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BMO’s Downe Says He Has No Thoughts on Retirement

Bank of Montreal Chief Executive Officer William Downe said he hasn’t given retirement any consideration even as counterparts at rival Canadian banks step aside after years in charge.

“I don’t have any thoughts on the topic at all,” Downe, 62, said today in a telephone interview.

Bank of Montreal is alone among the five largest Canadian lenders in not announcing a CEO succession in the past 17 months. Downe has had the top job since March 2007, when he succeeded Anthony Comper as head of the Toronto-based bank.

“He’s made a multiyear commitment to the board,” said Paul Deegan, a spokesman for the bank. “He’s not going anywhere.”

Royal Bank of Canada CEO Dave McKay, 50, took over the top job when Gordon Nixon, 57, retired this month after 13 years at the helm. Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce’s wealth-management head Victor Dodig, 49, will succeed CEO Gerald McCaughey, 58, when he retires mid-September. Toronto-Dominion Bank CEO Ed Clark, 66, is set to retire in November after almost a dozen years, ushering in Bharat Masrani, 58, as the top executive.

Bank of Nova Scotia CEO Brian Porter, 56, took over at Canada’s third-largest lender in November after Richard Waugh, 66, retired following a 10-year tenure.

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