Legal luminary appointed as York’s Chair in corporate governance

Edward J. Waitzer, former Chair of the Ontario Securities Commission and a partner at Stikeman Elliott LLP in Toronto, has been appointed the inaugural Jarislowsky Dimma Mooney Chair in Corporate Governance at Osgoode Hall Law School and the Schulich School of Business at York University.

Right: Edward Waitzer

A leader in mergers and acquisitions (M & A), Waitzer’s appointment, which followed an international search during the 2006-2007 academic year, will take effect Jan. 1, 2008. In addition to teaching and supervising graduate students, Waitzer will undertake scholarly research and provide leadership in public policy debates in the field of corporate governance. 

Waitzer, who served as Chair of Stikeman Elliott LLP in Toronto from 1999 to 2006, has been a director of numerous corporations and community organizations and has written and spoken extensively on a wide range of legal and public policy issues. He was vice-president of the Toronto Stock Exchange before joining Stikeman Elliott LLP in 1981. He practised with the firm until 1993, including several years as head of its New York office, then served as Chair of the Ontario Securities Commission from 1993 to 1996 before rejoining the firm. Waitzer is one of Canada’s senior M & A practitioners. Current transactions include BCE Inc., Magna International Inc. and Reuters. He was an adjunct professor at Osgoode Hall Law School and the Falconbridge Professor of Commercial Law during the 2006-2007 academic year. (See the Sept. 18, 2006 issue of YFile.)

“We are very fortunate to have attracted an individual of Ed Waitzer’s stature and calibre,” said Schulich Dean Dezsö J. Horváth. “He brings outstanding legal acumen and high-level, hands-on corporate experience, as well as a real passion for the subject of corporate governance. The Jarislowsky Dimma Mooney Chair in Corporate Governance, meanwhile, will contribute greatly to the school’s expertise in corporate governance in general, and also within a global context, in particular as it relates to transnational corporations and specific business regions of the world. The Chair will also enhance the school’s overall teaching and research activities in the broader field of corporate social responsibility and sustainability.”

“We are grateful to the donors and want to pay tribute to their vision and leadership in seeing the necessity for the creation of this Chair,” said Osgoode Dean Patrick Monahan. “We are delighted that Ed Waitzer will be joining our schools. The field of corporate governance has attained increasing international significance in recent years particularly in light of a number of major corporate and accounting scandals such as those affecting Enron, Tyco International and WorldCom. As one of Canada’s and the world’s leading lawyers in the areas of corporate law and securities regulation, Ed has real-world experience, advising and serving on boards of directors and advisory boards, as well as the ability to step back and view these developments in the larger context. Osgoode and Schulich students will benefit tremendously from his unique set of qualifications and skills.” 

This appointment is the culmination of a 12-month international search conducted by a Joint Search Committee, made up of faculty and students from both Osgoode and Schulich. As the Jarislowsky Dimma Mooney Chair, Waitzer will become Osgoode’s third named Chair, joining Cynthia Williams as the Osler Chair in Business Law and Peer Zumbansen as the Canada Research Chair in the Transnational & Comparative Law of Corporate Governance. The new Chair in Corporate Governance will complement both the Osler Chair and the newly created Hewlett-Packard Chair in Corporate Social Responsibility at Schulich. 

“I was fortunate to be able to serve as Falconbridge Professor at Osgoode Hall Law School this year and I am delighted to be able to deepen my level of academic engagement,” Waitzer said. “The opportunity to work with colleagues and students at two distinguished Faculties on issues of growing policy relevance, in Canada and globally, is very exciting for me. I am sure that I will benefit from participating in such a rich academic environment and hope, in turn, I will be able to contribute to it.”

The Chair in Corporate Governance will draw together the teaching and research strengths of both Osgoode and Schulich, which together jointly established Canada’s first MBA/LLB degree program in 1972. The study of corporate governance is embedded in the Schulich curriculum, and it is also one of Osgoode’s priorities for future development. 

The Jarislowsky Dimma Mooney Chair in Corporate Governance is being funded by The Jarislowsky Foundation; William Dimma, former president of Toronto Star Newspapers Limited, former president, CEO and deputy chairman of Royal Lepage Limited, and former dean of Schulich; and Gary Mooney (LLB ’80), president and CEO of FNF Canada and a senior partner at Anderson Sinclair LLP. 

Their generous gifts will contribute to a total endowment of $2 million, with the balance of the necessary funding to support the Jarislowsky Dimma Mooney Chair in Corporate Governance coming from Osgoode Hall Law School and the Schulich School of Business.