RBC Under Nixon Canada’s Most Profitable Company

Royal Bank of Canada generated the most profit of companies in Canada’s benchmark Standard & Poor’s/TSX Composite Index since Chief Executive Officer Gordon Nixon took over in August 2001.

The CHART OF THE DAY shows Royal Bank, the nation’s second-largest lender by assets, reported C$62.8 billion ($57.8 billion) of net income under Nixon, who retires Aug. 1 after leading the Toronto-based lender for 13 years. Bank of Nova Scotia had the second-highest profit at C$50.7 billion, followed by Toronto-Dominion Bank with C$48.7 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Oil-and-gas producers Suncor Energy Inc., with C$37.8 billion, and Imperial Oil Ltd., with C$32.9 billion, round out the Top 5, based on disclosures through yesterday.

Royal Bank shares returned an average 13 percent a year including dividends under Nixon’s watch, beating the 8.1 percent annual return for the Canadian benchmark index. The stock rose to a record last week.

“When you look at Point A to Point Z, Gord has done a wonderful job,” said Som Seif, CEO of Purpose Investments Inc. in Toronto. “Every investor who has held Royal Bank stock should be extremely proud and happy with that.”

Nixon, 57, almost tripled Royal Bank’s assets during his tenure even after undoing part of a U.S. expansion initiated by his predecessor, John Cleghorn, and navigating the 2008 financial crisis. Royal Bank had C$895.9 billion of assets as of April 30, up from C$335 billion when Nixon took over. He will be succeeded by David McKay, 50, who previously headed the bank’s consumer-lending business.

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