CIRI 2014 blasts off in Ottawa
Shareholder activism is the number one most popular and most feared topic at CIRI’s 27th annual conference, taking place this week in Ottawa. It is also the most entertaining. Capping today’s closing session on activism, New York-based hedge fund activist Eric Rosenfeld performed two rousing numbers from his repertoire of spoof songs based on Broadway tunes. As the moderator, Alex Moore from Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg, joked, you too could have Rosenfeld perform at your annual meeting if you have a languishing stock price, an evil CEO and unhappy shareholders.
Here at the Château Laurier, a stone’s throw from Canada’s Parliament Hill, 225 IROs and service providers have convened, which is a narrow but satisfactory increase over last year’s number given the ongoing challenges facing Canada’s commodities and resource sectors. CIRI is already looking ahead to next year’s edition in Banff, Alberta, May 31-June 2, 2015, as the organization’s CEO, Yvette Lokker, announced when she opened the conference.
TD Bank Group’s Rudy Sankovic and Newalta Corporation’s Anne Plasterer, the conference co-chairs, were similarly upbeat as they led off the day’s first session, with Sankovic joking happily with keynote speaker Janice Fukakusa, CFO of rival bank RBC.
A lunchtime awards presentation included: the Belle Mulligan Scholarship, awarded to Lori Rozali from Teck Resources in Vancouver; the Belle Mulligan Award for Leadership, presented to the outgoing president of CIRI Quebec, Jennifer McCaughey, head of IR at Transcontinental; and the Award for Excellence in Investor Relations, for Katherine Vyse, the recently retired IR chief from Brookfield Asset Management.
As this piece is being posted, conference attendees are space-suiting up for a dinner and dance with the theme ‘Look to the future, look to the stars’.