In the year since Stephen Poloz took the helm as Bank of Canada governor, he has rebuilt the the policy-making council and senior management team at the central bank.
As May begins, Mr. Poloz will welcome a slate of new leaders, ushering in a new era of team decision making and a renewed focus on the corporate sector at a time when many of Canada’s largest banks are also welcoming new chief executives. More than half of the 13 Bank of Canada staff directly under Mr. Poloz were appointed in the past year.
Incoming senior deputy governor Carolyn Wilkins joins the bank this week, bringing economic forecasting experience and regulatory understanding to the role. Filipe Dinis will also join soon in the long-overdue position of chief operating officer. And soon-to-be deputy governor Lynn Patterson will deepen the bank’s focus on the country’s financial community, a specialty of former governor Mark Carney.
“The governing council does benefit from having a mix of skills and talents and experience, including people who have worked in the financial sector,” said William Robson, president of the C.D. Howe Institute.
As new ideas are welcomed, the bank says goodbye to some of its valuable institutional memory. For example, when senior deputy governor Tiff Macklem joins the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management this summer, he will take his connections to the U.S. Federal Reserve, the European Central Bank and other international financial regulators with him. And 34 years of institutional memory has already walked out the door with deputy governor John Murray, who retired Wednesday.
But there are plenty of new ideas set to step up, including a swath of new female leaders. Five of the seven bank appointments in the past year have been women, including two new members of the governing council and senior adviser Line Rivard, a former managing director at BMO Nesbitt Burns who will provide council on financial system issues.
And some of the remaining governors are well-known to Mr. Poloz. Deputy governor Timothy Lane attended the University of Western Ontario with him. And deputy governor Agathe Côte started at the Bank of Canada in the early 1980s, when Mr. Poloz was in his first round there.
The urgency of recession recovery may have lessened, but there are infrastructure issues that need dealing with, Mr. Robson said.
“It’s a bit like plumbing – it works well most of the time without people having to think about it too much. But if it does fail, or even just springs a bad leak, you can find yourself with a mess that can be difficult to handle.”
Carolyn Wilkins, senior deputy governor, May 2
After 13 years with the bank, Ms. Wilkins isn’t a household name, but she does have significant policy and regulatory market experience.
Ms. Wilkins recently served as an adviser to Mr. Poloz, after he chose her as secretary to the governing council last year, and she has supervised research work on the Canadian economy and monetary policy, among other subjects.
The appointment has a seven-year term, and came from the bank’s board of directors, which praised her policy making, crisis management and financial market infrastructure implementation skills. She replaces Mr. Macklem, once thought to be the next governor, but will not take on his operational duties.
The seasoned economist also has some traits in common with Mr. Poloz – both have master’s degrees in economics from Western Ontario.
Lynn Patterson, deputy governor, May 5
As the most recent addition to the bank’s policy making committee, Ms. Patterson brings an understanding of the Canadian financial sector to Mr. Poloz’s team. She also has extensive experience working for an international bank, having served as president of Bank of America Merrill Lynch Canada.
Ms. Patterson had time to get to know the financial community even better after nearly a year spent as special adviser to Mr. Poloz, a role she took on in June last year. She also became senior representative of financial markets in the Toronto office, meaning the rate-setting team should have an even better idea how financial executives are responding to policy shifts, and may shape how new information is disseminated.
Filipe Dinis, chief operating officer, May 5
Strategic planning and administrations will be the purview of longtime federal public servant Mr. Dinis, who joins as the Bank’s first ever COO.
Mr. Dinis’s ties are to politics more than banking. He formerly worked in the federal Privy Council Office, which advises and supports the Prime Minister and cabinet.
The bank touted his experience with federal groups such as the Canada Border Services Agency, Department of Foreign Affairs and the Canada Revenue Agency, where he was once chief financial officer and assistant commissioner.
The position is new, but there is precedent for its creation and some say it was overdue.
Former Bank of Canada governor Mark Carney’s first appointment in his new role as head of the Bank of England was to add a head of operations.
Follow Jacqueline Nelson on Twitter: