TSX Mandates Web-Site Disclosure of Corporate Governance Documents
*This article updates an earlier one dated April 13, 2017 when the new rules were in the proposal stage.
Canadian public companies now need to pay a little closer attention to the content, and the look and feel, of their corporate governance documents. The Toronto Stock Exchange has recently amended its rules, effective April 1, 2018, to require listed issuers to post their corporate governance documents on their web-sites. As such, given that shareholders will soon be able to review a listed issuer’s corporate governance documents, listed issuers would be wise to review their corporate governance documents in advance of the effective date of the new rule to determine if they align with best practices, modified as appropriate to meet the company’s unique circumstances. Listed issuers would also be wise to high grade the physical appearance of the documents to ensure they give shareholders the right impression as to the degree of serious with which the company treats corporate governance.
Specifically, effective April 1, 2018, the new rule requires each listed issuer to maintain a publicly accessible website and post the listed issuer’s current, effective versions of the following documents (or their equivalent), as applicable, on that web-site:
- articles of incorporation or any other constating or establishing documents of the issuer and its by-laws; and
- if adopted, copies of the issuer’s:
- majority voting policy,
- advance notice policy,
- position descriptions for the chairman of the board and the lead director,
- board mandate, and
- board committee charters.
The webpage(s) containing the above noted documents should be easily identifiable and accessible from the listed issuer's home page or investor relations page.
Invitation for Discussion:
Effective compliance with Canadian securities laws is very important to the preservation of confidence in our capital markets. However, compliance with those laws can be a confusing, inefficient and time-consuming task without the right guidance. And inefficient time spent on compliance is time spent distracted from pursuing your more important business goals that will ultimately create shareholder value. Our firm has an abundance of experience with the Canadian securities laws and can provide you with very practical advice to guide you through this complex minefield in a time efficient manner and with piece of mind. If you would like to discuss this new TSX rule, or any other Canadian securities law matter, please do not hesitate to contact one of the lawyers in the business law group at Shea Nerland LLP.
Note that the foregoing is for general discussion purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice to any one person or company. If the issues discussed herein affect you or your company, you are encouraged to seek proper legal advice.