UPDATE 1-BMO names Techar COO, says not a precursor to CEO change

Wed Oct 16, 2013 12:07pm EDT
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* Techar to add responsibility for U.S. retail, wealth

* COO position newly created for bank

Oct 16 (Reuters) - Bank of Montreal on Wednesday promoted Frank Techar to the newly created position of chief operating officer, with responsibility for three of the bank's four main business lines.

Bank of Montreal, Canada's No. 5 lender, said the move is not being undertaken to groom Techar to eventually step up to the bank's top job.

Techar, 57, currently heads BMO's Canadian retail banking operation. As chief operating officer, he will also assume responsibility for BMO Harris Bank, the bank's U.S. retail bank, and for BMO's wealth management operations. Techar will assume the new position effective Nov. 1.

Gilles Ouelette and Mark Furlong, who head BMO's wealth and U.S. retail divisions, respectively, will keep their jobs, and will now report to Techar, the bank said.

BMO Capital Markets will remain a separate unit.

Such promotions at Canadian banks are often signal that a change at the chief executive level is in the offing.

Bank of Nova Scotia promoted longtime executive Brian Porter to the position of president last October, then said in May he would succeed Rick Waugh as CEO.   Continued...