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New BMO Nesbitt Burns head faces in-house challenges

Andrew Auerbach at the BMO's corporate headquarters on April 14, 2011.

Moe Doiron/The Globe and Mail

Bank of Montreal's investment dealer BMO Nesbitt Burns Inc. has appointed a new leader five months after the departure of its former head, Charyl Galpin.

As of Feb. 1, Andrew Auerbach, current head of sales and distribution for Canadian personal and business banking at BMO, will begin his new role as head of the bank's investment dealer.

"I am proud to join BMO Nesbitt Burns, a business that has such a strong and entrepreneurial team of advisers and wealth professionals deeply committed to the success of their clients," said Mr. Auerbach, in an e-mail to The Globe and Mail. "I look forward to working with our team to evolve while maintaining what makes BMO Nesbitt Burns unique and successful."

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Mr. Auerbach has spent most of his career in wealth management. In his current role, he has led the transformation of BMO's physical distribution network – with new technology capabilities and new branch formats to align with changing demands of customers. In 2007, Mr. Auerbach was the head of BMO Private Bank in Canada and Asia.

Ms. Galpin, Mr. Auerbach's predecessor, left her position last August after six years leading the investment dealer. In September, she was appointed chief regulatory officer at BMO Wealth Management.

For Mr. Auerbach, there could be a number of challenges in store as Nesbitt Burns advisers voiced discontent in a survey by Investment Executive as part of its annual industry report, published last May.

A majority of the bank's investment advisers surveyed ranked their firm below industry averages, placing Nesbitt Burns as the lowest-rated investment dealer over all among both the banks and independent firms.

The advisory business is not new to Mr. Auerbach, who spent more than a decade working with financial advisers when he was the head of BMO Harris Private Banking.

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