Governance issues to expect in 2018 – Financial Post

Jeremy Fraiberg

Dec 19, 2017

As 2017 draws to a close, journalists are examining the year ahead and the issues that are forecasted to dominate the Canadian business landscape. In an article in the Financial Post, writer Barry Critchley cites blockchain, cryptocurrencies, cannabis legislation, proxy contests, proxy access, diversity and climate changes as themes that will continue to be front and centre as issuers are pressured to set priorities beyond pure profit maximization. In the article, Critchley relies on Osler’s expertise, citing the firm’s recent Legal Year in Review 2017 to support the view that growth targets are attracting increased attention.

In particular, the author relays Osler’s finding that “the quality of a company’s growth strategy and management’s track record for achieving growth can significantly impact the success of an IPO as well as ongoing share price performance.”

For further detail on growth targets – as well as proxy access – Critchley interviews Osler partner Jeremy Fraiberg who is Co-Chair of the firm’s Mergers & Acquisitions Group. According to Jeremy, growth targets raise questions related to the duty to update and the hardness of the targets.

“It’s an interesting area. It’s loose but important. Future information is what we care about,” Jeremy says, explaining that it’s vital “to tell investors what you think without hamstringing yourself to managing quarter by quarter.”

When asked about proxy access on the other hand, Jeremy states that he doesn’t expect it to be a major theme in 2018: “I think it may be a big nothing.”

To learn more, read Barry Critchley’s full article “Governance issues to expect in 2018” in the December 19, 2017 edition of the Financial Post.