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Laurentian Bank of Canada has been working through an ambitious plan to reshape its place in the Canadian banking market

Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press

Laurentian Bank of Canada has hired Kelsey Gunderson to lead its capital-markets business, snapping up an experienced banker who became a free agent earlier this year after an executive shuffle at BMO Nesbitt Burns Inc.

Mr. Gunderson will be Laurentian’s executive vice-president of capital markets, and president and chief executive officer of Laurentian Bank Securities. He takes over responsibility for overseeing all capital-markets operations from François Laurin, who remains Laurentian Bank’s chief financial officer.

Mr. Gunderson was most recently global head of trading products for BMO Capital Markets, but left the bank when Deland Kamanga was promoted to that role in April amid a broader shuffling of the senior ranks. Mr. Gunderson spent 12 years at BMO, and his career has also included stints at the U.S. offices of Swiss bank Credit Suisse, and at CIBC World Markets Inc., the capital-markets division of Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce.

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He joins Laurentian Bank at a time of transition, as the bank works through an ambitious plan to reshape its place in the Canadian banking market. Laurentian’s leaders are betting heavily on a digital revamp that includes cutting costs, eliminating all tellers from branches and revamping core banking systems. The rate of change has created volatility in the bank’s earnings, testing some investors’ patience.

While Laurentian’s retail-banking operations have drawn most of the attention, the bank has been searching for stronger and steadier results from its capital-markets business – which focuses on helping institutional clients raise capital through debt and equity, and also operates a discount brokerage. In keeping with other large Canadian banks, Laurentian Bank Securities has struggled with uncertainty in global markets arising partly from concerns over trade and political turmoil.

Mr. Gunderson declined to comment on his new role, but one of his first tasks “will be to review the mandate” of the capital markets division and its “interactions with the other activities of the [Laurentian Bank Financial Group],” said spokeswoman Hélène Soulard, in an e-mail, adding: "He brings with him a breadth of experience in Capital Markets in large brokerage firms on top of which his skills, talent and values are aligned with [Laurentian Bank’s].”

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