Topic Results: Shareholders

January 18, 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 […]

January 4, 2019

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

December 19, 2018

The Case for Dual-Class of Shares

There are now 69 dual-class companies listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange, down from 100 in 2005. Only 23 Canadian companies went public since 2005 with a dual-class of shares while 16 of the 100 have since converted to a single-class and another 38 have disappeared since 2006 for other reasons (acquisitions, mergers, bankruptcies and […]

April 30, 2018

The Long-Term Survival of Family Business

Introduction The Clarkson Centre for Board Effectiveness (CCBE) at the Rotman School of Management has a mission to study corporate governance and provide practical insights for companies about what good governance means. For more than a decade, we, like many of our peers, embraced the widely-held and publicly-listed model as the paradigm of good governance. […]

April 5, 2018

It’s hunting season, as activists and regulators open fire on Canada’s businesses

The corporate hunting season is officially underway, an annual ritual during which shareholder parties, armed with proxies and other weapons of democratic destruction, set out to bag executives and directors for failing to deliver. The list of potential corporate failings is all encompassing. Anything and everything is a target, from executive compensation to diversity policies […]

March 9, 2018

Sharing the spoils of legalized cannabis

Statistics Canada estimates that, in 2017, “4.9 million Canadians aged 15 to 64 spent an estimated $5.7 billion on cannabis for medical (10% of the market) and non-medical (90% of the market) purposes. This was equivalent to around $1,200 per cannabis consumer.” Private companies, several of them listed on the stock exchange and already supplying […]

December 7, 2017

How a proposed new ‘right’ for shareholders could badly damage corporate boards

There is a frenzied rush to get/give a new ‘right” to shareholders, the right to put up their own nominees for board membership. Boards of directors, so goes a dominant opinion, are not to be fully trusted to pick the right kind of people as directors or to shift the membership swiftly as circumstances change, […]

September 27, 2017

‘Fat cats’ in Peters’ sights

Winston Peters’ swingeing attack on Fonterra boss Theo Spierings’ $8.3 million pay packet could be the first real salvo in his self-advertised campaign to ‘clean up corporate New Zealand’. There was little attention given to Peters’ campaign against alleged business “fat cats” while he was slugging it out on the election trail. But given the […]

August 17, 2017

Trump-era shift: CEOs find a voice for moral outrage

Corporate America started the year ready to engage with a controversial but business-minded president. This week CEOs have risen in chorus to denounce Trump’s lackluster response to racism. Not since the 1930s, when prominent business heads publicly broke with Franklin Roosevelt, has a US president seen such a revolt by leading business executives. [ … […]

June 12, 2017

On becoming an «activist board»… In the age of activist shareholders

After some 15 years of tweaking and polishing the theory and practice of “good” governance, perfectly independent board members remain surprise-prone, estranged from the goings-on in the company, partially informed and lacking the wherewithal to challenge management. No doubt that the legitimacy and credibility of boards have suffered as a result. In the current age, […]

September 13, 2016

Making Say-on-Pay Vote Binding: A Good Idea?

The practice of a non-binding say-on-pay vote by shareholders spread quickly and broadly. It seemed that, finally, shareholders would be given the opportunity to express their dissatisfaction with outrageous or ill-conceived compensation packages. The practice, at first, was voluntary with companies agreeing to submit their compensation policies to a vote. Then, as the number of […]

May 13, 2016

The case for dual class of shares

With the Bombardier saga and the Couche-Tard warning bell, the usual litany of arguments against dual class of shares was again dusted off. Commentators opposed to this capital structure seem to forget or overlook the inconvenient truth that many of Canada’s industrial champions are controlled corporations often through a dual class of shares. That is […]

December 28, 2015

Who should pick corporate directors?

“Yvan Allaire and François Dauphin cogently analyze the costs and risks of proxy access, arguing that “Anyone believing that this process is likely to produce stronger boards in the long run needs to consider anew the calculus of current and prospective board members, the actions, likely dysfunctional, of people facing the humiliation (and economic loss) […]

October 21, 2015

Who should pick board members?

Proxy access by shareholders raises numerous issues and potential adverse effects on governance The traditional view of corporate governance, anchored in law and customs, grants to the board of directors, once elected by shareholders, the responsibility of making all decisions in the interest of the corporation. That responsibility and accountability include, inter alia, appointing senior […]

August 28, 2015

To Govern in the Interest of the Corporation

In Canadian business law, directors have a duty to act in the best interest of the corporation, which includes the duty to assess, fairly and equitably, the impact of the corporation’s actions and decisions on its stakeholders. But which of the stakeholders’ expectations should be taken into account? How should a board arbitrate between the […]

July 1, 2015

Capturing long-term investors the Toyota way

In the on-going quest for innovative capital structures, Toyota has recently provided an interesting twist and tied in knots a number of institutional investors. Toyota believes that developing the next generation technologies will require massive investments over many years. It also believes that the current state of investment practices, the prevalence of roaming funds and […]