TMX Group names Lou Eccleston chief executive

TORONTO — The TMX Group, operator of the country’s largest stock exchange, has named Lou Eccleston as its new chief executive officer.Eccleston will assume the role on Nov. 3.The company says Eccleston has more than 30 years of experience in capital markets, information services and financial sectors. He was most recently the president of S&P Capital IQ and chairman of the Dow Jones Indices. He also worked at Thomson Financial and was a long-time executive at Bloomberg LP.Eccleston is taking over the top job from Thomas Kloet, who will remain CEO until Oct. 31.Kloet had joined the TMX Group in 2008, shortly after its merger with the Montreal Exchange and as the industry headed into a period of consolidation.The TMX Group owns the Toronto Stock Exchange, the TSX Venture Exchange, the Montreal derivatives market and others. For the past year, the TMX has been focused on expanding its services as it struggles to attract more companies to list on its main exchange.The Canadian PressTom Kloet extends stay at TMX Group as replacement speculation mounts read more

Microsoft president is very bullish about growth potential in Vancouver

SEATTLE — Microsoft is “very bullish” on Vancouver and is lobbying the federal and provincial governments to make increased investments in what it sees as a city with a bright future as a technology hub, the company’s president said Tuesday.“We have made clear that we think of Vancouver as a second home,” Microsoft president Brad Smith said in an interview at the Cascadia Innovation Corridor Conference in Seattle.“We’re growing and I would hope that we’d have continuing opportunities to grow in Vancouver.”The Washington-based technology company anticipates growing beyond the 750 jobs it initially expected to create in Vancouver when it opened its Microsoft Canada Excellence Centre in June 2016, he said.The centre, now known as Microsoft Canada, currently employs 800 workers across product development, sales and marketing, and retail and office work, said a spokesman.Smith said he sees continuing opportunities to grow in the city and doesn’t see a cap to the number of jobs the company could create there.He stopped short of saying the company could open a second headquarters in the city, but said “it makes sense” for Vancouver to set it sights on wooing Seattle-based tech giant Amazon.com Inc. to open its proposed second headquarters there.The ecommerce giant announced this month that it is seeking to build a second headquarters in North America. Expected to be equal to its Seattle campus, the new headquarters would likely require a US$5 billion investment in construction and up to 50,000 jobs, the company said.Smith said only Amazon knows what location will work for its company, but stressed that Vancouver “is a great home for technology and technology companies.”The Microsoft president is one of the biggest proponents of the Cascadia Innovation Corridor — an agreement signed by B.C. and Washington state nearly one year ago to grow high-tech industries and strengthen collaboration across the region.In May, Microsoft hosted Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at the Microsoft CEO Summit and raised the issue of making an innovation supercluster within Vancouver and B.C.The federal government is committing $950 million to a supercluster program that will give funding to up to five industry-led consortia in a wide variety of sectors, including clean technology, and health and biosciences.“I think the reaction from the Ottawa delegation was that they hadn’t expected to travel to Seattle and hear a pitch that was basically sounding like it was coming from the British Columbia Chamber of Commerce,” Smith said.He’s also pushing for Canada to help ease transportation between Seattle and Vancouver, hoping regular seaplane service will begin between the two cities next year.“Frankly there was little reason not to have it in place this year,” he said. “I think it’s not unreasonable to say we need to move faster in getting that done.”Longer-term, he wants to see a high-speed rail system between Vancouver and Seattle. Washington state has budgeted funds for a feasibility study and Microsoft has donated US$50,000 toward the study.“We’re hopeful that there will now be some participation in that on the B.C. and Canadian side of the border.”Follow @AleksSagan on Twitter. read more

Security Council extends UN GuineaBissau office for another year

Under its renewed mandate, which will begin on 1 March 2016 until 28 February 2017, UNIOGBIS will continue to focus on supporting an inclusive political dialogue and national reconciliation process to strengthen democratic governance and work towards consensus on key political issues, particularly with regards to the implementation of necessary urgent reforms. The Office will also focus on providing strategic and technical advice and support in implementing the national security sector reform and rule of law strategies, as well as developing civilian and military justice systems that are compliant with international standards. In 2014, the West African nation concluded a second round of presidential elections, which are widely seen as essential to restoring constitutional order, economic growth and development following a 2012 military coup. Nevertheless, in a recent briefing to the Security Council, Miguel Trovoada, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Guinea-Bissau and Head of UNIOGBIS, warned that the political impasse in Guinea-Bissau could delay implementation of critical reforms and erode progress in the country’s development. In today’s resolution, the Council stressed the need for the Government of Guinea-Bissau to continue to take “concrete steps” towards peace, security and stability in the country, by effectively reforming the security sector, tackling corruption, and improving public administration and the supply of basic services to the population. The Council also expressed concerns over the “ongoing political and institutional tensions” among the President, the Prime Minister, the Speaker of Parliament and heads of political parties. It called upon the leaders to work together to consolidate progress made so far, and to address the root causes of instability, with particular attention to political-military dynamics, ineffective state institutions and rule of law, impunity and human rights violations and abuses, poverty and lack of access to basic services. In addition, in the resolution the Council reiterated its concern at the threat posed by drug trafficking to the country’s peace and stability, and welcomed efforts in combating the issue. The Council also decided to review, seven months from now, the sanctions measures established under resolution 2048 (2012). Previously, the Council has expressed its readiness to consider targeted sanctions against those involved in the coup if the situation in Guinea-Bissau is not resolved. read more