Sue's Blog

Wednesday, June 08, 2016

Stan Marshall - Conflict of Interest? Fracking?

Stan Marshall has had an illustrious career with Newfoundland Power and then Fortis. He has proven himself in a way that Ed Martin never did. The comparison of Ed Martin to Stan Marshall in terms of executive remuneration is a joke.

A Telegram story upon Marshall's retirement noted the following:

"Since 1996, total shareholder return is approximately 855 per cent and the average annual total shareholder return is approximately 13 per cent."

As the new CEO of Nalcor his role should be no different - it's just the nature of the shareholders.

He has the potential to be great at the job if and these are big ifs:
1. He is not in a conflict of interest and
2. He has progressive direction from government.

Yesterday I outlined the conflict of interest clauses in Martin's contract and asked if they were included in Marshall's. I have not seen anything yet to let people know exactly what the terms of the employment are.

If he is a shareholder in Fortis - it is my opinion he cannot do the job needed for Nalcor. There are too many possibilities of business, administrative and operational issues that may collide and thereby not be considered.

But Stan Marshall's interests go beyond Fortis.

Stan Marshall is a Director of Enerflex - this vote occurred on May 5th after he became the CEO of Nalcor.

There are potential conflicts or appearances of conflict here. Did Marshall seek from the new Board of Directors of Nalcor approval for this new professional commitment? If not why not and are there any rules he has to follow. Afterall - we must remember that Marshall protested taking the job by telling us he did not want it.

Enerflex for example builds/designs customized and standardized fractionation equipment.
Other areas include: oil and gas - particularly LNG.

I want Marshall to concentrate on Nalcor. I want him to deliver for Nalcor, the government, the province and the people of the province.

Is he qualified? Yes particularly in the area of regulated utilities.

It would be interesting to find out who in fact recommended him to the Premier.

People like Dave Vardy (who I respect) who welcome the appointment of Marshall must also not do so in oblivion to the terms of the appointment.

As Marshall has already stated it's too late to stop Muskrat - it would appear to me that those supporting the appointment now - are not concerned about the project continuing in the absence of a thorough review of the option to stop the project. Further I am sure many who may support Marshall's appointment must be waiting to hear what Marshall is going to say or do about the North Spur.

One can have all the potential and expertise in the world to deliver the goods - but he is not a savior - so giving him a pass on conflict does not cut it. Further if the government is asking him to determine the goals and aspirations of the people of the province and how they can be achieved through proper management of natural resources - they are being negligent of their duties as elected officials.

Next - a post on what it could look like and a Corporate move that could be devastating to Newfoundland and Labrador.

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