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Coupling reactions between benzylamines and boronic esters have been investigated. ortho-Lithiated benzylamines react with boronic esters and a N-activator to afford ortho-substituted benzylic boronic esters with formal 1,1′-benzylidene insertion into the C-B bond. The reaction occurs by a SN2′ elimination and 1,2-metalate rearrangement of the N-activated boronate complex to afford a dearomatized intermediate, which undergoes a Lewis-acid catalyzed 1,3-borotropic shift to afford the boronic ester products in high yield and with excellent enantiospecificity. The use of enantioenriched α-substituted benzylamines gave the corresponding secondary boronic esters with high ee.
28/02/14 → 29/11/17