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Insurance Companies Act (S.C. 1991, c. 47)

Act current to 2024-04-01 and last amended on 2024-01-01. Previous Versions

PART XVIIInsurance Holding Companies (continued)

DIVISION 6Corporate Governance (continued)

SUBDIVISION 2Proxies and Restrictions on Voting (continued)

Marginal note:Regulations

 The Governor in Council may make regulations

  • (a) respecting the powers that may be granted by a shareholder in a form of proxy;

  • (b) respecting proxy circulars and forms of proxy, including the form and content of those documents; and

  • (c) respecting the conditions under which an insurance holding company is exempt from any of the requirements of sections 786 to 791.

Marginal note:Restraining order

  •  (1) If a form of proxy, management proxy circular or dissident’s proxy circular contains an untrue statement of a material fact or omits to state a material fact that is required to be contained in it or that is necessary to make a statement contained in it not misleading in light of the circumstances in which the statement is made, an interested person or the Superintendent may apply to a court and the court may make any order it thinks fit including

    • (a) an order restraining the solicitation or the holding of the meeting, or restraining any person from implementing or acting on a resolution passed at the meeting, to which the form of proxy, management proxy circular or dissident’s proxy circular relates;

    • (b) an order requiring correction of any form of proxy or proxy circular and a further solicitation; and

    • (c) an order adjourning the meeting.

  • Marginal note:Notice of application

    (2) Where a person other than the Superintendent is an applicant under subsection (1), the applicant shall give to the Superintendent notice of the application and the Superintendent is entitled to appear and to be heard in person or by counsel.

  • 2001, c. 9, s. 465
Restrictions on Voting

Meaning of eligible votes

  •  (1) In this section, eligible votes means the total number of votes that may be cast by or on behalf of shareholders on a vote of shareholders or a vote of holders of a class or series of shares, as the case may be, in respect of any particular matter, calculated without regard to subsection (2).

  • Marginal note:Restriction

    (2) At a meeting of shareholders of an insurance holding company in respect of which subsection 927(4) applies, no person and no entity controlled by any person may, in respect of any vote of shareholders or holders of any class or series of shares of the company, cast votes in respect of any shares beneficially owned by the person or the entity that are, in aggregate, more than 20 per cent of the eligible votes that may be cast in respect of that vote.

  • Marginal note:Proxyholders

    (3) No person who is a proxyholder for a person or for an entity controlled by a person may cast votes to which the proxy relates that the person or entity may not cast by reason of subsection (2).

  • Marginal note:Exception

    (4) Subsections (2) and (3) do not apply in respect of a vote held under section 852.

  • Marginal note:Validity of vote

    (5) A vote in respect of a particular matter is not invalid merely because a person voted contrary to subsection (2) or (3).

  • Marginal note:Disposition of shareholdings

    (6) If, with respect to any insurance holding company, a person contravenes subsection (2) or (3), the Minister may, by order, direct the shareholder of the shares to which the contravention relates or any person controlled by that shareholder to dispose of any number of shares of the insurance holding company beneficially owned by any of those persons that the Minister specifies in the order, within the time specified in the order and in the proportion, if any, as between the shareholder and the persons controlled by that shareholder that is specified in the order.

  • Marginal note:Restriction on voting rights

    (7) If the Minister makes an order under subsection (6), the person to whom the order relates may not, in person or by proxy, exercise any voting rights that are attached to shares of the company beneficially owned by the person.

  • Marginal note:Subsection (7) ceases to apply

    (8) Subsection (7) shall cease to apply in respect of a person when the shares to which the order relates have been disposed of.

  • Marginal note:Reliance on number in notice

    (9) For the purpose of this section, a person is entitled to rely on the number of eligible votes set out in a notice of a meeting under subsection 767(2).

  • Marginal note:Designation of persons

    (10) For the purpose of this section, the Minister may, with respect to a particular insurance holding company, designate two or more persons who are parties to an agreement, commitment or understanding referred to in section 9 to be a single person.

  • 2001, c. 9, s. 465

SUBDIVISION 3Directors and Officers

Duties

Marginal note:Duty to manage

  •  (1) Subject to this Act, the directors of an insurance holding company shall manage or supervise the management of the business and affairs of the insurance holding company.

  • Marginal note:Specific duties

    (2) Without limiting the generality of subsection (1), the directors of an insurance holding company shall

    • (a) establish an audit committee to perform the duties referred to in subsections 829(3) and (4);

    • (b) establish procedures to resolve conflicts of interest, including techniques for the identification of potential conflict situations and for restricting the use of confidential information;

    • (c) designate a committee of the board of directors to monitor the procedures referred to in paragraph (b); and

    • (d) establish investment and lending policies, standards and procedures in accordance with section 968.

  • Marginal note:Exception

    (3) Paragraph (2)(a) does not apply to the directors of an insurance holding company if

    • (a) all the voting shares of the insurance holding company are beneficially owned by a Canadian financial institution described by any of paragraphs (a) to (d) of the definition financial institution in subsection 2(1); and

    • (b) the audit committee of the Canadian financial institution referred to in paragraph (a) performs for and on behalf of the insurance holding company all the functions that would otherwise be required to be performed by the audit committee of the insurance holding company under this Part.

  • 2001, c. 9, s. 465

Marginal note:Duty of care

  •  (1) Every director and officer of an insurance holding company in exercising any of the powers of a director or an officer and discharging any of the duties of a director or an officer shall

    • (a) act honestly and in good faith with a view to the best interests of the insurance holding company; and

    • (b) exercise the care, diligence and skill that a reasonably prudent person would exercise in comparable circumstances.

  • Marginal note:Duty to comply

    (2) Every director, officer and employee of an insurance holding company shall comply with this Act, the regulations, the insurance holding company’s incorporating instrument and the by-laws of the insurance holding company.

  • Marginal note:No exculpation

    (3) No provision in any contract, in any resolution or in the by-laws of an insurance holding company relieves any director, officer or employee of the insurance holding company from the duty to act in accordance with this Act and the regulations or relieves a director, officer or employee from liability for a breach thereof.

  • 2001, c. 9, s. 465
Qualification and Number — Directors

Marginal note:Minimum number of directors

  •  (1) An insurance holding company shall have at least seven directors.

  • Marginal note:Residency requirement

    (2) At least one half of the directors of an insurance holding company that is a subsidiary of a foreign institution and a majority of the directors of any other insurance holding company must be, at the time of each director’s election or appointment, resident Canadians.

  • 2001, c. 9, s. 465
  • 2007, c. 6, s. 319

Marginal note:Disqualified persons

 The following persons are disqualified from being directors of an insurance holding company:

  • (a) a person who is less than eighteen years of age;

  • (b) a person who is of unsound mind and has been so found by a court in Canada or elsewhere;

  • (c) a person who has the status of a bankrupt;

  • (d) a person who is not a natural person;

  • (e) a person who is prohibited by subsection 793(7) or section 945 or 955 from exercising voting rights attached to shares of the insurance holding company;

  • (f) a person who is an officer, director or full-time employee of an entity that is prohibited by subsection 793(7) or section 945 or 955 from exercising voting rights attached to shares of the insurance holding company;

  • (f.1) a person who is an officer, director, employee or agent of — or any other person acting on behalf of — an eligible agent within the meaning of section 406.1;

  • (g) [Repealed, 2013, c. 40, s. 165]

  • (h) a minister of Her Majesty in right of Canada or in right of a province; and

  • (i) a person who is an agent or employee of the government of a foreign country or any political subdivision thereof.

  • 2001, c. 9, s. 465
  • 2012, c. 19, s. 344, c. 31, s. 141
  • 2013, c. 40, s. 165

Marginal note:No requirement to hold shares

 A director of an insurance holding company is not required to hold shares of the insurance holding company.

  • 2001, c. 9, s. 465

Marginal note:Limit on directors

 No more than 15 per cent of the directors of an insurance holding company may, at each director’s election or appointment, be employees of the insurance holding company or a subsidiary of the insurance holding company, except that up to four persons who are employees of the insurance holding company or a subsidiary of the insurance holding company may be directors of the insurance holding company if those directors constitute not more than one half of the directors of the insurance holding company.

  • 2001, c. 9, s. 465
Election and Tenure — Directors

Marginal note:Number of directors

  •  (1) Subject to subsection 796(1) and sections 803 and 851, the directors of an insurance holding company shall, by by-law, determine the number of directors or the minimum and maximum number of directors, but no by-law that decreases the number of directors shortens the term of an incumbent director.

  • Marginal note:Election at annual meeting

    (2) A by-law made pursuant to subsection (1) that provides for a minimum and maximum number of directors may provide that the number of directors to be elected at any annual meeting of the shareholders be such number as is fixed by the directors prior to the annual meeting.

  • 2001, c. 9, s. 465

Marginal note:Election or appointment as director

 The election or appointment of a person as a director is subject to the following:

  • (a) the person was present at the meeting when the election or appointment took place and did not refuse to hold office as a director; or

  • (b) the person was not present at the meeting when the election or appointment took place but

    • (i) consented in writing to hold office as a director before the election or appointment or within 10 days after it, or

    • (ii) acted as a director after the election or appointment.

  • 2005, c. 54, s. 327

Marginal note:Term of directors

  •  (1) Except where this Part or the by-laws of an insurance holding company provide for cumulative voting, the insurance holding company may, by by-law, provide that the directors be elected for terms of one, two or three years.

  • Marginal note:Term of one, two or three years

    (2) A director elected for a term of one, two or three years holds office until the close of the first, second or third annual meeting of shareholders, as the case may be, following the election of the director.

  • Marginal note:No stated term

    (3) A director who is not elected for an expressly stated term of office ceases to hold office at the close of the next annual meeting of shareholders following the election of the director.

  • Marginal note:Tenure of office

    (4) It is not necessary that all directors elected at a meeting of shareholders hold office for the same term.

  • Marginal note:Tenure of office

    (5) If a by-law of an insurance holding company provides that the directors be elected for a term of two or three years, it may also provide that the term of office of each director be for the whole of that term, or that, as nearly as may be, one half of the directors retire each year if the term is two years, and that one third of the directors retire each year if the term is three years.

  • Marginal note:Composition requirements

    (6) Where a director of an insurance holding company is elected or appointed for a term of more than one year, the insurance holding company shall comply with subsection 796(2) and section 799 at each annual meeting of shareholders during the director’s term of office as if that director were elected or appointed on that date.

  • 2001, c. 9, s. 465

Marginal note:Determining election of directors

  •  (1) Except where this Part or the by-laws of an insurance holding company provide for cumulative voting, the persons, to the number authorized to be elected, who receive the greatest number of votes at an election of directors of an insurance holding company shall be the directors thereof.

  • Marginal note:Equal number of votes

    (2) If, at any election of directors referred to in subsection (1), two or more persons receive an equal number of votes and there are not sufficient vacancies remaining to enable all the persons receiving an equal number of votes to be elected, the directors who receive a greater number of votes or the majority of them shall, in order to complete the full number of directors, determine which of the persons so receiving an equal number of votes are to be elected.

  • 2001, c. 9, s. 465

Marginal note:Cumulative voting

  •  (1) Where this Part or the by-laws provide for cumulative voting,

    • (a) there shall be a stated number determined by by-law, and not a minimum and maximum number, of directors;

    • (b) each shareholder entitled to vote at an election of directors to be elected by cumulative voting has the right to cast a number of votes equal to the number of votes attached to the shares held by the shareholder multiplied by the number of directors to be elected by cumulative voting, and the shareholder may cast all such votes in favour of one candidate or distribute them among the candidates in any manner;

    • (c) a separate vote shall be taken with respect to each candidate nominated for a position that is to be filled by cumulative voting unless a resolution is passed unanimously permitting two or more persons to be elected by a single vote;

    • (d) if a shareholder has voted for more than one candidate without specifying the distribution of the votes among the candidates, the shareholder is deemed to have distributed the votes equally among the candidates for whom the shareholder voted;

    • (e) if the number of candidates nominated exceeds the number of positions to be filled, the candidates who receive the least number of votes shall be eliminated until the number of candidates remaining equals the number of positions to be filled;

    • (f) each director elected by cumulative voting ceases to hold office at the close of the next annual meeting of shareholders following the director’s election;

    • (g) a director may be removed from office only if the number of votes cast in favour of a motion to remove the director is greater than the product of the number of directors required by the by-laws and the number of votes cast against the motion; and

    • (h) the number of directors required by the by-laws may be decreased only if the number of votes cast in favour of a motion to decrease the number of directors is greater than the product of the number of directors required by the by-laws and the number of votes cast against the motion.

  • Marginal note:Mandatory cumulative voting

    (2) Where the aggregate of the voting shares beneficially owned by a person and any entities controlled by the person carries more than 10 per cent of the voting rights attached to all the outstanding voting shares of an insurance holding company, the directors shall be elected by cumulative voting.

  • Marginal note:Exception

    (3) Subsection (2) does not apply if all the voting shares of the insurance holding company that are outstanding are beneficially owned by

    • (a) one person;

    • (b) one person and one or more entities controlled by that person; or

    • (c) one or more entities controlled by the same person.

  • Marginal note:Exception

    (4) Subsection (2) does not apply to an insurance holding company in respect of which subsection 927(4) applies.

  • Marginal note:Transitional election

    (5) Where this Part or the by-laws of an insurance holding company provide for cumulative voting, the shareholders of the insurance holding company shall

    • (a) at the first annual meeting of shareholders held not earlier than ninety days following the date that cumulative voting is required under subsection (2) or provided for in the by-laws, and

    • (b) at each succeeding annual meeting,

    elect the stated number of directors to hold office until the close of the next annual meeting of shareholders following their election.

  • Marginal note:Class or series of shares

    (6) Nothing in this Part precludes the holders of any class or series of shares of an insurance holding company from having an exclusive right to elect one or more directors.

  • 2001, c. 9, s. 465
  • 2005, c. 54, s. 328
 

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