IR Leader
October 07, 2014
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Top Stories

How To Improve Board Diversity Without Resorting To Quotas and 'Tokenism'

The boards of directors of Canadian corporations, charged with overseeing the activities of a business, are not representative of the general population. Women make up slightly more than 50% of the population, and also of the workforce, and yet are only 11% of directors of major publicly traded companies. This proportion has remained stagnant for the past decade, even as other countries make rapid progress in increasing the presence of women at the top of the corporate world. It is a business problem, as well as an equity problem, according to Beata Caranci, deputy chief economist for TD Bank and the author of a study on women on Canadian boards.

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Corporate Disclosure on Social Media: Don't Get Poked by Regulators

Social media can provide reporting issuers with a fast and efficient means for communicating with shareholders and is an increasingly popular means of disseminating information. Such channels are, of course, subject to the same rules as other corporate disclosure, although applying those rules to social media requires some careful consideration given the limited "sound bite" nature of a post and potential for increased risk of selective disclosure.

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A Changing Climate for Proxy Advisory Firms: Developments in the US and Canada

The role of proxy advisory firms in the marketplace has been a focal point on both sides of the border as recent guidance by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) highlights the powerful influence of proxy advisory firms and need for increased accountability and transparency.

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SEC Group to Mull Recommendations on Shareholder Vote Disclosure Impartiality

The Securities and Exchange Commission's Investor Advisory Committee Oct. 9 will vote on a subcommittee's recommendations to help ensure that preliminary votes from shareholder meetings are disclosed in an impartial manner.

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Strategic Plan - Fiscal Years 2014-2018

This document presents the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission's Strategic Plan prepared in accordance with the Government Performance and Results Act Modernization Act of 2010. The plan sets out the Commission's mission, vision, values, and strategic goals for fiscal years 2014 through 2018. Furthermore, it discusses the SEC's environment, details the strategic objectives the Commission seeks to achieve, presents the strategies and initiatives that will be undertaken to accomplish those objectives, and lists the performance goals that will be used to gauge the agency's progress.

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Shareholder Activism Goes Mainstream - After the Pershing Square Holdings IPO, Shareholder Activism Should Be On Every Corporation's Radar

Shareholder activists are increasingly influential in Canada's M&A landscape, but expect that trend to intensify with a proposal to list Pershing Square Holdings on the Euronext Amsterdam stock exchange. The listing is expected to complete Bill Ackman's capitalization of the new $5 billion fund associated with Pershing Square Capital Management. The listing, which is likely to be complete by mid-October, will provide Mr. Ackman with the stable pool of capital he has long believed his investment strategy would benefit from.

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Canadian Securities Administrators Issue Proposed Changes to the Takeover Regime

changes to the takeover regime. The proposals represent a change in methodology from the approaches presented by the CSA in March, 2013, which addressed the permissible use of "poison pills" (shareholder rights plans) in response to hostile takeovers.

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Companies With Women On The Board Crush Companies That Are Only Men

Companies that have female directors out perform those that only have men.

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More Companies Monitoring Social Media for Adverse PR

The proportion of corporate directors who say their companies are monitoring social media for "adverse publicity" (a gentle euphemism) has increased from 32% in 2012 to 41% today, according to the latest Corporate Directors Survey from PricewaterhouseCoopers.

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Crowdfunding: A Canadian Update

A Canadian company, Vrvana, Inc. is seeking $350,000 through Kickstarter, to finance its development of a virtual reality headset marketed as the Totem. Vrvana has elected to pursue a reward-based crowdfunding model. For example, minimal donations of $15 come with a newsletter subscription and event invitations. The top end contribution of $8,000 will net a Totem VR headset and a dinner date with the team of engineers.

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