2019 Bertram Scholars

The CFGR is Canada’s only charitable foundation focused solely on supporting and disseminating governance research from a Canadian perspective. Each year, through the Bertram Doctoral Scholarships, the CFGR supports corporate governance research undertaken by Canada’s most promising doctoral students.

Oriane Couchoux, Queen's University

Oriane is a PhD candidate in accounting at the Smith School of Business (Queen's University). She holds a B.B.A and a M.Sc. from HEC Montréal, both obtained with great distinction citation, as well as the CPA auditor, CA designation. She began her public accounting career at PwC and then expanded her finance and accounting knowledge by working as a senior financial analyst at Alimentation Couche-Tard. Before undertaking doctoral studies in 2016, Oriane had thus gained valuable expertise with audit engagements, financial reporting, internal controls, business acquisitions and governance matters. Oriane also has experience teaching accounting to undergraduate students and has been involved with CPA Canada holding different roles in the CPA Professional Education Program and the Common Final Examination.

Research summary
Oriane's research interests involve the social aspect of regulation around accounting, auditing and governance processes. She is particularly interested in the experience of the different stakeholders whose work is directly impacted by capital markets regulation, such as auditors, corporate directors, and executives of reporting issuers. With her doctoral dissertation, Oriane aims to assess the practicality and effectiveness of the Canadian regulation implemented to improve governance mechanisms and enhance the quality of financial information provided to investors (National Instrument 52-108, -109, -110). She also plans to highlight the hurdles encountered by key stakeholders navigating the Canadian regulatory environment and offer recommendations to overcome these challenges. Oriane's doctoral research project has been supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and the Foundation of Quebec Chartered Professional Accountants.

Arturo Marino Echegaray, University of Calgary

I am originally from Peru - South America where I grew up and became to be a lawyer. In 2011, I obtained an MBA from Haskayne School of Business - University of Calgary. In 2016, I came back to Canada to study at MSc. Sustainable Energy Development and since 2017 I belong to the PhD Program at Environmental Design Faculty - University of Calgary. I am delightful to complete this long-standing personal goal: my doctoral studies with my children and wife who came to Canada sharing my vision and objectives. With my research I am trying to build a sustainable risk management model to conduct the energy transition process of Canada into renewables.

Research summary
My research is oriented to build a Sustainable Risk Management Model to conduct the energy transition process of Canada. Indeed, it is implemented a transdisciplinary approach to integrate business, law, sustainable energy development and environmental design finding out critical risk drivers and significant governance characteristics to ensure the best transition practices at corporate level of energy companies. Moreover, risk management and furtherance of governance will be pivotal to ensure optimal corporate transition strategies, flexible-adaptive regulation, and effective design of public policies to mitigate risks generated by Canada's provinces energy mix transformation. In sum, risk management and governance will provide energy integrity and energy security with maintenance of natural capital of Canada.

Shuai (Kevin) Yang, University of Calgary

Shuai Yang is a PhD student in Finance at Haskayne School of Business, University of Calgary. His current research interest centers on corporate finance with a focus on corporate governance, governance structure, stakeholder orientation, and cost of capital. He is interested in providing practical implications for the real world by combining theoretical models, empirical analysis and big data. Besides conducting academic research, he also enjoys coding and programming in other different data-intensive fields. Prior to his PhD program, Shuai graduated with an MSc in Management (Finance), with distinction, from Durham University, UK. Since starting his PhD at Haskayne School of Business, University of Calgary, Shuai has been awarded Leo de Bever Graduate Scholarship twice (2015-16 and 2016-17) and the AIMCO Doctoral Scholarship in Finance (2017-18) for his outstanding performance in both course work and academic research.

Research summary
My research project aims to study the effect of stakeholder orientation, an increasingly important component of corporate governance, on firm risk and cost of capital. In contrast to shareholders, stakeholders include any party on which firms' governance structure and operating activities can have influence, e.g., creditors, employees, customers, suppliers, local communities, the general public and the government. I hypothesize that a board of directors that consider the interest of stakeholders when making decisions can lead to lower firm risk, lower cost of capital and stronger financial soundness. The Canadian legislation has not yet passed a systematic corporate governance law to guide stakeholder orientation for firms. However, given the increasing emphasis on stakeholder orientation, it becomes crucial for Canadian institutions to know the quantified effect of stakeholder orientation on society, business environment and firm operations. This research project could provide suggestions to Canadian legislators, firm board of directors and stakeholders on the effect of stakeholder orientation in corporate governance.

Dominika Wiesner, University of British Columbia

Dominika is a PhD student at the University of British Columbia (UBC) and German-trained corporate lawyer. She graduated from law school at the top of her class. Her experience at international law firms and her Master's degree in business law inform her research in the areas of corporate law, administrative law, comparative law, and law & economics. Dominika is passionate about promoting corporate social responsibility and sustainability. She has been invited to speak about her research to scholars as well as practitioners and enjoys mentoring students at the UBC climate hub.

Research summary
In her dissertation, entitled Corporate Non-Financial Reporting as a Policy Tool: A Comparative Legal and Economic Analysis, Dominika analyses corporate reporting on sustainability and human rights issues. She also writes about the role whistleblower programs can play in improving corporate sustainability and the potential and limitations of shaming sanctions in the context of corporate regulation. Dominika has collaborated with Professors in Canada and Germany and has published papers in peer-reviewed legal journals. In her publications, she compares legal systems and applies economic theory to legal problems.

Read about our 2017 Bertram Scholars

Read about our 2018 Bertram Scholars