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Lesley Marks, former chief investment officer at BMO Private Wealth, in Toronto on Dec. 18, 2019.Chris Young/The Globe and Mail

Former Bank of Montreal executive Lesley Marks has joined the leadership team at Mackenzie Financial Corp.

Ms. Marks, who left her position as chief investment officer (CIO) at BMO Private Wealth in Canada, has been named CIO responsible for equity investing for Mackenzie, starting Jan. 25. She will join Steve Locke, who was appointed CIO to oversee fixed income and multiasset strategies last November.

At the time of Mr. Locke’s appointment, the company said the introduction of the dual CIO model reflects a growing trend in investment management to have separate oversight for the two segments.

Mackenzie Financial has been actively boosting its investment capabilities as it looks to compete with bank-owned wealth management firms. Last month, the company purchased Greenchip Financial Corp., an environmental investment management company.

In September, along with its sister company Great-West Lifeco Inc., Mackenzie also bought a major stake in private-equity firm Northleaf Capital Partners, boosting its presence in the alternative investments sector, including infrastructure and private credit.

Mr. Locke and Ms. Marks replaced Tony Elavia, executive vice-president and CIO, who retired on Dec. 31 after eight years in his role.

“Lesley has a sterling reputation in our industry and I know this first-hand from having worked with her in the past,” Mackenzie chief executive officer Barry McInerney said in a statement. “Her extensive mix of research and investment management experience is complemented by a strong commitment to collaboration and investment excellence.”

Ms. Marks has more than 25 years of experience across asset and wealth management, including 22 years with BMO Global Asset Management (GAM) and BMO Wealth Management. Most recently, she served as CIO and head of investment management of BMO Private Wealth (Canada) where she managed a team of more than 80 investment professionals and was responsible for BMO’s private wealth investment management platforms.

Prior to her role in the bank’s private wealth arm, she served as senior vice-president and a CIO at BMO GAM, Canada where she led the Canadian active equity and fixed-income investment teams.

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