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Streetwise

News and analysis on Bay Street and the world of finance
available exclusively to subscribers of Globe Unlimited

Entry archive:

Toronto hedge fund stung by Calpers withdrawal

BOYD ERMAN

Toronto asset manager Breton Hill Capital will be sideswiped as the California Public Employees Retirement System, the giant pension fund, pulls back from hedge funds, but Breton Hill has grown well beyond the original seed money it got from Calpers.

Calpers was an early investor in Breton Hill, seeding the fund with $100-million. Now, Calpers has decided it is getting out of hedge fund investing, and Breton Hill is part of the program that will be affected.

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CIBC’s new CEO unveils first pages of his playbook

TIM KILADZE

He’s heard the calls for more clarity on Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce’s strategy, and newly minted chief executive Victor Dodig is ready to deliver.

At an investor conference in Montreal, Mr. Dodig, who took over Monday, stressed that expanding in wealth management remains his focus – particularly in the U.S. He is also determined to deepen CIBC’s relationships with existing customers, which likely means the bank will aggressively market products such as mortgages and chequing accounts to those who may only have one relationship with the bank, like a credit card.

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Tim Hortons faced real risk of hostile bid from Burger King

Boyd Erman

The board of Tim Hortons Inc. squeezed more money and more concessions out of Burger King Worldwide Inc. after deftly defusing what was evidently a real risk that Burger King would try a hostile bid as negotiations dragged on during the summer.

The chain of events revealed in the takeover circular filed yesterday shows that there was a point where Burger King was clearly in a position to try a hostile bid after Tim Hortons rebuffed the U.S. burger chain twice.

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Why investors are cheering for new takeover rules

ADRIAN MYERS

For years, Canada’s securities regulators claimed to regulate takeover bids in the interests of target shareholders. But only now, with the Canadian Securtities Administrators’ new enforcement policy proposal, have they given shareholders, not boards, the free ability to “just say no” to a hostile bid.

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West Face general counsel jumps to merchant bank

BOYD ERMAN

West Face Capital, one of Canada’s biggest and most active hedge funds, has lost one of its key dealmakers.

General counsel Alex Singh has moved from West Face to Acasta Capital, a merchant bank founded by former Onex Corp. executive Anthony Melman.

At Acasta, Mr. Singh will be director and general counsel. He will be working on fund formation, co-investment deals and transaction structuring, Mr. Melman said in announcing Mr. Singh’s move to his firm.

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Former Barrick CEO Sokalsky to head junior explorer

RACHELLE YOUNGLAI

Barrick Gold Corp.’s former chief executive Jamie Sokalsky will take the reins of a junior explorer in October.

The announcement comes one day after Mr. Sokalsky stepped down as CEO of Barrick, after working at the world’s biggest gold producer for two decades.

Mr. Sokalsky, who leaves after Barrick’s new chairman eliminated the CEO position, will become non-executive chair of Probe Mines Ltd. at the end of October.

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Prickly Nesbitt leaves CIBC with a reputation for results

BOYD ERMAN

One of Bay Street’s more polarizing executives is leaving the world of finance, as Richard Nesbitt steps down as the No. 2 executive at Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce.

Mr. Nesbitt’s next role hasn’t been publicly announced, but it’s not expected to be an executive position at another big company. After a decade in which he ran the corporate owner of the Toronto Stock Exchange, and headed up the securities firm owned by Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, as well as overseeing strategy and operations for the bank as a whole, the intense Mr. Nesbitt is likely to dial the pace back a bit.

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Barrick hires top Davies lawyer to help with strategy

RACHELLE YOUNGLAI

Barrick Gold Corp. has hired one of Canada’s top lawyers to help with its strategy, the gold company’s latest move in a shakeup under new chairman John Thornton.

Kevin Thomson, who has advised Barrick for nearly two decades, will serve as the company’s “senior executive vice-president of strategic matters” starting Oct. 14.

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How to score a big Bay Street job during recruiting season

TIM KILADZE

To all the broke business students now hunting for jobs: Congrats! You’ve practically won the lottery.

September is the height of recruiting season, and you’re probably all looking – actually, begging – for a full-time job. For those of you trying to get something in capital markets, accounting, consulting or corporate law, consider yourselves uber lucky, because the boom times are back on Bay Street. So many of your predecessor classes endured the recruiting process when jobs were tough to come by.

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Laurentian Bank plots expansion in commercial banking

JACQUELINE NELSON

Laurentian Bank of Canada plans to expand its commercial lending business across the country in coming years, drilling down on industries where it can compete with larger lenders.

The Montreal-based bank is targeting small to mid-sized businesses, and aims to double its 2 per cent market share of the country’s $350-billion commercial banking business in the next four years, said Stéphane Therrien, executive vice president of business services at Laurentian.

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With new takeover rules, arbitrageurs say ‘game on’

BOYD ERMAN

Merger arbitrageurs liked Canada before new rules to slow down hostile takeovers, and early reaction suggests they like it just as much after the proposals for the rules are in place.

On Thursday, the umbrella group for the country's 13 provincial and territorial regulators said the plan is to create new rules that will about double the length of time available for a target board to find an alternative to a hostile bid.

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Insurers target Asia pensions, but they won’t come cheap

JACQUELINE NELSON

Canada’s largest life insurers have amassed enough excess capital to make some acquisitions, but the price has to be just right.

That’s a factor at play now as European insurance giant AXA SA reportedly looks to part ways with its Hong Kong pension business, and two Canadian insurers have been named among possible bidders for the asset.

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How many groats for that haggis?

Every day ROB Insight delivers exclusive analysis on breaking business news and market-moving events. Streetwise offers news and analysis on Bay Street and the world of finance. Inside the Market delivers up-to-the-minute insights on market news as it develops.

Here are our editors’ picks of some of the best reads available to Globe Unlimited subscribers this week.

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Anglo American to sell two Chilean copper mines

RACHELLE YOUNGLAI

Anglo American Plc will soon formally put two of its copper mines in Chile up for sale, according to people familiar with the matter.

The London-based mining giant plans to divest the Mantoverde and Mantos Blancos mines, the sources said.

The sale is part of Anglo chief executive Mark Cutifani’s strategy to streamline operations, and rid the miner of underperforming assets.

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Painted Pony hires Scotia Capital analyst for investor relations

JEFFREY JONES

Painted Pony Petroleum Ltd., a growing player in the British Columbia Montney formation, has reached into the sell-side research field to fill a senior investor relations position.

Painted Pony has hired Mark Polak, long-time exploration and production analyst at Scotia Capital Inc., for the role, according to a well-placed source.

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Canadian regulators seek to give targets more time in hostile takeovers

BOYD ERMAN

It’s no longer going to be as easy for hostile bidders to snap up Canadian companies before the targets have time to find another option.

Securities regulators are set to make an important and long-sought-after change to the rules on takeovers that will give Canadian companies and their shareholders a much better negotiating position when an unwanted acquirer shows up.

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OSC settlements with no mea culpas are here to stay

JANET McFARLAND

The Ontario Securities Commission’s new settlement agreement with Livent Inc. founder Myron Gottlieb is destined to become a road map for Bay Street lawyers representing stubborn business executives who don’t want to admit to wrongdoing in any settlement agreement with the regulator.

Mr. Gottlieb admits to no specific wrongdoing at Livent in Tuesday’s agreement, allowing him to settle his case while continue to insist he did not direct an accounting fraud at the live theatre company – despite being criminally convicted and sentenced to four years in jail. Mr. Gottlieb has steadfastly refused to make any public admissions about knowingly participating in the fraud, even to a Parole Board of Canada panel pondering his release from jail.

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Filling the gaps in Nortel creditors’ rights

ADRIAN MYERS

When you line up to buy your iPhone 6 in a few weeks you would like to think that you know what you’re buying. You will see the phone, turn on the phone, and be almost entirely certain that you have indeed bought a tiny computer that you can use to communicate with friends and family.

Bonds are not like this. Sure, you know the principal amount of the bond and the interest it pays, and yeah, you can read the indenture, but even after all of that, even if you know what the gaps and the questions in the indenture are, you can’t know the answers to those questions until a court answers them first.

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Technological advances take insurers into new territory

JACQUELINE NELSON

Marine accidents, destructive fires and plane crashes were the most costly disasters for global businesses in the last few years, new research shows, and insurance claims from these risks and others are poised to grow. as changes in technology, demographics and the economy reshape the industry.

A new global report from global insurer Allianz SE looked at the insurance claims over €100,000 ($141,268) that the company has been involved in from 2009 to 2013 to analyze the sources of major business risk. The research spanned nearly 150 countries and included 11,427 claims from six sectors likely to see large-scale devastation including aviation, energy and property and engineering.

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Kinross Gold in talks to sell Ecuador project to Lundin family

RACHELLE YOUNGLAI

Kinross Gold Corp. is in talks to sell its mothballed gold project in Ecuador in a move that could see the Lundin family develop the deposit, according to people familiar with the matter.

For about a year, Kinross has been trying to exit Ecuador and divest the Fruta del Norte after clashing with the local government on the economic terms of the project.

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Son starting hedge fund sparked Dundee shuffle: Goodman

BOYD ERMAN

The big changes at the top of Dundee Corp.’s securities business stemmed from departing head Jonathan Goodman’s desire to run his own hedge fund, which spurred a “house-cleaning” at the top of the firm.

That’s according to Ned Goodman, the founder of Dundee.

Dundee has long been a big player in Canadian finance. It has owned a bank, as well as one of the largest wealth management companies in the country. It is dominated by its founding family. Mr. Goodman is chairman and owns a controlling stake. His son David is chief executive officer, having been installed in that post this summer. And until last week, his son Jonathan was a board member and chief executive officer of subsidiary Dundee Capital Markets.

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Dundee names a new capital markets head

BOYD ERMAN

The mystery of who would run Dundee Corp.’s securities business after the abrupt departure last week of Jonathan Goodman is over, with the company naming Mark Attanasio to the role of president of capital markets.

Dundee announced Sept. 4 that founder Ned Goodman’s son Jonathan Goodman was out. He had been chief executive officer of Dundee Capital Markets. The company also parted ways with Marc Lustig, who had been head of capital markets.

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Credit Suisse sticks a toe in Canadian private banking

JACQUELINE NELSON

Credit Suisse Group AG has begun to roll out a Canadian-based offering of investment advisory and other financial and estate planning services to the country’s wealthiest business people, targeting individuals with more than $25-million in assets.

The move is an extension of Credit Suisse’s global strategy, said Richard Jaffé, head of private banking for North America.

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Is Encana building a war chest for a big deal?

JEFFREY JONES

Encana Corp.’s surprise move to jettison the remainder of its interest in PrairieSky Royalty Ltd. a scant three months after the income-producing spinoff company’s IPO, is raising speculation it may have a big acquisition in its sights.

Encana will pocket $2.6-billion from a secondary offering of PrairieSky shares, announced on Monday, lifting total proceeds from its spinoff of the company to $4.3-billion. At a bought-deal price of $36.50 a share, that’s a cool 30-per-cent uplift from the initial public offering in early June.

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Who? IIROC's new head seen as an outsider among brokerages

BOYD ERMAN

The new head of the investment industry’s main self-regulator is up against two troubling issues: Some people don’t know who he is, and others don’t seem to care.

When Andrew Kriegler was announced last week as the new head of the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC), a senior executive at one brokerage reacted by saying, “Who?”

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Agnico Eagle to buy Cayden for its gold properties in Mexico

RACHELLE YOUNGLAI

Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd. said on Monday that it would pay $205-million to buy Cayden Resources Inc. for its gold properties in Mexico, where the Canadian miner already operates.

If successful, this will be the second acquisition for Agnico this year. In April, the Toronto-based company teamed up with another Canadian gold miner to buy the large Canadian Malartic mine in Quebec.

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Wanted: Women for Canada’s capital markets

JACQUELINE NELSON

The effort to convince more women to rejoin Bay Street’s capital markets teams after taking mid-career breaks is gathering momentum.

Another bank has joined effort to help a larger group of women wade back into careers in the field if they have taken maternity leave or other time off. Toronto-based industry group Women in Capital Markets (WCM), which co-ordinates the award and internship program called Return to Bay Street, says their efforts are attracting the attention of more financial institutions seeking female executives.

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Seven Generations splits stock in preparation for IPO

JEFFREY JONES

Seven Generations Energy Ltd. is closing in on an initial public offering that by some estimates could be worth up to $1-billion, but its chairman said the board is still working to finalize the terms of the much-anticipated issue.

The company’s shareholders approved a two-for-one split of its privately-held stock at a meeting in Calgary on Monday, a move aimed at making the price of the shares more attractive for average investors when a deal is launched.

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Mobilicity suit is a grim reminder of fourth carrier woes

CHRISTINE DOBBY

Prospective investors in a recapitalized fourth wireless player are undoubtedly taking note of the $1.2-billion lawsuit launched by Mobilicity’s original backers against the federal government, over claims it broke promises made more than five years ago.

Analysts say the move could serve as yet another roadblock to new players considering putting money into a venture that could include Wind Mobile and even Quebecor Inc.’s participation.

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Global M&A up 59 per cent over last year

JACQUELINE NELSON

The last days of summer have waned, but the global deal market is still hot.

Worldwide mergers and acquisitions hit $2.4-trillion (U.S.) as of Sept. 4, up 59 per cent from this time last year, according to figures from Thompson Reuters. That’s nearly 25,000 deals done so far in 2014.

Looking back at the scorecard from this time last year, the number of deals announced wasn’t far off, with more than 23,000 public globally, but those deals were only worth $1.7-trillion. This just goes to show how the trend towards larger corporate deals – especially those over $5-billion – have boosted the figures this year.

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Boyd Erman

Boyd Erman is a long-time business journalist who has worked at Dow Jones, Bloomberg, and the National Post before joining the Globe and Mail.

Follow Boyd on Twitter @boyderman

Tim Kiladze

Tim Kiladze is a business reporter with The Globe and Mail. Before crossing over to journalism, he worked in equity capital markets at National Bank Financial

Follow Tim on Twitter @timkiladze

Tara Perkins

Tara Perkins has been a business reporter since 2004, following a brief stint as overnight editor of globeandmail.com. She has been writing for the Globe's business section since the spring of 2007

Follow Tara on Twitter @taraperkins

Jacqueline Nelson

Jacqueline Nelson is a financial services reporter at the Report on Business.

Follow Jacqueline on Twitter @j2nelson

Grant Robertson

Grant Robertson is an award-winning journalist who has been recognized for investigative journalism, business reporting and profile writing. He joined the Globe and Mail in 2005, from the Calgary Herald.

Jeff Gray

Jeff Gray covers legal affairs for The Report on Business. A former reporter and columnist at Toronto’s city hall, he has also worked for the BBC and reported for The Globe from London.

Follow Jeff on Twitter @jeffreybgray

Jeffrey Jones

Jeffrey Jones is a veteran journalist specializing in energy, finance and environment for The Globe and Mail’s Report on Business, based in Calgary.

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Janet McFarland

Janet specializes in reporting on corporate governance, compensation and securities industry regulation, and oversees the Globe's annual Board Games review of corporate governance practices of Canada's largest companies.

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Jacquie McNish

Jacquie McNish is a Senior Writer with the Globe and Mail and regular host on BNN, Canada's business news network.

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Joanna Slater

Joanna Slater is the Globe's New York Bureau Chief. Prior to joining the Globe in 2010, she worked for The Wall Street Journal, where her assignments included reporting on the financial crisis out of New York and covering South Asian business and politics from Mumbai.

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