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Scotiabank’s Waugh to step down as CEO in November

Rick Waugh, president and CEO of Scotiabank, chats with a shareholder at the bank's annual meeting in Halifax on Tuesday, April 5, 2011.


Bank of Nova Scotia chief executive officer Rick Waugh is stepping down in early November after 10 years at the helm of Canada's third-largest bank.

He is to be replaced by veteran Scotiabank executive Brian Porter, who was promoted to president last November, while Mr. Waugh retained the CEO title.

Mr. Waugh, 65, will stay on as a director and take on the role of deputy chairman until Jan. 31, 2014.

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The appointment of Mr. Porter as the new president and CEO of Scotiabank is not a surprise; his being named president last year was widely viewed as preparation for his taking over from Mr. Waugh.

Mr. Waugh told investors in January that his departure was "not imminent," although he acknowledged that he was "on the downward slope" of his term.

Investors shouldn't expect a radically different strategy from Scotiabank. "We pride ourselves on delivering consistency and predictability," Mr. Porter said in an interview.

Mr. Porter joined Scotiabank in 1981 and has held several management positions, including deputy chairman of global banking and markets. Prior to being appointed president, he was group head of international banking, overseeing the institution's personal, small business and commercial operations in more than 55 countries outside Canada.

"Rick Waugh has guided Scotiabank through a period of tremendous growth, generating exceptional returns for shareholders and employees during some very turbulent times," chairman John Mayberry said in a news release Friday.

"His focus on customers, diversification, emerging markets and risk management along with his strong values, has shaped the growth and direction of the bank over the last ten years.

"Brian has a tremendous range of experience across the bank, including the critical role of chief risk officer. The board is confident in Brian's ability to continue to produce strong results and build on the straightforward and proven business model that has worked so well for customers, shareholders and employees."

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Mr. Waugh's retirement follows on that of Ed Clark, CEO of Toronto-Dominion Bank, who announced his departure last month. On Thursday, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce renewed its contract with CEO Gerry McCaughey, offering him another four year window.

Mr. Waugh has been with Scotiabank for 43 years, getting his start in 1970 as a branch employee in Winnipeg, where he grew up.

Making his way up through the ranks, he became president and CEO in 2003.

As CEO, he oversaw a series of acquisitions, many of which bolstered the bank's global presence, particularly in Latin America.

Among the deals was the $1-billion transaction in October, 2011, for a 51-per-cent stake in Colombia's Banco Colpatria.

Mr. Porter is open to continuing the acquisition spree, but isn't pursuing any blockbuster moves.

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"We've got tonnes of organic growth opportunities within our footprint, and we'll look at acquisitions that are on strategy," he said.

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About the Authors
Reporter and Streetwise columnist

Tim Kiladze is a business reporter with The Globe and Mail. Before crossing over to journalism, he worked in equity capital markets at National Bank Financial and in fixed-income sales and trading at RBC Dominion Securities. Tim graduated from Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism and also earned a Bachelor in Commerce in finance from McGill University. More

Quebec Business Correspondent

Bertrand has been covering Quebec business and finance since 2000. Before joining The Globe and Mail in 2000, he was the Toronto-based national business correspondent for Southam News. He has a B.A. from McGill University and a Bachelor of Applied Arts from Ryerson. More


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