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Here are the top reads on deals and financial services over the last 24 hours,

CPPIB head worries about fallout if investors lose their appetite for private assets: Investors’ appetite for private assets is great right now. Mark Machin’s concern is what could happen if some of those investors need to find cash. Story (David Milstead, for subscribers)

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Hydro One sets CEO compensation at $2.5-million, above level sought by province: Hydro One’s board of directors has proposed to pay a new chief executive up to $2.475-milion, a plan that is being angrily rejected by the government of Premier Doug Ford. In response to the government’s demand to slash executive pay at the power utility, the board of directors said Thursday it would reduce the chief executive’s pay level by 62 per cent and cut directors compensation by 47 per cent, saving $5-million annually. Story (Shawn McCarthy and Laura Stone, for subscribers)

Decision on who will represent Quadriga users is expected next Friday, judge says: More than 100,000 users collectively owed at least $250-million by beleaguered cryptocurrency trading platform QuadrigaCX will have to wait another week to learn who will represent them in court. Seventeen lawyers with insolvency and cryptocurrency expertise crammed a Halifax courtroom Thursday to submit arguments on who should represent the people who were registered as users with Quadriga, which abruptly shut down last month. Story (Jessica Leeder, for subscribers)

BMO hires Scott Brison for senior investment banking role: Bank of Montreal has hired Scott Brison into a senior role within its corporate and investment bank after the long-time politician announced he was retiring from government. On Thursday BMO Nesbitt Burns announced that Mr. Brison is joining the dealer as a vice-chair in corporate and investment banking. He will be based in Toronto. Story (Tim Kiladze, for subscribers)

Brookfield posts US$16-billion annual revenue gain, eyes ‘bespoke’ investment opportunities: Brookfield Asset Management Inc., already among the biggest global asset managers, has US$34-billion ready to put into new investments. How much of that we’ll see deployed in 2019 is unclear, however, as Brookfield’s leaders suggest they believe we’re nearing the end of an investment cycle – and some of the best opportunities come after. Story (David Milstead, for subscribers)

Canaccord Genuity acquires U.S. boutique dealer for $60-million: Canaccord Genuity Group Inc. expanded its U.S. investment banking platform on Wednesday by acquiring New York-based boutique advisory firm Petsky Prunier LLC for $60-million. Canaccord is acquiring an employee-owned firm that offers merger-and-acquisition advisory services to mid-sized companies in the technology, internet, media and health-care sectors – areas where the Toronto-based dealer already has a domestic franchise. Story (Andrew Willis, for subscribers)

MORE FINANCIAL SERVICES NEWS

Insurance: A court in the Canadian province of Saskatchewan on Thursday reserved its decision on whether claims by a hedge fund against insurer Manulife Financial Corp should be dismissed following a change of rules in the province. Story

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IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

Insurance earnings: Two of Canada’s largest insurers reported earnings on Wednesday evening, with Sun Life Financial Inc. beating expectations and Manulife Financial Corp. falling a bit short. Sun Life Financial reported fourth-quarter net income of $580-million, or 96 cents per share, up from $207-million or 34 cents per share in 2017’s fourth quarter. Story (Clare O’Hara and David Milstead, for subscribers)

This is my new pick for the best research report ever written for investors: My pick for the single best short paper ever written for market participants of any skill level is “Decision-Making for Investors: Theory, Practice, and Pitfalls” by Michael Mauboussin, written in 2004 when he was chief investment strategist at Legg Mason. Now it appears he may have just published a better one. The author is currently the head of research for asset management firm Blue Mountain Capital Management LLC of New York. He’s also an adjunct professor of finance at Columbia University and sits on the board of trustees for the Sante Fe Institute, an organization that facilitates multidisciplined research in complexity. Story (Scott Barlow, for subscribers)

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