* CEOs of RBC, TD say they'll be around another year
* Scotiabank has appointed heir apparent but CEO shift not
* Canada's bank sector seen as soundest in the world
By Cameron French
TORONTO, Jan 8 The CEOs of Canada's top two
banks on Tuesday made clear they would not be stepping down in
the immediate future, postponing any expectations of a
generational shift in the country's banking sector.
Speculation that the country's large banks would soon be led
by younger people began in earnest in October when Bank of Nova
Scotia, Canada's No. 3 bank, named longtime executive
Brian Porter as president, making him the heir apparent to Chief
Executive Officer Rick Waugh. Porter is in his mid-50s.
Waugh assumed the bank's top job in 2003, a year after
Toronto-Dominion Bank CEO Ed Clark and two years after
Royal Bank of Canada Gord Nixon, and analysts and
investors have wondered since about succession plans.
Clark and Nixon aren't in any rush to hit the golf course,
they implied Tuesday.
"Invite me for next year and I'll show up," Clark, 65,
quipped at the RBC Capital Markets Canadian Bank CEO conference
when asked if he expected to be back in 2014.
Nixon, who has the longest tenure of the three, is also the
youngest, and he gave no hint that he's planning to step down.
"I have now been 12 years in this role, and at some point I
think it is appropriate to turn it over and to move on. But I'm
only 55 and have some -- hopefully some runway left," he said.
"It certainly won't be into my mid-60s, I can assure you on
While Waugh, 65, is widely expected to step down within the
year, he gave no hint of when that might happen. "We have a time
in mind. We're not disclosing it, but it's not imminent. But I'm
on the downward slope," he said.
Canada's banking sector is dominated by five large lenders,
which each have a sizable market share in retail banking, wealth
management and investment banking. As such, succession at the
top banks is watched closely.
Whenever the current crew of CEOs do step down, their
successors will have big shoes to fill.
The banks navigated through the U.S. financial crisis
relatively unscathed, and the sector has been named the world's
soundest five years running by the world Economic Forum.
Waugh and Clark have also presided over massive
international expansions for their banks. Scotiabank has
extended its presence in Latin America and Asia, while TD has
built a U.S. retail bank that boasts more branches than its
"Strategically, the banks will have very viable growth
platforms outside Canada, and that will be their principal
legacy, in my opinion," said Peter Routledge, an analyst at
National Bank Financial.
Analysts say Bharat Masrani and Tim Hockey, who head TD's
U.S. and Canadian retail banks, respectively, have the inside
track on the top job. At RBC, the picture is less clear.
The head of No. 4 Bank of Montreal, Bill Downe, and
the CEO of No. 5 lender Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce
, Gerry McCaughey, have only been in their jobs for six
and seven years, respectively.
In terms of tenure, all five CEOs will have a tough time
matching Larry Pollock, CEO of regional lender Canadian Western
Bank. Pollock will step down in March after 23 years at
the bank. In that time the bank has turned a profit every