McKay, MBA'92, named RBC president, CEO

By Jason Winders
December 05, 2013

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Western alumnus Dave McKay, MBA’92, will assume the role of president and chief executive officer of Royal Bank following the retirement of current president and CEO Gord Nixon on Aug. 1, 2014, the bank announced today. Nixon has served in the position for 13 years.

“I am honoured to be asked by the board to lead this remarkable institution and work with group executive to ensure we continue to invest in and grow our businesses,” said McKay, currently group head, personal and commercial banking. “I am energized about leading our 79,000 employees who serve our more than 15 million clients globally and embody our values and brand in all that they do.”

In line with RBC’s succession planning process, the Board of Directors said McKay will be appointed president at the Annual Meeting on Feb. 26, and then as president and CEO effective Aug. 1.

“The board is very confident in Dave’s leadership given his track record of driving performance and investing for the long term with a focus on innovation for sustainable growth,” said David O’Brien, board chair. “He has been recognized as one of the top retail bankers internationally and has a demonstrated commitment to clients, employees and communities, helping them succeed in an ever-changing world.

“Dave’s distinguished 25-year career at RBC, which includes retail banking, risk management and international experience in corporate banking, ideally positions him to take RBC in to the future.”

McKay, who holds an MBA from Western’s Ivey Business School, has spent a quarter century with RBC in many different areas including executive management of retail and commercial banking, retail banking field roles, commercial account management, group risk management and corporate banking in Canada and Japan.

As group head, personal and commercial banking, McKay is responsible for RBC’s banking businesses in Canada, the United States and Caribbean including personal financial services, business financial services, credit cards and payments, as well as RBC’s sales and branch distribution, operations and contact centres. As a member of Group Executive, he is one of eight executives responsible for setting the overall strategic direction of RBC.

From 2008-12, McKay was group head, Canadian banking, where he was responsible for RBC’s domestic retail. Previously, he served as executive vice-president of personal financial services and senior vice-president of financing products, respectively.

Most recently, he was recognized as the global Retail Banker of the Year by Retail Banker International. He is the vice-chair, Board of Governors for the University of Waterloo, and on the Board of Trustees for the Hospital for Sick Children (Sick Kids) in Toronto.

Nixon is the third chief executive at a big Canadian bank to announce his departure this year. Scotiabank’s Rick Waugh retired from the chief executive job last month; TD Bank chief executive Ed Clark announced plans to step down on Nov. 1, 2014.


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