Sun Life Financial acquires the Bentall Kennedy Group

On September 1, 2015, Sun Life Financial Inc. completed the acquisition of the Bentall Kennedy Group from its previous owners, The California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS), an undisclosed investment management company, and Bentall Kennedy’s management team, for an aggregate purchase price of approximately $560 million.

Bentall Kennedy is a specialized real estate investment manager operating in Canada and the United States. It also provides property management and leasing services in Canada. Bentall Kennedy will become the real estate investment management platform of Sun Life Investment Management, Sun Life’s asset management division. The two firms will combine their real estate and commercial mortgage investment management teams to have approximately $48 billion in assets under management, serving over 550 institutional clients.

Sun Life was represented by an in-house legal team led by its Executive Vice President, Chief Legal Officer & Public Affairs, Melissa Kennedy, and included Kent Savage, Eric Weinheimer, Bill Pearson, Neil Blue, Joyce Elden, Kerri Riley Ansello, Marjory Robertson, Jim Klopper and Troy Krushel.  McCarthy Tétrault LLP was counsel to Sun Life in Canada with a team that included Garth Girvan, Matthew Cumming, Leslie Milroy, Jake Irwin and Matthew Griffin (M&A/corporate), Gabrielle Richards and Amanda Laren (tax), Oliver Borgers and Jonathan Bitran (regulatory), Barry Ryan, Nancy Carroll and Sean Sadler (financial institutions), Tim Lawson and Patrick Pengelly (employment) and Mark Firman (pensions & benefits). Michael Aiello, Aileen Kim and Evan Miller (M&A/corporate), Jared Rusman and Tristan Evans-Wilent (tax) and Samuel Zylberberg (real estate) of Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP acted as US counsel to Sun Life.

Bentall Kennedy was represented in-house by Richard Crofts, its Chief Corporate & Financial Officer (formerly Chief Corporate & Legal Officer), and Matthew Campbell, its Vice President, Legal & Chief Compliance Officer.  Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP acted as counsel to Bentall Kennedy and its management group in Canada and the United States, with a team that included Vincent Mercier, Peter Hong, Kevin Greenspoon and David Kim (M&A/corporate), Ian Crosbie and Andrew Ellis (tax), Anita Banicevic and Alysha Manji (regulatory), Scott Hyman (financial institutions), Jessica Bullock (employment), Jeffrey Nadler and Nir Servatka (US M&A/corporate) and Abraham Leitner (US tax). Henry Kahn (financial institutions) and Leigh Oliver and Robert Baldwin (regulatory) of Hogan Lovells and Lee Meyerson and Mark Chorazak (financial institutions) and Steven DeLott (insurance) of Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP also advised Bentall Kennedy in the United States. CalPERS was represented in the United States by Margaret Niles and Kevin Gruben (M&A/corporate) and Charles Purcell (tax) of K&L Gates LLP and in Canada by Jeffrey Read, Robert Owen and Michael Waters (M&A/corporate), Richard Bennett (tax) and Shelley-Mae Mitchell (labour & employment) of Borden Ladner Gervais LLP.