Monthly Archive: January 2010

Ready for takeoff

Look at those two men, Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis, co-CEOs of Research In Motion, on the back cover of my new book. Don’t they look ready for takeoff? Well, so’s BlackBerry: The Inside Story of Research In Motion. Regular readers of this blog will see a visual change. With BlackBerry due to be published on March 2, it was time to move on from Manulife, which was published last May. In the days ahead, I’ll be talking more about BlackBerry and RIM. Meanwhile, I can tell you I’ve enjoyed working on this book during the last three years. Much...

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CAITI bar the door

I love a conspiracy theory as much as the next guy, but the one propounded over the weekend by the Canadian Association of Income Trust Investors (CAITI) is a bridge too far. I look at the group’s website from time to time and am amazed how long they’ve managed to maintain their fervor against the federal government for ending income trusts in 2006. Among the group’s dark contentions is that Ottawa killed income trusts so that the life insurance industry, including Manulife, would have a clear field to sell retirement plans. That’s quite stretch but nothing like CAITI’s recent claim...

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The sound of a soloist

Standard & Poor’s yesterday dropped its credit rating on Manulife Financial to A+ from AA-. Normally, a one notch fall like that wouldn’t matter much, but in this case, the agency had warned management in advance. S&P didn’t like a plan by Manulife CEO Donald Guloien to reorganize U.S. operations claiming that what he had in mind would reduce the company’s cash flow. Guloien went ahead anyway, thereby proving that as a leader, he’d rather be a loner than someone who just plays along. You can see that personality trait in his music. Guloien’s father and his many aunts and...

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