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Bank of Montreal Promotes Techar Chief Operating Officer

Bank of Montreal, Canada’s fourth-largest lender by assets, promoted Frank Techar to the new role of chief operating officer as part of a plan to consolidate oversight of its retail businesses.

Techar, 57, currently chief executive officer of personal and commercial banking in Canada, will take on the role on Nov. 1, the Toronto-based bank said today in a statement. He’ll be responsible for the lender’s personal and commercial business, wealth, and retail-distribution channels.

“I am looking forward to working closely with Frank in a shared multiyear commitment to redefine our business, work more efficiently for customers and capitalize on our scale in Canada and the United States,” CEO William Downe, 61, said in the statement.

Techar will oversee Mark Furlong, who heads the Chicago-based BMO Harris Bank U.S. lending unit, and Gilles Ouellette, who heads wealth management. The change won’t affect the lender’s BMO Capital Markets investment-banking business.

Bank of Montreal rose 0.6 percent to close at C$70.66 in Toronto trading.

Techar was appointed to his current position in July 2006. He led the bank’s U.S. personal and commercial business from 2002 to 2006. Techar began his Bank of Montreal career in 1984 in corporate banking, holding various positions in the U.S. and U.K.

Paul Deegan, a bank spokesman, said Techar’s appointment is not part of a succession plan for Downe, who became CEO in March 2007.

“Bill has made a multiyear commitment to the board,” Deegan said in a telephone interview. “He is not going anywhere.”

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