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Rania llewellyn, the new CEO for Laurentian Bank, outside one of their branches in downtown Toronto, on Oct. 20, 2020.Aaron Vincent Elkaim/The Globe and Mail

Laurentian Bank of Canada LB-T has hired three new senior executives as chief executive officer Rania Llewellyn revamps the upper ranks of a financial institution poised to attempt a challenging turnaround.

The Montreal-based bank has hired Sébastien Bélair as executive vice-president and chief human resources officer. He comes from National Bank of Canada, where he spent 22 years, most recently as a senior vice-president in charge of retail banking operations, strategy and transformation.

Yves Denomme is joining Laurentian as executive vice-president of operations, from electronic land registry company Teranet, where he was a senior vice-president. Mr. Denomme’s role is new, and replaces the chief operating officer job that will be vacated when current COO Deborah Rose retires next week. He starts Feb. 22.

And Laurentian is splitting its technology unit from its operations team, and has named Adam Swinemar as senior vice-president of digital banking. Mr. Swinemar will set Laurentian’s digital strategy for personal and commercial banking. He most recently worked at Bank of Nova Scotia, as a vice-president in charge of digital customer experience.

Since Ms. Llewellyn took over as the bank’s CEO in October – also joining from Scotiabank – she has launched a top-to-bottom review of the bank’s priorities, aiming to chart a new strategy. An external hire herself and a non-francophone, she is emblematic of a bank that is trying to change course after a seven-year transformation plan crafted by her predecessor, François Desjardins, appeared to have stalled. So far, she has undertaken a major overhaul of Laurentian’s executive team.

In December, personal and commercial banking head Stéphane Therrien retired. He had served as interim CEO after the abrupt retirement of Mr. Desjardins last June, following a string of poor results. And in January, the bank announced that chief financial officer Francois Laurin will retire in April, to be succeeded by Yves Deschamps, who joined Laurentian in 2016 and has held roles in corporate development and finance.

The bank will report its financial results for the fiscal first quarter – the first three months under Ms. Llewellyn, which ended Jan. 31 – on March 3.

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