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Scotiabank exodus continues with head of global banking’s departure

An electronic sign posting financial data is shown outside the Scotiabank building in Toronto, Thursday, Apr.9, 2015.

Frank Gunn/THE CANADIAN PRESS

Mike Durland, the head of Bank of Nova Scotia's global banking and markets division, has become the latest in a long line of executives to leave the bank since Brian Porter took the reins as chief executive officer.

The shakeup continues a whirlwind of activity at the top levels of Scotiabank under Mr. Porter.

Since becoming CEO in November, 2013, Mr. Porter has appointed new regional heads for Latin America and Mexico, as well as a new chief risk officer, chief operating officer, capital markets head, wealth management head and marketing head.

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Scotiabank said Wednesday that Mr. Durland is ending his 23-year career "to pursue his lifelong interest in academia, community-building, and a focus on entrepreneurship, innovation and technology." Mr. Durland took full responsibility for his current role in 2014.

Dieter Jentsch, currently the group head of international banking who oversaw Scotiabank's recent investor day in Mexico City, will take over Mr. Durland's role.

Ignacio (Nacho) Deschamps will take over from Mr. Jentsch as group head of international banking, overseeing Scotiabank's extensive operations outside Canada.

But Mr. Deschamps's title will also include oversight of digital banking – a key area as consumers shift toward online and mobile banking.

What's more, Mr. Deschamps's role at the bank has changed within a month: He was appointed in December as strategic adviser of global digital banking to the president and CEO, with the position taking effect in January.

He had previously served as CEO of BBVA Bancomer, Mexico's largest bank, and had been president of the Mexican Banking Association.

The changes come amid tremendous shifts in the Canadian banking sector as new CEOs remake their executive teams and banks respond to challenges emanating from a weak domestic economy and competitive pressure from financial technology firms.

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Scotiabank, in particular, has been refining its strategy for expanding outside of Canada by focusing on the four-nation Pacific Alliance.

Canadian bank stocks have fallen more than 7 per cent since the beginning of February. Scotiabank is down more than 8 per cent in that time.

"We have deep executive bench strength," Mr. Porter said in a statement, following the most recent changes.

"This decision did not come easily or even recently," Mr. Durland wrote in a memo to staff.

"I spoke to Brian and Barb [Mason, chief human resources officer] a few years ago to let them know that I didn't know, at that time, how long I planned to continue to lead GBM and that I might look to retire in a few years."

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