Big shoes at Canadian banks won't need filling soon

Tue Jan 8, 2013 6:27pm EST
 

By Cameron French

TORONTO (Reuters) - The CEOs of Canada's top two banks on Tuesday made clear they would not be stepping down in the immediate future, postponing any expectations of a generational shift in the country's banking sector.

Speculation that the country's large banks would soon be led by younger people began in earnest in October when Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO: Quote), Canada's No. 3 bank, named longtime executive Brian Porter as president, making him the heir apparent to Chief Executive Officer Rick Waugh. Porter is in his mid-50s.

Waugh assumed the bank's top job in 2003, a year after Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO: Quote) CEO Ed Clark and two years after Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO: Quote) Gord Nixon, and analysts and investors have wondered since about succession plans.

Clark and Nixon aren't in any rush to hit the golf course, they implied Tuesday.

"Invite me for next year and I'll show up," Clark, 65, quipped at the RBC Capital Markets Canadian Bank CEO conference when asked if he expected to be back in 2014.

Nixon, who has the longest tenure of the three, is also the youngest, and he gave no hint that he's planning to step down.

"I have now been 12 years in this role, and at some point I think it is appropriate to turn it over and to move on. But I'm only 55 and have some -- hopefully some runway left," he said.

"It certainly won't be into my mid-60s, I can assure you on that front."   Continued...