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

Short seller’s attack on Manulife suffers after lawsuits against life insurers dismissed: A Saskatchewan court has dismissed lawsuits against several Canadian life insurers that claimed certain insurance products could be used as investment accounts that provided guaranteed returns to their policy-holders. Story (Clare O’Hara and Tim Kiladze, for subscribers)

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Understanding the Brookfield-Oaktree US$500-billion colossus: Brookfield Asset Management Inc. is spending nearly US$5-billion to buy 62 per cent of Oaktree Capital Group LLC. Don’t necessarily call it a “controlling” stake, however: With Brookfield taking just two of 10 Oaktree board seats, and the management of the Los Angeles-based distressed-debt investor remaining intact, the two money managers are describing the tie-up as more collaboration than takeover. It’s a US$500-billion pairing, they say, that gives their clients a wider spread of asset classes to choose from. The Globe and Mail’s David Milstead spoke to Brookfield chief executive Bruce Flatt and Howard Marks, the co-founder and co-chairman of Oaktree, to hear their takes on their new colossus. Q&A (David Milstead, for subscribers)

Timbercreek launches second Irish property fund: Canadian real estate fund Timbercreek Investment Management Inc. is launching its second Irish property fund to take advantage of the Brexit chaos, which is driving companies out of the United Kingdom and into cities such as Dublin. Story (Andrew Willis, for subscribers)

Ontario construction software firm Bridgit raises $6.2-million: The company now known as Bridgit Inc. began with what founders Mallorie Brodie and Lauren Lake call “crane hunting” – scouring London, Ont., for construction sites, looking for problems to solve. They found a few. And they’ve raised another $6.2-million to keep solving them. Story (Josh O’Kane)

To prevent lost crypto assets, Canada should follow Japan’s approach: Millions of dollars of crypto funds lost. Thousands of traders with no idea where to turn. Disbelief across the sector. But this isn’t the story of Canadian exchange QuadrigaCX, whose chief executive died unexpectedly, reportedly taking to his grave the virtual keys to vaults holding cryptocurrencies worth $180-million. Rather, this is the remarkable story of two Japanese exchanges that lost a combined US$1-billion of cryptocurrencies belonging to their customers, and how Japan’s government interceded, making the country arguably the safest in the world for cryptocurrency investors today. Opinion (Nick Chong)

Home buyers more focused on stress test than rates, brokers say: It happens every time, she says. The first thing Vancouver mortgage broker Patricia Collins gets asked when she sits down with clients is, “Can I pass the stress test?” “The first question used to be about rates,” but now, “the topic has been replaced by the scary stress test.” Story (Guy Dixon)

MORE FINANCIAL SERVICES NEWS

Money laundering: Danske Bank’s annual shareholder meeting extended into a fifth hour on Monday as retail investors expressed their discontent over the bank’s involvement in one of the world’s biggest money laundering scandals. Story (for subscribers)

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Bank merger: Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank faced concerns from workers unions, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s office and top shareholders on Monday after confirming merger talks. Story

Hiring: Goldman Sachs Group Inc is setting targets for hiring minority groups for the first time as it ramps up efforts to diversify its work force, according to a memo sent by top executives to employees on Monday. Story

MORE DEALS NEWS

Private equity: Canada Pension Plan Investment Board is expanding its presence in the North American natural gas market through a $3.8 billion joint venture with U.S. energy firm Williams Cos Inc., which will hold pipeline assets in the Marcellus and Utica shale basins, the biggest gas-producing region in the United States. Story (for subscribers)

IPO: Lyft Inc. kicked off the investor road show for its initial public offering on Monday, targeting a valuation of up to $23-billion and seeking to woo money managers before larger ride-hailing rival Uber Technologies Inc. goes public in April. Story

IPO: As Lyft Inc. cruises toward an initial public offering this month, one of the big winners will be General Motors Co., whose stake in the ride-hailing firm could be worth as much as US$1.27 billion. Story (for subscribers)

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WHAT ELSE WE’RE READING

Two new office towers that will reshape downtown Toronto and Vancouver: In Vancouver and Toronto, the centre is getting stronger. A pair of development companies are planning office towers that will reshape the downtowns of those two cities – and, with architecture by Bjarke Ingels Group, mixes up office space with infrastructure that runs the 21st-century city. Union Centre in Toronto, which is being revealed here for the first time, would be wedged into a tiny site next to Union Station. Yet it would be among the tallest and the biggest towers in the city: A planned 264 metres tall, almost as tall as as Scotia Plaza, and about 1.7 million square feet including office, data-centre space and an event venue. Opinion (Alex Bozikovic)

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