The CFOs of Canada's Big Five

By Bizclik Editor




Check this article out as it appears in our April Issue of Business Review Canada. Trust us, it's way cooler to read this article when you can flip through our user-friendly e-reader.

The banking industry encompasses some of Canada’s best financial minds. To keep the Big Five banks on track, these companies employ the elite of the financial world. This month, Business Review Canada gets to know the background and expertise of CFOs from Canada’s Big Five.

Royal Bank of Canada: Janice Fukakusa

Janice Fukakusa, CFO of the Royal Bank of Canada since 2004, is one of the nine executives responsible for setting the overall strategic direction of RBC. Fukakusa started her career by earning a Master of Business Administration degree from Schulich School. Following her studies, she earned professional designations of chartered accountant and chartered business valuator at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP. Joining the RBC in 1985, Fukakusa held positions in retail and business banking, corporate banking, account management, corporate finance, treasury, strategic development and corporate functions leading to an esteemed role of Executive Vice President of Finance. Fukakusa also currently holds the Chief Administrative Officer position at RBC. One of the leading ladies of the financial industry, Fukakusa believes in helping fellow female co-workers gain the skills needed to become strong candidates for executive positions.

Bank of Nova Scotia: Luc A. Vanneste

Luc A. Vanneste, the CFO and Executive Vice-President of The Bank of Nova Scotia (Scotiabank), is in charge of the company’s Finance Department. This includes Investor Relations, Taxation and Strategic Sourcing. CFO since 2005, Vanneste joined Scotiabank in 1999 as Senior Vice-President and Chief Auditor. Graduating from the University of Toronto in 1975, he received his chartered accountant designations in the same year and later obtained a Masters of Business Administration from University of Western Ontario in 1999. Prior to Scotiabank, Vanneste spent 24 years with KPMG LLP eventually becoming a partner of the company. A member of several charity boards, Vanneste has been a part of the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario since 1984 and was Chairman of the Board from 1994 to 1996. Vanneste is also a member of the Financial Committee of the Canadian Bankers Association. In June 2006, Vanneste was appointed a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants.

TD Canada Trust: Colleen Johnston

Colleen M. Johnston has been the Chief Financial Officer and Group Head of finance for TD Canada Trust since 2005. Graduating from York University, Johnston received her chartered accountant designations in 1984 at Price Waterhouse. Before her current position, Johnston spent fifteen years at Soctiabank holding various senior positions. Accruing awards, Johnston is widely acknowledged as a leader in the financial industry. She was named one of Canada’s Most Powerful Women in 2006 by Women’s Executive Network, inducted into the Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Hall of Fame in 2007, named “Best Chief Financial Officer” by Canadian Business in 2009, and in 2010 was named one of the “Top 25 Most Powerful Women in Banking by U.S. Banker Magazine for the second year. Colleen is a volunteer of charity organizations and is currently the Chair of the Board of Development Committee of the Heart and Stroke Foundation.



Bank of Montreal: Russel C. Robertson

Russel C. Robertson is the CFO of the Bank of Montreal (BMO). Robertson started his career with a degree from the University of Western Ontario. In 1969 he pursued a career at Arthur Andersen LLP in Toronto leading to a variety of senior roles including Canadian Managing Partner from 1994 until 2002. When Arthur Andersen LLP merged with Deloitte, Robertson became Deloitte and Touch LLP Vice-Chairman working closely with BMO as Lead Client Service Partner. In 2008 Robertson joined BMO as interim Chief Financial Officer and was appointed official CFO in 2009. Robertson, over the years, has been heavily involved with a variety of educational, community and arts organizations including Schulich School of Business, Junior Achievement, Royal St. George’s College and the National Ballet of Canada. In Spring 2011, Robertson will be promoted to Executive Vice President of Business Integration at BMO.

Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce: David Williamson

David Williamson, the CFO and Senior Executive Vice-President of Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC), has the overall responsibility for financial, management and regulatory reporting, maintenance of accounting records, tax planning, compliance and liaising with CIBC investors. Williamson’s wealth of experience started in 1983 by receiving a degree from McMaster University. A Chartered Accountant, Williamson has previous knowledge from all over the financial board. Previous positions have included working as a management consultant with international banks, such as the Bank for International Settlements in Switzerland. Williamson was also President and CEO of Derlan Industries, Senior Vice-President of Strategic Planning and Development for Canada Life, Executive Vice President and CFO for Clarica Life Insurance Company and President and CEO of Atlas Cold Storage. Joining CIBC in 2008, Williamson was appointed the CFO position. ** As this article went to press, David Williamson was promoted to Senior Executive Vice-President, CIBC, and Group Head, Retail and Business Banking. Kevin Glass is the new CIBC CEO**


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