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Here are the top reads on deals and financial services over the last 24 hours. Have a great summer weekend.

FINANCIAL SERVICES NEWS

OPSEU Pension Trust names Peter Lindley as new CEO: OPSEU Pension Trust, the pension plan for Ontario provincial government employees, has named a former executive with State Street Global Advisors Ltd. as its new CEO, its fourth in less than eight years. Peter Lindley, formerly the president and head of investments for State Street’s Canadian operations, takes over in mid-September. Story (David Milstead)

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CIBC hikes dividend, posts 2 per cent profit gain as period of slower growth continues: A modest 2-per-cent bump in the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce’s third-quarter profit came as a pleasant surprise to investors, underscoring the dim expectations placed on the country’s fifth-largest bank. Toronto-based CIBC benefited from better margins in Canadian retail banking and impressive growth in U.S. commercial loans and deposits. Story (James Bradshaw)

RBC’s mixed results set a cautiously optimistic tone as third-quarter earning season begins for Canadian banks: Royal Bank of Canada leaned on its retail-banking and wealth-management divisions to boost third-quarter profit and overcome a weak spell in capital markets, setting a cautiously optimistic tone as earnings season for Canada’s big banks begins. Canada’s largest bank by assets is the first major lender to report fiscal third-quarter results, and its performance was mixed. Story (James Bradshaw)

'We did it the right way’: Doug McGregor retires after guiding RBC Capital Markets to global leadership: On Doug McGregor’s 11-year watch as chief executive, RBC Capital Markets grew from a regional player into a leading global investment bank, navigating storms that swept away far larger institutions. As the 63-year-old announced plans on Wednesday to retire in January, Mr. McGregor predicted his successors will continue to expand Royal Bank of Canada’s capital-markets franchise, due to a combination of the firm’s strong culture and its ability to overcome the structural issues that continue to bedevil many international rivals. Derek Neldner, aged 46 and currently global head of investment banking, will take over as CEO of RBC Capital Markets in the new year. Story (Andrew Willis)

For Canadian bank stocks, ‘the risk/reward equation is not stacking up attractively’: Merrill Lynch bank analyst Ebrahim Poonawala has turned more cautious on Canadian banks ahead of upcoming profit reports. Story (Scott Barlow)

Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan first half results show move toward fixed income: Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan made a strong shift to bonds in the first half of the year and benefited from robust returns in fixed income. The pension plan said it posted an overall 6.3 per cent return in the first half of 2019 and closed the quarter with a portfolio of $198.5-billion. Fixed income led the returns, Teachers said. Story (David Milstead)

Manulife tripled CannTrust holdings before licence scandal, SEC records show: Manulife Asset Management jacked up its holdings of CannTrust Holdings Inc. stock in the second quarter – just in time for the company’s surprise disclosure that it was growing cannabis without a licence. Story (David Milstead)

Toronto fintech Drop sees $44-million in latest funding round: Royal Bank of Canada is backing an upstart loyalty-management program geared at millennials called Drop Technologies Inc. as part of a US$44-million venture-capital financing. Story (Sean Silcoff)

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AGF shares jump on U.K. merger talks: Shares of Canadian fund manager AGF Management Ltd. soared Monday amid merger talks on the other side of the Atlantic. AGF confirmed Monday that London-based Smith & Williamson, a private wealth-management firm of which AGF owns 33.6 per cent, is in “exclusive discussions” with Tilney Group Ltd. about a possible merger that would create one of Britain’s largest wealth managers with £45-billion ($66-million) in assets. Story(Clare O’Hara and David Milstead)

Goldman Sachs arm to take stake in Slate Asset Management: The asset-management arm of Wall Street investment bank Goldman Sachs Group Inc. is taking a minority stake in Toronto’s Slate Asset Management, according to sources familiar with the matter. The investment, which is expected to be announced Monday morning, will see Goldman buy a minority interest in Slate, a real-estate focused investment company with more than $6-billion in assets under management. Story (Clare O’Hara)

DEALS NEWS: MERGERS, ACQUISITIONS, IPOs and FINANCINGS

Transat shareholders approve Air Canada’s $720-million bid: The fate of Air Canada’s $720-million takeover bid for Transat A.T. Inc. rests with regulators after shareholders overwhelmingly approved the acquisition offer Friday. In a special meeting, shareholders of the Quebec-based tour operator voted 94.77 per cent in favour of accepting the $18-per-share transaction from the country’s largest airline. Story (Canadian Press)

Hasbro to acquire Entertainment One for $4-billion: Hasbro, Inc. is purchasing Toronto-based Entertainment One Ltd. in a US$4-billion deal that comes with long-running children’s series Peppa Pig. Story (Stefanie Marotta and Megan Devlin)

Chinook Therapeutics raises US$65-million in Versant-led financing: A new Vancouver drug development company developing treatments for rare kidney disorders has raised US$65-million from a trio of American venture capital funds. Story (Sean Silcoff)

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Saputo raising $599-million from bought deal, private placement: Saputo Inc. is raising a total of $599-million from a bought deal and private placement in a move that could allow the Montreal-based dairy giant to keep expanding. BMO Nesbitt Burns Inc. and National Bank Financial Inc. together bought 10.1 million shares from Saputo for $39.60 each, or about $400-million. Story (Megan Devlin)

Pembina to acquire Kinder Morgan Canada and other assets in $4.35-billion deal: Pembina Pipeline Corp. is buying Kinder Morgan Canada Ltd. and the U.S. portion of a key condensate pipeline for $4.35-billion, a deal that will bolster its position in the high-demand oil storage and transport business. For Houston-based Kinder Morgan Inc., the sale marks its exit from Canada after it sold its largest asset – the Trans Mountain oil pipeline – to Ottawa last year for $4.4-billion. It follows a formal process to seek buyers for the majority-owned Canadian operation that ended in the spring after failing to attract acceptable proposals. Story (Jeffrey Jones)

Why Richard Baker will raise HBC bid: Here are two fearless predictions on the Hudson’s Bay Co. takeover battle: Richard Baker and his allies will increase their $1-billion offer for the department store chain, and they will do it with other people’s money. Opinion (Andrew Willis)

Catalyst Capital buys HBC stake in bid to block Baker effort to take retailer private: Catalyst Capital Group Inc.’s said it has acquired 10.05 per cent of Hudson’s Bay Co., giving the investment firm more leverage to block a $1-billion privatization offer from the retailer’s executive chairman, Richard Baker. The $187-million of stock tendered to the Toronto-based investment firm’s bid for shares adds to its existing position in HBC, Catalyst said without disclosing the total amount. Story(Rachelle Younglai)

Cannabis, crypto and connections: Wayland Group’s shifting fortunes: A warning sign of fresh trouble for Wayland Group Corp. came to light in late April. Once one of Canada’s most promising cannabis companies, Wayland announced on April 23 that it likely wouldn’t file its 2018 financial statements on time. A week later, it confirmed the delay, prompting the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) to place a cease trade order on its shares. Story (Tim Kiladze and Mark Rendell)

Oil-patch woes could play in favour of a Husky buyout: Husky Energy Inc. could be ripe for privatization by its long-time controlling shareholder based on company-specific math and the sorry state of Canada’s oil patch. Opinion (Jeffrey Jones)

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Quebec minister touts AI financing, but Caisse says there’s no deal: The Quebec government and pension-fund giant Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec will invest a combined US$100-million in Element AI Inc., representing up to half of a coming venture-capital financing by the Montreal artificial-intelligence startup, Quebec’s Economy and Innovation Minister Pierre Fitzgibbon said. The cabinet of Premier François Legault last month issued an order-in-council that the government would invest US$25-million through Investissement Québec (IQ), a provincially controlled investing agency, as Element “is of significant economic interest to Quebec.” Story (Sean Silcoff)

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