beginning to revolutionize the means and the potential for fundraising and investing—nowhere more so than in equities
By Robert Olsen
December 13th, 2013

A capital raise that secured in excess of $10 million with no deal fees, no underwriters, no Qualified Institutional Buyers and without the typical six-month cycle to close? This sounds like fantasy, but it has another name: crowdfunding. A product … Continue reading

Turnover, not tenure, makes the board

Research shows that companies with excessively long-serving directors are relative underperformers. How much longer can boards run without third-party evaluations and term limits, knowing it erodes shareholder value?
By Richard Leblanc
December 13th, 2013

Many directors hang on to directorships for far too long. Recently, I counted several directors who have been on corporate boards for 10, 15, 20 and 25 years. Incumbent directors offer reasons for staying: how they know the company, enjoy … Continue reading

No value in empty gestures

Income disparity is one of our society’s most serious challenges. But measures like the CEO pay-ratio rule recently approved by the SEC aren’t needed and won’t do anything to address the problem
By Ken Hugessen
December 13th, 2013

The SEC in the U.S. recently announced that it is moving ahead with the CEO pay-ratio rule contained in the Dodd-Frank bill. That rule requires public companies to calculate and disclose the ratio of the CEO’s pay to that of … Continue reading

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Features

Barrick turns the page

Peter Munk, iconic founder and long-time chairman of Barrick Gold, will step down this spring. His departure, after prolonged shareholder upheaval, plunging gold prices and massive write-downs, heralds a sweeping governance overhaul. It might fix the board—but what of the bottom line?
By Robert Thompson
February 26th, 2014

Maybe his Indianapolis office kept him oblivious to the profile of Barrick Gold Corp. (TSX:ABX) and its flamboyant 86-year old founder and chairman, Peter Munk, but hedge fund manager Mike Morris wasn’t looking to gain publicity for his boutique investment … Continue reading

Waiting for the light

By almost every financial measure, the mining sector started 2014 in a dark place. Great assets, strong planning and good timing have sheltered some companies. The rest—the majority—are getting by on guts, cuts and creativity
By Jim Middlemiss
February 26th, 2014

Daycon Minerals Corp. president David Poynton is hoping that 2014 is the year that his mining company strikes gold with investors. “I’m betting that this year Daycon will go public,” says Poynton, who is also a director at Marathon Gold … Continue reading

Deal of the year: A big bet on small stores

Loblaw’s $12.4-billion purchase of Shoppers Drug Mart is a bold play on demographic trends, the future shape of retail and the care and feeding of Canadians
By Robert Thompson
December 16th, 2013

It is one of Canada’s most stalwart businesses with a nearly century-old tried and tested business model, but Loblaw executive chair Galen Weston and the company’s chief executive, Vicente Trius, are willing to go all in on a hunch that … Continue reading

First you plan, then you pivot

Diversity, transparency, advance notice, notice and access, say-on-pay, voting infrastructure—they could be keywords, they’re certainly trending as the latest tools and regulations for issuers to master to keep pace with activists in proxy season
By Paul Brent
December 16th, 2013

Rising shareholder activism in recent years along with new policies and proposals from regulators has transformed the process of preparing for the proxy season from a dry routine to a dynamic, constantly changing exercise. As the calendar turns to 2014 … Continue reading

Renaissance woman

With luxury nameplate Saks now in the fold, can HBC's Bonnie Brooks—already a turnaround master in Asia and North America—use her makeover magic to make a global powerhouse?
By Robert Thompson
September 16th, 2013

With more than two decades of success and failure behind her, Bonnie Brooks is preparing to enter what may well be the final act of a fascinating executive career. At year’s end, Brooks, 60, will complete the transition to the … Continue reading

The best defence

What are the hot-button risk issues facing companies today? How should you deal with them? Our survival guide has got you covered
By Susan Mohammad
September 16th, 2013

It was a summer of unexpected calamity in Canada, from west to east. Who could have predicted an oil-filled train would derail, slam into the town of Lac-Mégantic, Que., and ignite, killing 50 people, leveling a swath of buildings and … Continue reading

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The Director's Chair

Eira Thomas: Engage early and often

In The Director’s Chair with David W. Anderson: Eira Thomas, storied geologist turned founder, director, CEO and chair, says sharp stakeholder relations and smart governance are making winners in mining today
February 26th, 2014

Eira Thomas burst onto the Canadian mining scene in the 1990s, leading the Aber Resources Ltd. field exploration team that discovered the Diavik diamond project pipes in the Northwest Territories. By the time Diavik went into production in 2003, as … Continue reading

John Manley: The new multi-stakeholder reality

In The Director’s Chair with David W. Anderson: As a former inner-circle federal cabinet minister, John Manley knows how government makes decisions. Similar thinking, he says, is needed in the corporate world
December 16th, 2013

John Manley, deputy prime minister under Jean Chrétien, says he’s learned a lot in the 10 years he’s been working on corporate boards since leaving politics— particularly in his time as a director at Canadian Pacific Railway prior to the … Continue reading

Gary Colter: Setting the bar high—where it belongs

In The Director’s Chair with David W. Anderson: No matter what the business, director Gary Colter says there’s no excuse for boards to cling to dated, inefficient and ineffective modes of governance
September 16th, 2013

As a member of the dissident slate of directors that shareholders voted into power in the gripping Canadian Pacific Railway proxy battle of 2012, Gary Colter has had a front row seat for recent debates over directors’ duties and effective … Continue reading

Robert Monks: It’s broke, let’s fix it

In The Director’s Chair with David W. Anderson: Shareholder activist and avowed capitalist Robert Monks doesn’t have it in for senior corporate managers—just the system that gives them all the power and too much pay
June 20th, 2013

If you read Robert Monks’ bio—founder of Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS), author of eight books, and a chair and director many times over—your first inclination is to say that’s résumé enough for two. Yet the substance of his work—shareholder and … Continue reading

Dominic Barton: On fast bucks and real value

In The Director’s Chair with David W. Anderson: Dominic Barton, global managing director of McKinsey & Co., sounds the alarm for Western business leaders, markets and investors: lose the short-term bias or lose the race
April 15th, 2013

Dominic Barton grew up on Canada’s west coast and, a couple of decades later, made his way to the top job at global consulting giant McKinsey & Co. via postings in Seoul and then Shanghai. So it’s no surprise to … Continue reading

Hugh Bolton: The bottom line on oversight

In The Director’s Chair with David W. Anderson: Hugh Bolton, former top accountant, now top chair and director, says directors on resource sector boards must dig for answers to really know the business they’re in
February 25th, 2013

Hugh Bolton had a sterling career as a chartered accountant, culminating in his role as head of Coopers & Lybrand Canada in the 1990s. The insights gained in that arena have also served him exceedingly well in his second career … Continue reading

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Handbook

First a scolding, then the scrutiny

Experts warn junior mining issuers that securities regulators are stepping up enforcement and penalties for inadequate disclosure after finding high rates of noncompliance
By Ken Mark
March 4th, 2014

Many Canadian listed mining issuers used to find filing market regulator reports to be a bore and a chore. That’s all about to change. Canadian regulators are stepping up the vigilance of their monitoring and enforcement after reporting troubling levels … Continue reading

Five questions that mining boards need to ask

It’s imperative that mining company boards find ways to add significant value when hard times are forcing management to make do with less. Here’s how
By Beverly Behan
February 26th, 2014

The past year has been described as a “survival year” in the Canadian mining sector. In an environment where CEOs are scrambling to cut costs and make do with less in order to help their companies weather the storm, the … Continue reading

Great wild hope

Can a mining giant have a “net positive impact” on biodiversity? A $19-million wilderness lands purchase, in B.C.’s East Kootenay region, wins Teck Resources raves from environmentalists and gives credence to its sustainability aims
By Omar Kahn
February 26th, 2014

Anyone involved in or informed about wildlife conservation and habitat preservation issues and their relationship with resource development in Western Canada will undoubtedly know the name of Harvey Locke. A former Calgary lawyer and, for the past 15 years, a … Continue reading

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

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Economy

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

Wanted: new brooms with new ideas

The next generation of central bankers are arriving on the scene just as their predecessors’ policies seem to have run their course. How much will they have to change to reignite economic recovery?
By Ian McGugan
September 16th, 2013

Mark Carney is gone and Ben Bernanke is going, but the Great Recession is still an unwelcome guest in many living rooms. So long as it lingers, the next generation of North American central bankers will have to ask some … Continue reading

Is this all there is?

Some economists are calling low GDP growth the “new normal.” Before dismissing them, optimists should look carefully at what the numbers say about where we’ve been and where we’re going
By Ian McGugan
June 19th, 2013

We used to know what an economic recovery looked like. First would come a recession—usually short and sharp. Then a vigorous rebound would inevitably follow. GDP growth could be counted on to rocket past 5% a year as businesses and … Continue reading

Loonie’s letdown for real

Don’t let the last of the Canadian-dollar bulls dissuade you—the loonie’s value is falling and it’s not finished yet. But don’t worry. A lighter dollar doesn’t necessarily mean a lighter order book
By Ian McGugan
April 14th, 2013

The beaver is cute and the maple leaf packs a certain whole-earth appeal but, when it comes to national symbols, it’s the loonie that provides the highest-profile gauge of how our national economy is faring. Over the past decade the … Continue reading

Drill-o-nomics

Want a real-world read on the commodity markets? Try selling a drill rig
By Paul Brent
March 1st, 2013

It’s blue, big as a CEO’s office and can be helicoptered or dragged through the woods to its next job. It’s also proving to be very, very hard to get rid of. The “it” in question is a $300,000 drilling … Continue reading

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Insider

Tough times? It’s IR as usual

Insider: David Garofalo
February 26th, 2014

Who David Garofalo, president and CEO HudBay Minerals Inc. (TSX:HBM), one of Canada’s few mid-tier mining companies, producing gold, copper, zinc and silver, with projects in development in North and South America. Involvement Garofalo, who was appointed CEO at HudBay … Continue reading

Scenes at a standoff

Insider: Robin Goad
December 16th, 2013

Who Robin Goad, president, CEO and founder of Fortune Minerals Ltd. (TSX:FT), a diversified miner headquartered in London, Ont., with several properties in Canada. Of those, the closest to launch is its NICO metals mine in Northwest Territories, where construction … Continue reading

United they stand-ardize

Insider: Kevin Dancey
September 16th, 2013

Who Kevin Dancey, president and CEO of Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada, the new (January 2013) umbrella certification program under which Canada’s three former accounting designations—chartered accountants (CAs), certified management accountants (CMAs) and certified general accountants (CGAs)—are now being united. … Continue reading

New kid on the board

Insider: Gerald Grandey
June 18th, 2013

Who Gerald Grandey, director at Canadian Oil Sands Ltd., Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan Inc. and Sandspring Resources Ltd.; former president and CEO of Cameco Corp. of Saskatoon (2003-2011) Involvement Two years ago this July, Gerald Grandey made the transition from … Continue reading

Governance attachée

Insider: Judy Cotte
April 15th, 2013

Who Vice-president policy and governance, RBC Global Asset Management; country correspondent to the International Corporate Governance Network. Involvement Following a decade of shareholder activism in the 1980s, the U.S.-based Council of Institutional Investors in 1993 began canvassing European pension funds … Continue reading

Rebuilding the ranks

Mining leaders say there’s a dearth of new executive talent in their industry—a lost generation—that can only be replaced through specialized education and training. Enter the first-ever MBA in global mining management
February 25th, 2013

Insider Richard Ross Who Executive-in-Residence and director of Schulich School of Business’s MBA in Global Mining Management; former chairman and CEO of Inmet Mining Corp. Involvement Last September, York University’s Schulich School of Business launched the first-ever MBA specialization in … Continue reading

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