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Top Stories

The stock heard ’round the world

Shopify’s blockbuster spring IPO struck a resounding chord for the quiet revival in Canadian tech
By John Greenwood
July 25th, 2015

An initial public offering is a kind of coming-out party, the moment when the rest of the world decides if it likes your business. As a chief executive you pray that the market sees the same things in your company … Continue reading

Whose company is it, anyway?

In the U.S., it’s been a big year for proxy access—a process allowing shareholders to nominate directors on equal terms with the board and CEO. Now the Canadian Coalition for Good Governance and its members want to make it the norm here
By Robert Thompson
July 24th, 2015

Stephen Erlichman says he doesn’t understand the controversy, but he fully recognizes it is there nonetheless. In May, the Canadian Coalition for Good Governance, a lobby group that Erlichman leads as executive director, published a report [pdf] insisting shareholders should … 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

Pushing the envelope

Another annual meeting, another say-on-pay setback for the board of Barrick Gold. But this time, unlike 2013, it’s not the only big target for dissatisfied institutional funds
By Paul Brent
May 14th, 2015

For long-time shareholders of Barrick Gold Corp. (TSX:ABX), this spring’s annual meeting likely had a bizarre feeling of déjà vu to it. The question now is, how will the aftermath compare? Yes, company founder and chairman Peter Munk is one … Continue reading

Payback

What happens when a Canadian micro-junior with a two-person staff wins a US$100-million international arbitration award against the government of Mongolia for the unlawful seizure of its mine? It sets out to collect it, of course
By John Greenwood
May 13th, 2015

Grant Edey was getting set to trek into town from his home on the outskirts of Toronto when the e-mail landed in his inbox. It was day one of the annual Prospectors and Developers Association’s PDAC conference, the premier North … Continue reading

No director left behind

Most boards recognize that director education and development is essential and ongoing. But many still struggle with the complicated challenge of packaging and delivering useful, relevant, timely training for rookies and veterans alike
By Jim Middlemiss
May 13th, 2015

Ask Gwyn Morgan what he thinks about continuing education programs for company directors and the corporate titan has mixed feelings. On one hand, Morgan, the former CEO and president of Encana Corp. (TSX:ECA), says continuing education programs are good at … Continue reading

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Ticker

Whose company is it, anyway?

In the U.S., it’s been a big year for proxy access—a process allowing shareholders to nominate directors on equal terms with the board and CEO. Now the Canadian Coalition for Good Governance and its members want to make it the norm here
By Robert Thompson
July 24th, 2015

Stephen Erlichman says he doesn’t understand the controversy, but he fully recognizes it is there nonetheless. In May, the Canadian Coalition for Good Governance, a lobby group that Erlichman leads as executive director, published a report [pdf] insisting shareholders should … Continue reading

Pushing the envelope

Another annual meeting, another say-on-pay setback for the board of Barrick Gold. But this time, unlike 2013, it’s not the only big target for dissatisfied institutional funds
By Paul Brent
May 14th, 2015

For long-time shareholders of Barrick Gold Corp. (TSX:ABX), this spring’s annual meeting likely had a bizarre feeling of déjà vu to it. The question now is, how will the aftermath compare? Yes, company founder and chairman Peter Munk is one … Continue reading

Mining slump now an endurance test

The rough ride continues for commodities and the companies that mine them. Strong firms are still coping, but the casualty rate is on the rise
By Jim Middlemiss
February 27th, 2015

From energy to interest rates, there haven’t been a lot of bright spots in the economy in 2015. But leave it to metals and mining, a sector now almost four years removed from the dizzying heights of its last cyclical … Continue reading

Oil prices: each day brings more drama

Contained caution in Canadian energy and economic circles has given way to increasing alarm as oil prices—off about 40% from June through November—head towards New Year's in a nose dive
By Paul Brent
December 19th, 2014

The last few months have been a tough time for peak oil doomsayers, OPEC oil sheiks, petroleum executives as well as finance ministers from Edmonton to Ottawa and as far east as St. John’s. Their common and constant migraine, of … Continue reading

M&A rules get an overhaul

The Canadian Securities Administrators, with unanimous provincial support, is proposing new rules on takeover bids. Target boards and shareholders will get more leverage, bidders will need to rethink strategy
By John Greenwood
October 30th, 2014

Big changes often start imperceptibly until suddenly they become fact, part of the landscape. That’s a good description for the Canadian Securities Administrators’ recently proposed changes to regulations on takeover bids and shareholder rights plans which, assuming they’re adopted, will … Continue reading

Federal securities regulator in view

Draft legislation paves way for 2015 implementation, while Ottawa works to get more provinces onside
October 30th, 2014

By next fall, if the federal government continues on its present course, the proposed Cooperative Capital Markets regulatory system will be up and running—taking the country partway to meeting the Conservative government’s eight-year-old effort to create a single national securities … Continue reading

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Views

LNG market ours to grab—for now

A big, critical, long-term economic opportunity awaits Canadian gas producers in offshore exports of liquefied natural gas. But we’ll miss the window without some immediate action and political will
By Robert Olsen
June 5th, 2014

Water everywhere and in great abundance, but not a drop to drink. It’s a haunting image—being stranded in an ocean, throat burning with thirst, and unable to harness the limitless supply of water an arm’s reach away. And it’s a … Continue reading

Where governance is going

A small suite of new rules, relationships and areas of oversight are driving most of the upheaval and change in corporate governance today. Here’s what to expect next
By Richard Leblanc
April 21st, 2014

It’s easy to get caught up in the dramatic details of board and company situations when issues and conflicts come to a boil. But the best way to learn from these events is to explore the underlying governance trends that … Continue reading

Make room, and make ready

Directors need to acknowledge the increasingly active role of shareholders and their advisers in executive compensation decision making—and then engage shareholders directly to hold sway over the agenda
By Ken Hugessen
April 21st, 2014

Today, it would be hard for a director of a mid-size or large public issuer to miss the increasing involvement of shareholders and proxy advisers (e.g. ISS and Glass Lewis) when dealing with executive and director pay and related performance … Continue reading

Taking the measure of your IR team

Though it’s tempting to do so, boards and management shouldn’t look at company share price to evaluate the performance of their IR department. There are many more accurate indicators to choose
By Chaya Cooperberg
April 21st, 2014

In many companies, the fiscal year typically kicks off with exercises in goal setting, as employees commit to objectives in hope of recognition and reward come review time. For investor relations professionals, working within the dynamic and often volatile environment … Continue reading

Traffic gridlock and the bottom line

Location selection, expansion decisions, costs to business—it all goes under the microscope when regional transportation falters. In Ontario, and across the country, 2014 could be a make-or-break year on the issue
By Robert Olsen
April 21st, 2014

Over the past 12 years, the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area population has increased by 1.2 million to about 6.5 million people and over the next 20 years it will again increase to about 8.4 million. Yet even as the … Continue reading

Considering the consequences

Board oversight of consequential analysis as part of its assessment of residual risks is critical to prioritizing risks for in-depth board oversight. Here’s an approach to consider
By John Caldwell
April 21st, 2014

In overseeing enterprise risk, an initial task in the process is to identify and log the major risks into various categories. The conventional three-stage approach is to determine the residual exposure for each risk by assessing and ranking each risk … Continue reading

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Features

The stock heard ’round the world

Shopify’s blockbuster spring IPO struck a resounding chord for the quiet revival in Canadian tech
By John Greenwood
July 25th, 2015

An initial public offering is a kind of coming-out party, the moment when the rest of the world decides if it likes your business. As a chief executive you pray that the market sees the same things in your company … Continue reading

Payback

What happens when a Canadian micro-junior with a two-person staff wins a US$100-million international arbitration award against the government of Mongolia for the unlawful seizure of its mine? It sets out to collect it, of course
By John Greenwood
May 13th, 2015

Grant Edey was getting set to trek into town from his home on the outskirts of Toronto when the e-mail landed in his inbox. It was day one of the annual Prospectors and Developers Association’s PDAC conference, the premier North … Continue reading

No director left behind

Most boards recognize that director education and development is essential and ongoing. But many still struggle with the complicated challenge of packaging and delivering useful, relevant, timely training for rookies and veterans alike
By Jim Middlemiss
May 13th, 2015

Ask Gwyn Morgan what he thinks about continuing education programs for company directors and the corporate titan has mixed feelings. On one hand, Morgan, the former CEO and president of Encana Corp. (TSX:ECA), says continuing education programs are good at … Continue reading

Mining’s last, best good news story

Profits in the mining sector? Earnings growth? They exist. Yes, Silver Wheaton has some important tests ahead—but every day is still a good day for the king of the stream
By Robert Thompson
February 27th, 2015

“Please stay tuned, we should have a very good fourth quarter.” Randy Smallwood signs off Silver Wheaton Corp.’s (TSX:SLW) most recent quarterly conference call with investment analysts from the major banks and brokerages, in mid-November, sounding eager and bullish. As … Continue reading

Ripples on the land

In a first-ever judgment last June, the Supreme Court of Canada awarded the Tsilhqot’in First Nation aboriginal title to 1,700 square kilometres of territory in the B.C. interior. What does it mean for mining and resource development in Canada?
By Kerry Banks
February 27th, 2015

The long-awaited decision came down on June 26, 2014. By a unanimous 8-0 decision, the Supreme Court of Canada granted declaration of aboriginal title to more than 1,700 square kilometres of land in British Columbia’s interior to the Tsilhqot’in (chil-ko-teen) … Continue reading

Deets from above

Exploration companies have been dropping claiming stakes from helicopters for 30 years. But it’s never been ruled ok in Ontario, until now
By Brian Banks
February 27th, 2015

Hearing lawyer Richard Butler describe it, one imagines only two things were missing in the airborne claim-staking blitz that KWG Resources Inc. (TSX-V:KWG) unleashed on unsuspecting rival Noront Resources Ltd. (TSX-V:NOT) on a potentially important Ring of Fire property the … Continue reading

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The Director's Chair

Bill Achtmeyer: Artisan of the deal

In The Director’s Chair with David W. Anderson: A conversation with Boston-based Bill Achtmeyer serves up an advanced class in M&A strategy and execution
July 26th, 2015

After decades of M&A advisory experience, first with Bain & Co., then as founder, chair and managing partner of the Parthenon Group, plus a distinguished director career, Bill Achtmeyer has an acute, board’s-eye view of M&A. Here, in conversation with … Continue reading

Paul Myners: The issue is ownership

In The Director’s Chair with David W. Anderson: As one of the UK’s most influential leaders on corporate governance, Paul Myners has a challenge for his peers: why haven’t their many reforms penetrated practice?
May 13th, 2015

Paul Myners has résumé enough for three or four successful careers. One-time publisher of The Guardian newspaper, former City Minister in the government’s finance ministry, current fund company chair and partner as well as chair of the Court and Council … Continue reading

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

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Handbook

In search of awareness

Clear thinking, better decision making, improved leadership skills, greater self-awareness—if mindfulness training helps you get there, what director or senior executive doesn’t want more of that?
By Paul Brent
July 26th, 2015

It got its start at Google, it involves meditation and it is really, really trendy. If those clues don’t immediately conjure up images of cross-legged coworkers grounding themselves in meditation and mindfulness training, don’t feel too out of touch. The … Continue reading

Whistleblower rewards, compliance risk

The Ontario Securities Commission plans to start paying whistleblowers for tips about securities violations. Even companies with strong internal systems need to recognize the change
By Ken Mark
May 13th, 2015

The deadline for comments has passed. After the Ontario Securities Commission reviews the responses to its recent Staff Consultation Paper 15-401, Proposed Framework for an OSC Whistleblower Program, the next step is that program’s formal unveiling—and with it, challenges for … Continue reading

The No. 1 boardroom issue for 2015

Activists realized board composition was a key factor in company performance some time ago. Now it’s also moving to the forefront of voting concerns for ordinary shareholders. Translation: either your board addresses it or others will
By Beverly Behan
May 13th, 2015

Shareholder activists have long found success in running slates of candidates whose expertise and backgrounds appeared stronger and more relevant than those of the incumbent board members; CP Rail is a classic example. But now, board composition is becoming a … Continue reading

The big reveal

Ottawa’s new Transparency Measures Act doesn’t just open the window on payments by miners and other resources companies to domestic and foreign governments, it puts them under lights
By Brenda Bouw
February 27th, 2015

Mining companies and other resource developers in Canada have an added priority for 2015: preparing for a new federal law expected to take effect later this year that requires them to open their books on payments made to governments around … 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

The term-limit era has begun

The new “comply or explain” regime for gender diversity on boards and in senior management that comes into effect for 2015 also requires issuers to embrace board renewal. For some, it will be a challenge—and that’s the point
By Ken Mark
December 18th, 2014

Boards and senior staff at many Canadian publicly listed companies face new paperwork and then some before their 2015 annual general meetings. That’s because as of December 31, 2014, securities regulators in nine of Canada’s 13 provinces and territories will … Continue reading

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Economy

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

Helping Europe at our expense?

The timing of Canada’s free trade deal with Europe—as euro zone economies continue to struggle—couldn’t be worse. Some Canadian companies may benefit, but the deal’s likely winners will be low-priced European competitors expanding here
By Ian McGugan
December 18th, 2014

Europe’s economic crisis is over—isn’t it? The headlines have calmed down, bond markets are tranquil, a Greek default no longer hangs over the global economy. It’s enough to make a casual observer conclude that the worst is past. Look closer, … Continue reading

Canada: the third amigo

Mexico’s surging manufacturing sector and growing economy mean its influence in NAFTA will soon supersede our own. But that doesn’t have to be a bad thing
By Ian McGugan
October 30th, 2014

Welcome, economics fans, to the 2014 version of Name that Country. Today’s clue: This nation, which shares a border with the United States, has large oil and gas reserves, is headed by a pro-business leader intent on shaking up the … Continue reading

Divided we stand

Western Canada’s place as the country’s economic engine isn’t changing anytime soon. That puts the onus on policy makers to take a new look at their priorities—for all Canadians’ sake
By Ian McGugan
August 24th, 2014

Nearly 70 years ago, a novel by Hugh MacLennan captured the struggle that then weighed on many Canadian minds. Two Solitudes told the story of a young writer torn between French and English cultures. If that quintessentially Canadian novel were … Continue reading

How strong is this castle?

King Cotton once ruled the economy of the southern U.S. Then it didn’t. The reign of oil may be no more secure
By Ian McGugan
June 5th, 2014

In the run-up to the U.S. Civil War, southern secessionists argued the slave-owning states had nothing to fear by going it alone. The Deep South produced so much of the world’s cotton—a vital commodity in the mid-19th century—that “King Cotton” … Continue reading

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Insider

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

Nickeled and primed

Insider: David Pathe
February 26th, 2015

Who David Pathe, president and CEO, Sherritt International Corp. (TSX:S), a major Canadian producer of nickel and oil with operations in Western Canada, Madagascar and, most notably, Cuba, where it has mining, energy and power interests. Involvement Pathe has been … Continue reading

A force in finance

Insider: Steve Hudson
December 16th, 2014

Who Steve Hudson, CEO and chairman of Element Financial Corp. (TSX:EFN) of Toronto, which he took public in 2011 to finance the acquisition of receivables in key verticals including commercial and vendor financing, rail, aviation and fleet management. Element has … Continue reading

A deeper bench

Insider: Mark Healy
October 30th, 2014

Who Mark Healy, president and CEO, CST Trust Co. (CST) and American Stock Transfer & Trust Co. (AST), part of the Australian-based Link Group. Involvement This spring, AST bought D.F. King & Co. Inc., of New York, one of the … Continue reading

A CEO entrance interview

Insider: Ravi Saligram
August 27th, 2014

  Who Ravi Saligram, chief executive officer and director of Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers Inc. (TSX:RBA), the world’s largest industrial auctioneer, based in Burnaby, B.C., with operations in 25 countries and 44 auction sites worldwide, and 2013 revenue of $467 million. … Continue reading

Reporting gets strategic

Insider: Paul Druckman
April 21st, 2014

Who Paul Druckman, chief executive officer of the International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC). The IIRC hit a major milestone in December with its release of the international integrated reporting framework, a roadmap for companies that want to begin integrated reporting. … Continue reading

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