Purdy, who is a native of Five Islands, Nova Scotia, began his legal career at Osler in 1958. He practised primarily in the corporate/commercial area, and rose through the ranks to become a senior partner by 1970. During that time, he also taught at Osgoode Hall Law School and the University of Toronto Law School, and served on the committee that drafted Ontario’s new securities laws. He left Osler to join Imasco Limited in 1985, becoming Chairman, President and CEO two years later. He retired as CEO in 1995, but continued as non-executive Chairman of Imasco, CT Financial Services Inc. and Canada Trustco Mortgage Company until February 1, 2000.
Purdy rejoined Osler as Counsel in March 2000. An esteemed lawyer and business executive whose influence has been felt throughout the Canadian securities industry, he sits on the boards of several Canadian companies, has advised high-profile clients, chaired committee and government panels, and generously given his time and expertise to philanthropic causes. He has been involved with many not-for-profit organizations over the years and has earned a reputation as a key figure in the Canadian business community.
Business Leadership Highlights
Purdy was a member of the Joint Securities Industry Committee on Conflicts and the TSE Committee on Corporate Governance in Canada. He was Chairman of the Securities Industry Committee on Analyst Standards and the Five-Year Review Advisory Committee under the Securities Act (Ontario). He chaired a national panel to consider the issue of having a single securities regulator in Canada. He was Chair of the Investor Committee of the Pan-Canadian Committee, which oversaw the successful restructuring of $32 billion of non-bank Canadian third-party asset-backed commercial paper.
Community Service and Causes
- Chancellor Emeritus of Mount Allison University
- Member of the Foundation Board of the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada and active in its capital fundraising campaigns
- United Way Canada Volunteerism Award (1995)
- Honorary Chief Rising Tide of the Membertou First Nation
Honours and Awards
Purdy’s service to Canadian business and society has been recognized by numerous organizations and received many awards, including the following:
- Catalyst Canada Honours, Special Recognition as a Board Diversity Champion for his work in advancing women to board leadership.
- Lexpert Zenith Award (2012)
- Osler Alumni Extraordinary Achievement Award (2012)
- Canada’s 25 Most Influential Lawyers (2010)
- Arthur Kroeger Award in Public Affairs for Management (2010)
- Canadian Investment Person of Influence of the Year Award (2008)
- Companion of the Order of Canada (2007)
- Yee Hong Golden Achievement Award (2007)
- Honoured as a Champion of Public Education by The Learning Partnership (2007)
- The Conference Board of Canada’s Honorary Associate (2003)
- Public Policy Forum Honouree (2002)
- Inductee of the Canadian Business Hall of Fame (2000)
- Ivey Business Leader of the Year (2000)
- Fellow of the Institute of Corporate Directors (1999)
- Inductee of the Business Hall of Fame of Nova Scotia (1997)
- Officer of the Order of Canada (1996)
- Friend of Education Award, by the Canadian Council for the Advancement of Education (1996)
- Honorary Doctorates of Laws from Cape Breton University, Mount Allison, Dalhousie and the University of Windsor.