Monthly Archive: November 2010

In today walks tomorrow

Everyone of a certain age can tell you exactly where they were when they heard that John F. Kennedy had been shot. I can also tell you where I was on October 23, 2000 when I heard that Mike Lazaridis had donated $100 million to launch the Perimeter Institute. Not only was it the largest philanthropic donation ever made in Canada, the money was given in mid-career, a time when most people are still clambering for the top. As if that weren’t unusual enough, his name isn’t emblazoned on the edifice like some of those deathbed donors who desire a...

Read More ....

From Dom to Don

How’s my old friend Manulife doing 18 months after Donald Guloien replaced Dominic D’Alessandro as CEO? The first thing to say is that Guloien finally seems to be coming into his own. Share price has firmed up at $15, the annual investors day last week when analysts hear from senior officers went well, and the problem of hedging variable annuities seems solved – as long as equity markets don’t go into the toilet again. Manulife badly needs this newfound stability. Share price tumbled from $40 two years years ago to $9, rose briefly to $26, fell again to $12 and now...

Read More ....

Hats off to Larry

Now that Industry Minister Tony Clement has said no to the sale of Potash Corp. and BHP Billiton has withdrawn its offer, nationalists like myself should feel happy, but I don’t. Rather than a hollowing-out where a head office was moved, what we have here is a hollow victory. It feels like your team won because the other side scored in its own net during the dying seconds of the game. Don’t get me wrong, this is the right outcome, but the wrong way to get there. Canada has the most open policy in the developed world when it comes...

Read More ....

Looking for Mr. Wright

The lateral arabesque by Jim Prentice from government to business augurs well for both worlds. The former minister of the environment will be able to guide CIBC in the ways of government and public policy without having to lobby or get anyone’s knickers in a knot over conflicts of interest, perceived or otherwise. Prentice joins a short, but distinguished, list of senior officials and politicians who have recently made a similar leap to the private sector. Others include Frank McKenna, Kevin Lynch and David Dodge. Fewer are the wandbearers who leave business for public service. Bank of Canada Governor Mark...

Read More ....

Same old song

Don’t they read their own paper at The Globe and Mail? Hard on the heels of the speculative October 13 story on a possible acquisition of Research In Motion, columnist Barrie McKenna revisits the same topic again this morning. I wish I could tell you he had something new to say although he did try to clothe the old idea in the context of the takeover offer for Potash Corp. McKenna writes about how RIM is widely held, has a global brand, and makes a case for Ottawa to protect the Waterloo-based company. Yada, yada, yada. After declaring that Ottawa...

Read More ....