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Here are the top reads on deals and financial services over the last 24 hours,

RBC’s profit soars, but skepticism still reigns: Royal Bank of Canada reported solid profits on Wednesday for the ninth straight year, and, like clockwork, the bank’s executives were rewarded with skeptical questions from analysts about the odds of future success. Story (Tim Kiladze, for subscribers)

RBC launches online robo-adviser platform for investors: After a year-long pilot project, Royal Bank of Canada has officially opened its robo-adviser platform to all investors, making it the second major Canadian bank to build its own online portfolio manager. Story (Clare O’Hara, for subscribers)

RBC quarterly profit beats market forecasts: Royal Bank of Canada’s latest quarterly earnings beat expectations with a 15-per-cent jump in net income, helped by rising interest rates and U.S. tax reforms, to cap off a year where the lender generated a record annual profit of $12.4-billion. Story


Retail sector: Hudson’s Bay Co. activist investor Land and Buildings Investment Management LLC is attacking the Toronto-based retailer’s board again for failing to take decisive action to unlock value for shareholders. Story (for subscribers)


The Globe and Mail’s comprehensive ranking of Canada’s corporate boards: For the 17th year in a row, Report on Business has rated the work of Canada’s corporate boards using a rigorous set of governance criteria designed to go far beyond minimum mandatory rules imposed by regulators. Tables (for subscribers)

How we ranked Canada’s corporate boards: Methodology

Growing up: Cannabis firms fall short on corporate governance: After months of focusing on how to grow marijuana, publicly-traded pot producers are facing a new problem: how to grow up. One of the key next steps in the industry’s evolution from outlaw business to legal industry is to bolster corporate governance – the set of best practices in how a board manages a corporation, and the disclosures that let investors know it’s being done right. Story (David Milstead, for subscribers)

Why three of Canada’s Big Cannabis firms scored low on corporate governance rankings: Explainer

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