Shareholder Activism on the rise: What Boards need to know

January 26, 2022

Hear it from the experts Ian Robertson, Dawn Farrell and Robert Richardson on the topic of Shareholder Activism moderated by Sippy Chhina. Our panelists will share their experience on the best practices to consider for preparations, strategic considerations and response.

Our Fireside Chat Features:

Ian Robertson

Chief Executive Officer of Kingsdale Advisors

Dawn Farrell

Former President and CEO of TransAlta

Robert Richardson

Partner, McCarthy Tétrault
Business Law
Specialization in M&A, Corporate Governance matters and Crisis remediation

Moderated by:

Sippy Chhina

Partner, Deloitte
Board Director, Board Ready Women

We are so excited to invite you to join our next Board Ready Women event on January 26th, 2022 from 4 to 6 pm, MST.

We are thrilled to be hosting yet another excellent topic with an impressive set of panelists moderated by Sippy Chhina, Director, Board Ready Women. The three highly experienced Board advisors and leaders, Ian Robertson, Dawn Farrell and Robert Richardson will discuss the topic of Shareholder Activism. Our panelists will share their insights, knowledge and experience on the current landscape, risks to manage, Board’s role, signs to watch for, strategic considerations and best practices.


(Member Content)

Post-event Notes

A big thank you to our fantastic panelists for sharing their experiences, their insights, and most importantly, for sharing their precious time. It was an excellent in-depth and practical discussion, with lots of nuggets of wisdom that only come from real-life experience. Thank you to all of you who attended for your comments and questions! We appreciate everyone’s participation!

Some Of Your Comments:​

  • I greatly appreciate the valuable information and networking opportunity that BRW and our sponsors continue to provide. It is invaluable for those of us looking to expand our networks, and advance our careers and board involvement.
  • I liked hearing from the panelists and their experiences. The variety of backgrounds was great (i.e. company, comms advisor, legal side) – different views of activism.
  • I liked Dawn Farrell’s shrewd, open, self-deprecating and intelligent leadership. Inspiring and A-list!
  • This event was excellent!
  • Thank you for delivering excellent content, speakers and of course the perfect moderator (Sippy!)
  • Excellent speakers and a great topic. Thank you!

Speakers' Bios:

Ian Robertson,

Chief Executive Officer, Kingsdale Advisors

Ian is Chief Executive Officer of Kingsdale Advisors and is responsible for the overall leadership and direction of the company’s strategic shareholder and governance advisory solutions. He joined Kingsdale in 2014, and after establishing the company’s communications division as the leading proxy fight PR specialist, Ian assumed the role of President, Canada in 2019, with a focus on providing superior service and outstanding strategic advice to public company boards and management, especially in times of adversity. He regularly advises senior leaders from the worlds of business, finance, government, and other global sectors on how to respond to unique and unforeseen challenges, while strategically positioning them to emerge stronger.

Ian’s select transaction and special situation experience at Kingsdale includes acting for: Tim Hortons in its $12.5 billion plan of arrangement with Burger King Worldwide Inc.; Canadian Oil Sands in its defence against a hostile bid from Suncor; Oxford Park in its campaign at Extendicare; CanniMed Therapeutics in its defence against Aurora Cannabis, the first hostile bid in the cannabis sector; PointNorth in its action against Liquor Stores; Detour Gold in its defence against Paulson & Co.; Methanex Corporation in its defence against M&G Investments; both Canopy Growth Corp. and Acreage Holdings Inc. in the first large-scale cross-border cannabis M&A deal; and Inter Pipeline in its defence against Brookfield Infrastructure Partners. He is regularly quoted by national and international financial media, has appeared on BNN-Bloomberg, and is a regular contributor to The Globe and Mail.

Ian was named one of M&A Advisor’s Top 40 Under 40 Emerging Leaders, the only Canadian in his award category on the list of U.S. award winners, recognizing his expertise in communication strategy and crisis management. Prior to joining Kingsdale, Ian spent over a decade in politics having served as a Chief of Staff and Campaign Manager for a major political party.

He has extensive experience managing controversial issues and high-profile negotiations and navigating complex, highly regulated stakeholder and legal environments, including working for an international development agency with operations in Africa, Asia, and South America and developing crisis response strategies for the Ontario Government during the 2003 North American blackout and SARS emergency. Ian holds an Honours B.A. from the University of Western Ontario.

Robert Richardson,

Partner in the Business Group, McCarthy Tétrault,
Specializing in M&A, Corporate Governance Matters and Crisis Remediation

Mr. Richardson is a partner in the Business Law group at McCarthy Tétrault, with a practice focused on M&A, corporate governance matters, and crisis remediation. He acts for public companies, private equity investors, special committees, and financial advisors in connection with a broad range of matters, including contested and distressed transactions.

Prior to rejoining McCarthy Tétrault in 2018, Mr. Richardson was the Senior Vice President and General Counsel (Canada) at Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, where he led a diverse team of more than a hundred legal professionals in Canada, the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, Singapore, New York and Barbados and was on the board of directors of CIBC World Markets Inc. and CIBC World Markets plc, CIBC’s principal investment banking subsidiaries.

Mr. Richardson also served for a year as special counsel at the Ontario Securities Commission in 1997, while on loan from the firm. He is a graduate of Trent University (BA) and Osgoode Hall Law School (LL.B and LL.M), served over 12 years as an Armour officer with the Canadian Army and Primary Reserve and is an adjunct professor of Corporate Finance at Western University’s Faculty of Law and Osgoode Hall Law School.

Dawn Farrell,

Former President and Chief Executive Officer, TransAlta

Dawn Farrell was appointed Chancellor of Mount Royal University in July 2020 and was formally installed during convocation in November 2020. An accomplished leader with more than 30 years of experience in the electricity industry, Ms. Farrell was the President and Chief Executive Officer of TransAlta Corporation from January 2012 until her retirement in March 2021.

Previously, she served as TransAlta’s Chief Operating Officer and Executive Vice-President, Commercial Operations and Development, in addition to being Executive Vice-President, Independent Power Projects and Vice-President, Energy Marketing and IPP Development. From 2003 to 2006, Ms. Farrell served as Executive Vice-President, Generation at BC Hydro. From 2006 to 2007, she served as BC Hydro’s Executive Vice-President Engineering, Aboriginal Relations, and Generation.

Ms. Farrell sits on the board of directors of The Chemours Company and the Business Council of Canada. She is also a member of the Trilateral Commission, a non-governmental, policy-oriented international forum. Her past board involvement includes the Calgary Stampede, the Mount Royal College/University Board of Governors and Foundation Board of Directors, Fording Coal Income Fund, New Relationship Trust Fund, and Vision Quest Windelectric.

Ms. Farrell holds a Bachelor of Commerce (Finance) and Master of Arts (Economics) from the University of Calgary. She also attended the Advanced Management Program at Harvard University. In 2019, she received an honorary doctorate of laws from Mount Royal.