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Bay Street veteran Richard Nesbitt is retiring as chief executive officer of the Global Risk Institute in Financial Services, a Toronto-based non-profit focused on research and education in risk management.

Mr. Nestbitt, a former chief operating officer at Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce and a former CEO of the Toronto Stock Exchange, has led the GRI since 2015, expanding its influence as a bridge between financial services and academia.

He will stay on until a successor is named and a search for candidates led by consultants Korn Ferry could wrap up by the end of the year.

The GRI was founded in 2011, conceived by former Bank of Canada governor Mark Carney and the late federal finance minister Jim Flaherty, and backed by governments as well as financial institutions such as Toronto-Dominion Bank and Manulife Financial Corp. On Mr. Nesbitt’s watch, it has expanded substantially. The year he arrived, GRI hosted two seminars and produced two research papers. This year, he expects it will hold at least 35 events and release as many as 50 papers.

“We really are operating, I would say, at full speed right now,” Mr. Nesbitt said in an interview. “Now, we’re starting to think about the next phase of GRI.”

That includes “way more work” in Western and Eastern Canada, as well as internationally, exporting Canadian perspectives on risk management to the world. “Because we do do something right here,” he said.

In a statement, GRI board chair Tiff Macklem said Mr. Nesbitt "has led an important leap forward" for the institution.

Known as a smart, hard-charging banker, Mr. Nesbitt has been shifting more into the world of teaching and writing, with posts at the Rotman School of Management in Toronto and the London School of Economics. After he retires from the GRI, he plans to co-author a book on financial technology and devote more time to business initiatives in Hong Kong and London.

Since the financial crisis of 2008, Mr. Nesbitt believes Canadian banks have grown stronger by amassing larger capital and liquidity buffers and abandoning riskier business lines. “But we have new risks. We have cyberthreats. We have the risk of extreme weather events,” he said, as well as threats from technological change.

“It’s a good-news story, but don’t think that there will never be another bank crisis, because I think almost certainly there will be another bank crisis somewhere in the world.”

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