Top Canada finance official quits for private-sector job

Fri Aug 8, 2014 2:12pm EDT
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By David Ljunggren

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Jean Boivin, the Canadian Finance Ministry's second most powerful official and a man seen as a potential candidate to head the Bank of Canada one day, is leaving to take a job in the private sector, the ministry said on Friday.

Boivin will leave on August 29, a spokesman said, saying he had no further details. Two-well placed sources earlier told Reuters that ministry staff were told last week about Boivin's impending departure.

The news came as a surprise, since Boivin had only taken up his position as associate deputy minister in October 2012. He also serves as Canada's representative to the Group of Seven, the Group of 20 and the Financial Stability Board.

Boivin declined an interview request from Reuters, saying he had no further details to share.

In an e-mail to staff announcing the move, the Finance Ministry's deputy minister, Paul Rochon, said Boivin had "consistently made outstanding contributions at the highest levels."

Boivin moved to the Finance Ministry from the Bank of Canada, where he had been a deputy governor from 2010 to 2012 and before that a special adviser to then-Governor Mark Carney.

Market players say he is a possible candidate to eventually head the Bank of Canada.

Gaining experience outside the central bank and the federal bureaucracy proved important for Carney and the current governor, Stephen Poloz, who were both outsiders when named to the top job and who both beat favored internal candidates.   Continued...

Canada's Finance Minister Joe Oliver (R) makes remarks to the press as Canada's G7 and G20 Deputy Minister Jean Boivin listens during the IMF/World Bank's 2014 Spring Meetings in Washington  April 11, 2014.    REUTERS/Mike Theiler