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BNY Mellon's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Robert P Kelly speaks at the session "Restructuring the Financial Sector" during the Global Financial Forum in New York April 26, 2010.Mike Segar/Reuters

Editor's note: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that Robert Kelly was formerly CEO of Wachovia Corp. This version is correct.

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) has scored a banking veteran with experience on both sides of the border as its new chairman.

Robert Kelly, a former Bank of New York Mellon Corp. chairman and chief executive officer, begins a five-year term with CMHC immediately.

A Halifax native, Mr. Kelly spent 19 years at Toronto-Dominion Bank moving up the ranks to the position of vice-chairman, where he oversaw about 900 branches. He then went to New York to become CFO of financial firm Wachovia Corp., which was later bought by Wells Fargo & Co.

Mr. Kelly led BNY Mellon from its merger in 2007 until 2011 – right through the worst of the subprime mortgage crisis and recession. In 2009 there were reports that he could takeover the top spot at the largest bank in the U.S., Bank of America Corp. He then made waves when he suddenly resigned from his post at BNY Mellon; the company cited "differences in approach to managing the company" in a statement.

CMHC says it is counting on his expertise. "Mr. Kelly has extensive Canadian and U.S. experience in both housing finance and capital markets, which will be of great benefit to CMHC," said Dianne Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development and the minister responsible for CMHC.

(Jacqueline Nelson is a Globe and Mail Financial Services Reporter.)

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