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Bank of Nova Scotia has replaced its head of strategy, promoting Anique Asher to a new role intended to ensure a closer alignment between the bank’s plans and its financial outcomes.

Ms. Asher, who joined Scotiabank in 2018 after stints as an executive at Manulife Financial Corp. and PricewaterhouseCoopers, has been named executive vice-president of finance and strategy. She will report to the bank’s chief financial officer, Raj Viswanathan.

With her appointment, the bank has parted ways with Randy Lyons, who was senior vice-president of enterprise strategy. Mr. Lyons is a former investment banker who spent more than 20 years at Scotiabank. Most recently, he served as a close adviser to chief executive Brian Porter, helping shape the bank’s strategy, and set the agenda for meetings of its most senior committee of executives.

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“The bank thanks him for all of his contributions,” Mr. Porter said in an internal memo to staff on Tuesday.

Ms. Asher was previously Scotiabank’s senior vice-president of planning, analysis and optimization. In her new role, she takes over the enterprise strategy team that was run by Mr. Lyons. She will also assume responsibility for the bank’s project delivery office, as well as oversight of global financial planning and forecasting.

After she joined the bank, she “quickly established herself as a leader who thinks like a shareholder and makes an impact,” Mr. Porter said in the memo.

A Scotiabank spokesperson could not immediately be reached for comment.

Under Mr. Porter’s tenure, Scotiabank has undergone an ambitious transformation. The bank concentrated its international operations in Latin America, divested from other countries and businesses that were no longer considered core to its strategy, and made major acquisitions, including two deals to build up its clout in wealth management.

But the coronavirus pandemic has prompted the bank to set aside $4-billion to cover potential loan losses over the past two quarters. And after the bank made its case to investors for the potential to boost profits from the international operations concentrated in Latin America, the crisis has raised new questions about the risks to economic growth in the region.

When markets opened on Tuesday, Scotiabank’s share price had fallen nearly 24 per cent since the start of the year.

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