IR Magazine

IR Magazine Think Tank – Canada

Thursday, October 3, 2019

TD Securities offices, Toronto, Canada

About the think tank

The IR Magazine Think Tank – Canada 2019 is an invitation-only event exclusively for senior corporate, in-house IR professionals. It is free to attend and our unique format enables participants to network extensively, discuss, debate and dissect topical issues affecting IR.

What makes our format so unique?
It is far removed from the traditional conference set-up as the event consists of a series of panel sessions followed by roundtable discussions on select IR issues. These interactive sessions are broken up by short, snappy best practice briefings from top-rated IROs. All discussions are confidential and none of the participants’ comments are attributed. This allows attendees to talk freely and have frank, open discussions.

How do our roundtable discussions work?
 Senior professionals – industry experts, top-rated IROs, the investment community – set the agenda on a panel discussion by sharing their thoughts on session topics.
 Small roundtable groups of IROs discuss these issues face to face.
 Each table gives feedback from its own discussion and shares ideas with the group as a whole.

Click here to read the write-up from last year’s event


Click on the session title below to view details.

  • 08:15 AM
    Breakfast and registration

  • 09:00 AM
    Welcome and opening remarks

    Ben Ashwell, editor, IR Magazine

  • 09:15 AM
    M&A trends in Canada

    Adam Thom, vice president, institutional equities, TD Securities

  • 09:45 AM
    Fireside chat and Q&A with Colleen Johnston

    • Journey from IR to CFO to board director of Shopify, WestJet, McCain Foods and Unity Health Toronto
    • IR as a strategic function: What the expectations are of IR from senior management and the board?
    • How do you measure the success of the IR function?
    • Top concerns of boards today and the role of IR – shareholder activism, cyber security and others

    Colleen Johnston, chair of Unity Health Toronto and corporate director

  • 10:15 AM
    Refreshment break

  • 10:45 AM
    Developing a robust engagement strategy: Targeting and roadshow best practice

    • How have engagement trends evolved internationally since the implementation of Mifid II? What is the best way to get in front of investors at this time?
    • How best to discover long-only investors? What are the risks in targeting long-only funds and sovereign wealth funds from outside of Canada?
    • What factors go into determining the IR calendar? How should you manage your IR calendar between conferences, industry events and analyst days?
    • What is the level of importance you assign to each? Has it changed in recent years? Are IR teams favoring NDRs over conferences, because they can get in front the people they want to meet?
    • How much value do you put into non-deal roadshows? In what regions, how often and under what circumstances do you do IR-only roadshows?

    Steven Mills, head of TSX company services, TMX Group (moderator)
    Adrienne O’Neill, global head of investor relations, Manulife
    Jenni Piette, head of investor relations, GT Gold Corp
    Brian Smith, managing director, Rose & Co

  • 11:30 AM
    Table discussions: Investor engagement best practices

  • 12:00 PM
    IR at the table: How to elevate IR to become a strategic partner within a company

    • What is the future of IR? How do you see IR evolving in 5-10 years and what will drive this change?
    • How can IR teams best use their tightening resources so that the IRO can be focused on providing strategic value?
    • Does less active management mean smaller role for IR?
    • What are some best practices for getting your CEO and CFO on the same page during tough times?
    • How do you measure the success of your IR program?
    • To what extent does this rely on partnering with colleagues in other departments and how can you build those relationships?

    Rebecca Corbin, founder and chief executive officer, Corbin Advisors
    Simon Rose, chief executive officer, Rose & Co (moderator)
    Jacqueline Wagenaar, vice president, investor relations and corporate communications, Guyana Goldfields

  • 12:30 PM
    Lunch and networking

  • 13:30 PM
    How does the increasing focus on ESG impact the IR function?

    • How should you be integrating sustainability into your overall strategy and reporting processes? What is considered best practice?
    • What’s the best way to manage external expectations for additional disclosure metrics on the business?
    • Should you pursue outbound programs to discuss ESG with passive investors?
    • Is there a specific area of ESG that has gained more focus in the past year? To what extent do ‘S’ & ‘E’ influence buy/sell decisions?
    • What questions do ESG-focused investors tend to ask in meetings? What are the top disclosures that are most important to investors?

    Marc Jasmin, senior director, investor relations and communications, IMV
    Yvette Lokker, chief executive officer and president, CIRI (moderator)
    Kevin Roy, vice president and managing director, research and analysis, IHS Markit
    Ian Tharp, vice president of sustainability, Algonquin Power & Utilities Corp

  • 14:45 PM
    Fireside chat: Q&A with the buy-side

    • What do investors value most from IR teams? Key questions coming from investors and analysts
    • Thinking like a PM: How to approach different portfolio managers
    • Understand the investment style for different funds and how you can become more relevant

    Sam Baldwin, senior portfolio manager, Guardian Capital

  • 15:30 PM
    Final thoughts and end of think tank


Who Attended

Attendees are leading IR practitioners, many of whom have been highlighted in our IR Magazine Awards research over the years. Each participant is someone with an established track record and a strategic IR role within his or her company. This year’s attendees included:

Company Name  Job Title Company Name  Job Title
TMX Associate Product Manager Intact Financial Manager, Investor Relations
Aurora Cannabis Associate, Investor Relations TMX Manager, Investor Relations
Great-West Lifeco AVP, Investor Relations Rose & Co Managing Director
Rose & Co CEO Rose & Co Managing Director
CIRI CEO & President TMX Managing Director, IR
Corbin Advisors CEO and Founder Altus Group Real Estate Technology
Dollarama CFO BusinessWire Regional Manager, Canada
TMX Client Success Specialist IAMGOLD Senior Analyst, Investor Relations
Coinchange & Blockstation CMO Intrado Senior Analyst, Sales
Jamieson Wellness Director, Corporate Communications Intrado Senior Analyst, Sales
Aecon Director, Corporate Development & IR Avante Logixx Senior Associate
IHS Markit Director, Global Markets Intelligence Sun Life Financial Senior Associate, Investor Relations
CPPI Board Director, Investment & Financial Comms Canada Goose Senior Director, Investor Relations
Ballard Power Systems Director, Investor Relations CIBC Senior Director, Investor Relations
Goldmoney Director, Investor Relations IMV Senior Director, Investor Relations
Ascendant Resources Director, Investor Relations TELUS Senior Financial Analyst, IR
Electrovaya Director, Investor Relations Cineplex Senior Manager, Investor Relations
Bristol Capital Director, Investor Relations MediPharm Labs Senior Manager, Investor Relations
Air Canada Director, Investor Relations & Guardian Capital Senior Manager, Portfolio
Sagicor Financial Corporation EVP, Investor Relations Xebec Adsorption Specialist, Investor Relations
Manulife Global Head, Investor Relations CT Real Estate Investment SVP & CFO
Roots Canada Head, Investor Relations Corbin Advisors SVP, Business Development
GT Gold Head, Investor Relations Nuance SVP, Investor Relations
TMX Head, TSX Company Services Dollarama VP & Treasurer
TD Securities Institutional Equities AST Trust Company VP, Business Development
Greenbrook TMS Investor Relations TD Securities VP, Corporate Access
Urbana Corporation Investor Relations Spin Master VP, Investor Relations
Detour Gold Investor Relations Sun Life Financial VP, Investor Relations
TMX Investor Relations Loblaw Companies VP, Investor Relations
Sherritt Investor Relations Officer HighGold Mining VP, Investor Relations
CAPREIT Investor Relations, Communications Specialist Alamos Gold VP, Investor Relations
Independent IR professional Guyana Goldfields VP, Investor Relations
IAMGOLD Lead, Investor Relations Celestica VP, Investor Relations & Finance
Fiera Infrastructure Manager, Investor Relations Element Fleet Management VP, Investor Relations & Investments
Alamos Gold Manager, Investor Relations Superior Plus VP, Investor Relations & Treasurer
BRP Manager, Investor Relations Algonquin Power & Utilities VP, Sustainability
Eastmain Resources Manager, Investor Relations Spin Master VP, Treasury

Attendees say

"There is always something you grab and learn"

Laurie Gaborit, VP of IR, Detour Gold

"Fantastic event! Very informative. The best so far in over 20 years. It was perfectly organized, great panel speakers and content. "

Linda Armstrong, LA Consulting

"Excellent session! Well attended by many senior IR professionals. Very relevant topics discussed such as increase in passive investors raising importance of ESG. Very informative.

Lisa Headrick, VP of Finance (Global FP&A), Celestica

"I thought the day was valuable. The group is very honest and forthcoming which I believe is a result of the IR community being very tight-knit."

Derek Theobalds, Director of IR, Manulife

"Very good speakers, excellent opportunity to get an in depth look at what challenges are faced in a variety of industries."

Greg Blazina, Regional manager, Business Wire

"Good mix of topics/themes."

Joe Racanelli, Director of IR, Sherritt

"I thoroughly enjoyed the Think Tank as it made us discuss methods with people in the same job, but different industries. We had no choice but to be proactive. I loved how open and informative it was and would love to be asked back again next year."

Elizabeth Naumovski, IR, Urbana Corporation

"A great opportunity to connect with other senior IROs to share insights and learn from the experience of others."

Roy MacDonald, VP of IR, Loblaw

Venue and location

This year’s think tank was hosted by TD Securities.


TD Securities offices
66 Wellington Street West
54th Floor, Lambert Room
Toronto, ON


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