79 Wellington St W, Suite 3000, Box 270, TD Ctr, Toronto, ON
Year called to bar: 1989 (ON)
A preeminent figure in the financial services industry, Blair has decades of experience advising Canada’s leading financial institutions on regulatory matters and industry best practices, and has acted as counsel on some of the country’s most complex and novel issues in his field. Blair is co-head of the firm’s Financial Services, Bank Regulatory and Insurance Regulatory practices, and is co-head of the Payments and Cards practice. He advises on corporate and regulatory issues relating to financial institutions, as well as on mergers & acquisitions and corporate finance in the financial services industry. Blair is known for his in-depth understanding of all matters relating to the Bank Act. In addition, he has extensive experience in insurance and bank regulatory matters, banking and debt finance as well as payments and cards.
Great-West Lifeco Inc., a subsidiary of Power Financial Corporation, itself a subsidiary of Power Corporation of Canada, successfully closed a substantial issuer bid to purchase $2 billion of its common shares
On May 31, 2018, an affiliate of Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd. (Fairfax) acquired all of the share capital and business of Toys “R” Us (Canada) Ltd. Toys “R” Us (Canada) Ltee (Toys Canada) for a purchase price of $300 million subject to certain working capital adjustments. The share transaction, which was completed in connection with Toys Canada’s emergence from restructuring proceedings under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act (the CCAA) and Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code, has enabled Toys Canada to continue as a going concern without compromising creditor claims and preserved Toys Canada’s position as Canada’s leading toy and baby retailer.
On November 21, 2017, Manulife Financial Corporation (Manulife) completed an offering in Singapore of SGD 500-million principal amount of 3.00 per cent subordinated notes due November 21, 2029 (the Notes). The Notes will bear interest at a fixed rate of 3.00 per cent until November 21, 2024, and thereafter at a rate of 0.832 per cent over the prevailing five-year SGD Swap Rate.
On March 31, 2016, Canadian Western Bank (CWB) completed a public offering of 5,600,000 non-cumulative 5-year rate reset First Preferred Shares Series 7 (Non-Viability Contingent Capital (NVCC)) (the Series 7 Preferred Shares), at a price of $25 per share to raise gross proceeds of $140 million.
On March 3, 2015, Sun Life Financial Inc. and BCE Inc. announced a new agreement that further advances BCE’s pension de-risking strategy by transferring longevity risk for C$5 billion of pension plan liabilities to Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada.
The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company (MLI) issued $500 million aggregate principal amount of subordinated debentures.
The 2.64 per cent fixed/floating subordinated debentures, which are due January 15, 2025, and are guaranteed by Manulife Financial Corporation on a subordinated basis, were offered through a syndicate of dealers co-led by RBC Capital Markets, BMO Capital Markets and TD Securities and which included CIBC World Markets Inc., Scotia Capital Inc., Merrill Lynch Canada Inc., National Bank Financial Inc., HSBC Securities (Canada) Inc., Desjardins Securities Inc., Canaccord Genuity Corp., Laurentian Bank Securities Inc. and Manulife Securities Incorporated.
Scotiabank completed the acquisition of a 20 per cent equity interest in the financial services business of Canadian Tire Corporation, Limited for $500 million in cash. As part of the new business partnership, Scotiabank has agreed to provide a funding commitment to the financial services business of up to $2.25 billion and the parties have entered into a marketing program agreement to pursue joint marketing initiatives.
Manulife Financial Corporation issued $200 million of Non-cumulative Rate Reset Class 1 Shares Series 11. The Preferred Shares were issued to the public at a price of $25.00 per Preferred Share and holders will be entitled to receive non-cumulative preferential quarterly dividends as and when declared by the board of directors of Manulife, to yield 4.00 per cent annually commencing on the closing date and ending on, and including, March 19, 2018.