Monthly Archive: April 2009

Fair and faithful

As my new book heads for bookstore shelves across Canada, I’m happy to report that the subject likes the work. “I think it reads like a good story. You were fair to everybody,” Manulife CEO Dominic D’Alessandro told me by phone after reading the book. “Events were faithfully described.” As an author, you want to get things right, particularly when writing about business, where misinformation can send stock prices plummeting and poor research can destroy professional reputations. When I dropped off an early copy of the book last week, D’Alessandro was his usual effervescent self during our twenty-minute conversation. Topics...

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Good luck or good management?

Welcome to my refreshed site, featuring my new book on Manulife. Yesterday’s excellent cover story in the ROB Magazine on Julie Dickson, head of the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) poked fun at Ms. Dickson’s role versus her profile. The story, Nobody’s Saviour, also featured some detail on what writer Tara Perkins called the “lifeline” Dickson threw to Manulife last fall. Indeed, OSFI did relax the capital rules a bit, thereby giving Manulife a $2.3 billion boost, but the response was nowhere near what Manulife CEO Dominic D’Alessandro sought. Nor was the relief anything like Dickson could...

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The fantasy continues

While we were in Florence I also canvassed book stores to see if they would be interested in selling Fantasy in Florence. I took with me a small number of sample copies and contacted three bookstores. After several meetings in each instance, I found that all three stores (BM Bookshop, Anglo-American and Edison) were keen to carry the book. The first two are English-language stores, the third is an Italian language store in Piazza della Repubblica with a large English-language section. If I’d had 75-100 books with me, I could have distributed all of them immediately because each store was...

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Celebrating serendipity

We’ve just returned from ten days in Florence where each day was better than the last. We visited all of our favourite haunts: Donatello’s David at the Bargello, Mary Magdalene at the Museo dell Opera, Gozzoli’s frescoes, the Central Market, Gilli for prosecco and cappuccino, the list goes on and on. We went for lunch at Il Cavaliere, a fourteenth-century castle thirty minutes south of Florence near Mercatale. The castle has been converted into a grand hotel with views of vineyards, olive groves and newly awakening wisteria vines tumbling over stone walls. We watched the Easter Sunday exploding cart ceremony...

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