WRAPUP 2-Royal Bank of Canada CEO to step down after 13 years

Thu Dec 5, 2013 5:21pm EST
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* CEO Nixon to be replaced by executive Dave McKay

* Timing a surprise, but successor expected

By Cameron French

TORONTO, Dec 5 (Reuters) - Royal Bank of Canada Chief Executive Gordon Nixon will step down next summer after 13 years at the helm of Canada's largest bank, handing the reins to the RBC's retail banking head, Dave McKay, the bank said on Thursday.

Nixon is the longest-serving of Canada's current crop of bank CEOs, but at 56, by no means the oldest. McKay, 50, had been widely expected to be Nixon's heir apparent, though not quite so soon.

"The timing was a surprise, but the appointment was not," said CIBC World Markets analyst Rob Sedran. "Dave has done a very good job running the bank's largest businesses. I was expecting him to get the job, just not this year.

Nixon's announcement, which came as RBC, Toronto-Dominion Bank and Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce all reported fiscal year-end results, caps off a changing of the guard at Canada's top three banks.

Rick Waugh, who became CEO of No. 3 lender Bank of Nova Scotia shortly after Nixon took the top job at RBC, stepped down in November in favor of Brian Porter.

TD Bank CEO Ed Clark said earlier this year he will retire in 2014 after 12 years on the job. He will be replaced by TD executive Bharat Masrani.   Continued...