Bill Black (businessman)

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William "Bill" Black, C.M. (born 1950) is a Canadian business leader.

Early life[edit]

Born in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Black graduated from the Halifax Grammar School. He then graduated from Dalhousie University with two degrees at age 19, and then went on to complete his actuarial training in 1974.

Career with Maritime Life[edit]

He started working for Maritime Life, a company that was co-founded by his great-grandfather, William Anderson Black, in 1922. Black entered senior management at 25, and eventually became president and CEO. During his nine years as president, the company saw continuous expansion and record profits with the number of jobs in Halifax more than doubling to over 1200. By 2004 the company had 3,000 employees and $15 billion in assets under management. Under his leadership, Maritime Life gained a solid reputation for employee relations and appearing every year among the leaders in the Report on Business list of top 50 employers in Canada. When Maritime's parent company, John Hancock Financial, was purchased by Manulife, Black resigned rather than move to Ontario.[1]

Board experience[edit]

His board experience includes being Chair at the Halifax Chamber of Commerce, IWK Health Centre, Symphony Nova Scotia, and the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Public Affairs. He was Lead Director of the Bank of Canada from 2008–2012. He has also been on the board of Dalhousie University (Vice-chair), Standard Life of Canada (Deputy Chair), and Nova Scotia Business Inc. He chaired a summit on the future of economic development in Halifax, and in 2008 chaired the panel reviewing pension legislation and regulation in the Province of Nova Scotia.

He currently sits on the boards of Shaw Group and the Global Risk Institute. In July 2015 he was appointed chair-designate of the Capital Markets Regulatory Authority. He has led a leadership seminar for senior executives since 2006 and is a regular columnist in the Halifax Chronicle Herald on public policy issues.

Political career[edit]

He ran in the leadership race for the Progressive Conservative Association of Nova Scotia in 2006,[2][3] finishing second to Rodney MacDonald.[4] Prior to seeking the leadership, Black was nominated as the Progressive Conservative candidate for Halifax Citadel.[5][6] In the 2006 election, he was defeated, losing to New Democrat Leonard Preyra by 330 votes.[7][8]


In 2015, he was named a Member of the Order of Canada.[9]


  1. ^ "Maritime Life president quits rather than move to Ontario". The Daily News. Halifax. May 12, 2004. 
  2. ^ "Black kicks off Tory leadership race". Nova News Net. October 26, 2005. Retrieved 2015-08-25. 
  3. ^ "Black opens premier bid with LeBlanc jab". The Daily News. Halifax. October 27, 2005. 
  4. ^ "N.S. Tories pick youthful leader". CBC News. February 11, 2006. Retrieved 2015-08-25. 
  5. ^ "Bill Black wins Tory nod in Halifax riding". The Chronicle Herald. September 28, 2005. 
  6. ^ "Black wins Tory Citadel nod". The Daily News. Halifax. September 28, 2005. 
  7. ^ "Black day for Tories in Citadel". The Daily News. Halifax. June 14, 2006. 
  8. ^ "Election Returns, 2006 (Halifax Citadel)" (PDF). Elections Nova Scotia. Retrieved 2015-08-25. 
  9. ^ "Four Nova Scotians among Order of Canada honourees". The Chronicle Herald. July 1, 2015. Retrieved 2015-08-25.