Publications 

14 February 2019

Why Quebec sees SNC-Lavalin as an asset, not a liability

In Ottawa, there appears to be little sympathy these days for SNC-Lavalin, the giant engineering corporation facing prosecution for bribery schemes in Libya. The company was hoping to strike a deal with federal prosecutors in order to avoid a trial. If guilty, it would be cut off from lucrative Canadian government contracts for a decade. […]

14 February 2019

‘It’s sad’ no one asked questions while SNC profits soared: Ex-Caisse exec

The long series of scandals ensnaring SNC-Lavalin Group Inc.  has one former executive of the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec calling for more accountability when it comes to corporate bribes for global contracts. Michel Nadeau, a former deputy chief executive of Caisse – the largest shareholder in SNC – told BNN Bloomberg on […]

4 February 2019

IGOPP defends dual-class share structures

Dual-class share structures have drawn the ire of some investors, citing concerns with shareholder rights. For more on this and why he thinks there’s a place for dual-class shares, BNN Bloomberg spoke with Yvan Allaire, executive chair at the Institute for Governance of Private and Public Organizations. To view the interview, please click here

23 January 2019

Myth of ‘superstar CEO’ driving excessive pay: Report

When it comes to compensation, the myth of the “superstar CEO” continues to drive excessive pay, as companies are desperate to attract and retain top talent — even if it doesn’t always lead to improved corporate perform23ance and they have other options. That’s according to a report out of the United Kingdom that delved into […]

18 January 2019

The Case for Dual-Class of Shares

The debate over whether dual class of shares increases or decreases share value, should be prohibited or not, should be subjected to mandatory sunset provisions, and so on has been heating up over the last few years. This paper reviews the pros and cons of dual class of shares in light of more recent empirical […]

18 January 2019

Dual Class Companies Should Adopt a Coattail Provision

I would like to make two points in response to Professor Coffee’s piece on dual class common stock. First, American dual class companies should be obliged to include a “coattail” provision, as is the case in Canada. This provision, imposed since 1987 by the Toronto Stock Exchange, ensures the controlling shareholder cannot sell control without all shareholders […]

4 January 2019

Brief review of empirical studies on the economic performance of dual-class companies: 2007 to 2018

20 August 2018

Activist Hedge Funds Aren’t Good for Companies or Investors, So Why Do They Exist?

Activist hedge funds have become capital market and financial media darlings. The Economist famously called them “capitalism’s unlikely heroes” in a cover story, and the FT published an article saying we “should welcome” them. But they are utterly reviled by CEOs. And at best, their performance is ambiguous. The most comprehensive study of activist hedge fund performance that I have read […]

8 August 2018

Are Independent Board Members Necessarily Credible?

By the late 2000s, independent directors were in the majority on the boards of almost every type of U.S. organization. While this achievement may have improved corporate governance, it was not the panacea that some had anticipated, as subsequent events like the financial crisis of 2008 brought down even some of the best governed corporations. […]

1 August 2018

Dual-class shares: the good, the bad and the ugly

[ … ] Following an examination of Canadian industrial companies, Allaire (2016) suggested that financial performances of these Canadian DCS companies would outperform the peers over 5-, 10-, and 15-year periods (see Exhibit 1). Allaire considered that the superior financial performance would help these firms maintain their headquarters in Canada and argued that such share structures […]