RBC Life Insurance Company, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Royal Bank of Canada, announced on May 2, 2000, the completion of its acquisition of the life insurance and annuity business of Prudential America Life Insurance Company of Canada, known as “PruCan”. Structured as an “assumption reinsurance” transaction, the acquisition saw RBC Life take over around 17,000 policies in exchange for enough investment assets to back the related actuarial liabilities. At the same time, RBC Insurance entered into a strategic supplier agreement with, and Royal Bank acquired a 15 per cent limited partnership interest in, PPI Partners, a Calgary-based distributor of individual life, disability and group insurance, while Royal Bank provided a renewal capitalization financing facility to agents of PPI Partners. The complex deal completes another chapter of Prudential’s withdrawal from the Canadian life insurance market, which began with the sale of substantially all the life and health insurance business of the Canadian branch to London Life in 1996.
McMillan Binch acted for RBC Insurance and Royal Bank with a team that included Ted Scott and Rob Scavone (corporate) and Peter Milligan (finance) with the assistance of Andrew McFarlane and Jackie Masaba (finance and corporate) and Jeff Roode (competition). Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP lawyers Gordon Goodman and Brian Reeve (corporate), Jim Parks (tax) and John McGowan (employment) represented Prudential, while McCarthy Tétrault acted for the PPI group with John Walker (corporate and regulatory) assisted by Sean Sorensen, and Jim Archer (finance) assisted by Oliver Jaakkola. Royal Bank’s internal counsel Stephen Monty stick-handled the deal through a long regulatory approval process.