RBC's Fukakusa Sets Pay Benchmark for Canada's Female BankersBy
Nine women make it on Canadian banks’ disclosure list for pay
Women make up 21% of named executives but only get 10% of pay
Bay Street’s highest-paid female banker set a new benchmark for women executives in the banking industry -- though their ranks among the top wage earners remain thin.
Janice Fukakusa, Royal Bank of Canada’s former chief financial officer, was the highest paid woman among the country’s eight largest lenders in fiscal 2016, bringing in C$4.67 million ($3.47 million) in compensation excluding pension. Fukakusa, who was also Royal Bank’s chief administrative officer, retired in January after 31 years at the bank. The most she received in one year was C$4.96 million for 2014.
Fukakusa, 62, was one of a handful of veteran women executives in Canadian banking that have kept pace with their male counterparts for pay over the years. Others include Jennifer Tory, also of Royal Bank, who earned C$4.29 million as group head of personal and commercial banking; Toronto-Dominion Bank’s Colleen Johnston, 58, who brought in C$3.1 million; and Diane Giard, 56, of National Bank of Canada who made C$2.84 million.
They are still in the minority when it comes to the top executives: only nine, or 21 percent, of the 43 named executives at the eight banks are women, according to regulatory disclosures. Those women received C$22.3 million in compensation for the year ended Oct. 31, or about 10 percent of C$214 million the executives earned in total.
“There’s still a long way to go,” Tanya van Biesen, executive director of Catalyst Canada, an organization that promotes women in the workplace, said in an interview. “But we have seen that the banks really are working very hard to get their numbers up as far as female representation at the executive suite."
Still, there are no female chief executive officers among Canada’s largest banks, extending an industry shutout that stretches back two centuries. The U.S., in comparison, has women bank CEOs, including Beth Mooney at KeyCorp, Ellen Alemany at CIT Group Inc., and Synchrony Financial’s Margaret Keane. In Canada, there are also no women overseeing investment-banking divisions , whose heads tend to command the highest pay packages after CEOs.
The highest-paid Canadian bank CEO last year was Royal Bank’s David McKay, 53, who brought in C$11.5 million, followed by Bank of Montreal’s William Downe, 64, with C$10.6 million and Scotiabank’s Brian Porter, 59, at C$10.1 million. The top paid investment-banking head was Royal Bank’s Doug McGregor, 60, who received C$10 million as group head of capital markets and investor and treasury services.
Scotiabank’s Ignacio “Nacho” Deschamps received the most among all executives with C$12.75 million in compensation as group head of international banking and digital transformation -- though that included a C$5.7 million sign-on award.
When considering the top executives across Canadian banking, Fukakusa ranks 20th overall for compensation. Toronto-Dominion’s Teri Currie, who also heads domestic personal banking, made her debut on the named executives list, ranking third after RBC’s Tory, at C$3.39 million.
There are other women executives at Canadian financial firms who don’t get named in regulatory filings but hold senior roles -- and more are increasing in the ranks. Companies only need to disclose compensation for all named executive officers, which include the CEO, CFO and each of the three most highly paid executives whose total compensation is above C$150,000, according to regulatory requirements.
Those women include Laura Dottori-Attanasio, chief risk officer at Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, Bank of Montreal’s Joanna Rotenberg, who became group head of wealth management in November and Brenda Rideout, who took the helm of Scotiabank’s online lender Tangerine on March 1 after the unit’s former CEO Peter Aceto departed.
Women also populate the CEO level and senior ranks at the country’s credit unions, including Vancouver City Savings Credit Union, headed by Tamara Vrooman. HSBC Holdings Plc’s Canadian unit is led by Sandra Stuart, 53.
"The banks are definitely playing a leadership role in Canada," Catalyst’s van Biesen said. “There is no lack of energy, effort and discussion happening."