Financial firms among governance award winners in Montreal

Aug 17, 2015
<p>Royal Bank of Canada, ATB Financial, HSBC and First West Credit Union and others were honored a Canadian Society of Corporate Secretaries' annual awards dinner</p>

The Canadian Society of Corporate Secretaries’ 17th annual corporate governance conference opened on August 16 in Montreal with a gala dinner at which the winners of this year’s Excellence in Governance Awards/Prix d'excellence en gouvernance were announced.

Royal Bank of Canada walked away with the award for best overall corporate governance and also was honored for a second consecutive year for best use of technology in governance, risk and compliance. The award for best practices in strategic planning, oversight and value creation by the board went to ATB Financial.

Among the evening’s other honorees were Cameco and Tahoe Resources in a tie for best sustainability, ethics and environmental governance program, with Greater Toronto Airport Authority (GTAA) getting an honorable mention nod in that category. In another tie, First West Credit Union and University of Calgary shared the award for best approach to board and committee support, while Canadian Blood Services was recognized for best stakeholder engagement by a governance team. HSBC won the award for best approach to enhance boardroom diversity, with GTAA nabbing a second honorable mention in that category.

The Joyce Borden-Reed distinguished contribution award went to Glenn Keeling, executive vice president of CST Phoenix Advisors, and David Beatty, who emceed the awards, received the Peter Dey governance achievement award for his pioneering contributions to governance as an academic and as a founding managing director of the Canadian Coalition for Good Governance, as well as his service on 38 boards throughout North America.

‘Whenever there’s a governance void, David can be found to fill it,’ Peter Day, chairman of Paradigm Capital and the man for whom the governance achievement award is named, said in presenting Beatty with his award.

CSCS was once again assisted in the shortlisting process by the Canadian Corporate Counsel Association. The final award winners were selected by a jury panel that included Geoffrey D Creighton, senior vice-president, general counsel and secretary and chief compliance officer at IGM Financial, Gigi Dawe, principal, research guidance and support leader for corporate oversight and governance at Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada, Sylvia Groves, president of Governance Studio, Richard Leblanc, associate professor of law, governance and ethics at York University, Carrie Mandel, a partner in Spencer Stuart’s legal, compliance and regulatory practice, Paul Schneider, head of corporate governance for public equities for the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, and Elizabeth Watson, founder and president of Watson Inc. The judging facilitator was Brendan Sheehan, managing director for corporate governance at Ravel Research Group, and Peter Dey served as an honorary judge.

The CSCS conference is scheduled to run from April 16 to 19.

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