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Carolyn Wilkins addresses the Munk School of Global Affairs in Ottawa on Nov. 12, 2020.BLAIR GABLE/Reuters

Carolyn Wilkins, the Bank of Canada’s former second-in-command, has joined the board of directors of insurance company Intact Financial Corp.

The former senior deputy governor left the central bank in December. Ms. Wilkins’s position with Intact is her first foray into the private sector since leaving the bank.

“Her experience as a policy innovator and leader at the Bank of Canada during some of the most challenging periods for economic and monetary policy will be a welcome addition to our board,” Claude Dussault, Intact’s board chair, said in a statement.

Ms. Wilkins spent 20 years with the Bank of Canada and was appointed senior deputy governor in 2014, becoming the highest-ranking woman in the history of the central bank. Many in the financial community had tipped her to succeed Stephen Poloz as bank governor upon his departure last June. Instead, then-finance minister Bill Morneau chose Tiff Macklem, another former senior deputy governor, to lead the bank.

After being passed over for the top job, Ms. Wilkins opted to leave the bank in December, five months before the end of her term.

Intact is the country’s largest player in automobile and property insurance with an estimated 17-per-cent market share. At the end of last year, the company announced a joint takeover of Britain’s RSA Insurance Group PLC that would further increase its Canadian dominance – as well as expand its international footprint.

Intact board members are paid an annual retainer fee of $210,000, in cash and stock, and earn more if they serve on company committees.

Ms. Wilkins follows other former bank governors and deputy governors into the private sector. Mr. Poloz joined the boards of pipeline company Enbridge Inc. and technology and consulting firm CGI Inc. within weeks of leaving the bank. He also joined Bay Street law firm Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP as a special adviser.

The Bank of Canada is still looking for Ms. Wilkins’s replacement. Officially, the search for a new senior deputy is in the hands of an independent committee of the bank’s board, although in practice, the governor provides significant input into the choice. Final approval lies with the finance minister and prime minister.

With a file from Clare O’Hara

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