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Bank of Nova Scotia BNS-T head of Canadian banking Dan Rees is leaving the lender after more than 20 years as it prepares to unveil its strategic turnaround plan in December under the new leadership of chief executive officer Scott Thomson.

Scotiabank said in a press release late Thursday that Mr. Rees is leaving to pursue other opportunities. Banking veteran and Scotiabank newcomer Aris Bogdaneris has taken over as head of Canadian banking, taking on an expanded mandate since the lender announced a major leadership shakeup in late August.

Mr. Rees was considered a front-runner for the CEO chair before the bank announced former board member Mr. Thomson as the successor to Brian Porter last year. Jake Lawrence, CEO and group head of global banking and markets, was also considered a top candidate.

In its proxy released in March, the bank said it gave each of them a one-time stock award valued at $1.5-million in recognition of the “importance of maintaining the overall strength of the leadership bench, and the future potential of Mr. Lawrence and Mr. Rees.”

Mr. Rees joined Scotiabank in 2000 and has held positions across Canadian banking, wealth management, global banking and markets, global risk management and international banking.

“Dan steered our Canadian banking business through the global pandemic, introducing new services and implementing relief programs that helped our customers manage through uncertainty,” Mr. Thomson said in a statement. “As a result of Dan’s efforts and client focus, our Canadian banking business has built a strong foundation for future growth.”

In addition to Mr. Bogdaneris’s role overseeing digital transformation, online bank Tangerine and marketing and analytics – a newly created position at Scotiabank – he will also lead the personal and commercial banking businesses.

“Investing in Canada, including bringing all of our physical, digital, and advice-based channels closer together to deliver trusted and personalized solutions for our clients, will enable us to win more primary client relationships,” Mr. Thomson said in an internal memo viewed by The Globe and Mail.

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Formerly the head of retail banking at Amsterdam-based ING Group, Mr. Bogdaneris spent more than 25 years working at financial institutions across Europe and North America, overseeing multi-country operations and global divisions.

With his expanded role, Mr. Bogdaneris finds himself at the core of Scotiabank’s strategic shift. Scotiabank has been focused on building its deposit base, which Mr. Thomson has said will be a major feature of its turnaround plan. Growth in the bank’s deposits will help it lend more money – a key combination that Mr. Thomson has said will bolster the lender’s domestic business.

Mr. Bogdaneris joined Scotiabank as part of a suite of internal shifts and promotions unveiled in August. Former Royal Bank of Canada executive Jenny Poulos will be promoted to chief human resources officer on Dec. 4, replacing group head Barbara Mason, who is retiring after more than 40 years with the bank.

Scotiabank also scooped up Jacqui Allard, former RBC executive vice-president of personal financing products, to succeed Glen Gowland as group head of global wealth management on Jan. 1, when Mr. Gowland transitions to an advisory role as vice-chair.

In April, Scotiabank brought on Francisco Aristeguieta, from Boston-based bank State Street Corp.’s institutional services unit, to lead its renewed focus on Latin America after Scotiabank’s head of international banking Ignacio Deschamps retired.

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