April 30, 2014 / 2:23 PM / 5 years ago

Bank of Canada adds market expertise to its governing body

OTTAWA (Reuters) - The Bank of Canada named Lynn Patterson, 53, a former banker with extensive financial market experience, as a new deputy governor on its rate-setting Governing Council on Wednesday.

Patterson joined the Bank of Canada in June and has served as special adviser to bank Governor Stephen Poloz and as the senior representative for financial markets at the central bank’s Toronto office. She replaces John Murray, who is retiring.

Patterson has more than 25 years’ experience in capital markets, risk oversight and senior management, and was previously president of Bank of America Merrill Lynch Canada.

“Lynn’s extensive market experience and her understanding of financial-sector issues make her a terrific addition to Governing Council,” Poloz said in a statement.

There has been a “changing of the guard” at the bank recently with some policymakers retiring or stepping down, said David Madani, Canada economist at Capital Economics in Toronto.

“They seem to be replacing them with people that not only are perhaps a bit younger on average, but also have great experience from a financial perspective,” he said.

“I don’t think it has any implication for monetary policy because there’s so much input from the other departments that contribute to the end result in terms of the policy decision, and that really hasn’t changed.”

Patterson’s appointment, effective May 5, will mean that for the first time women will hold half the seats on the six-member council.

It will also accentuate a shift away from PhDs at the bank. Patterson will be the third member of the new Governing Council without a PhD. Five of the six current council members have PhDs.

Poloz and his predecessor, Mark Carney, both had PhDs as well as corporate experience before becoming governor: Poloz at Export Development Canada and Carney at Goldman Sachs.

In his April 11 appointment of Carolyn Wilkins, 50, as senior deputy governor, Poloz had touted her experience with financial infrastructure.

Wilkins headed the bank’s financial stability department during the global financial crisis and negotiated with financial market players on complex new rules for collateral use in the over-the-counter derivatives market. That experience, however, was from within the bank, rather than coming from the private sector.

Patterson has a degree in business administration from the University of Western Ontario and is a chartered financial analyst.

Turnover at the council, which plays a role similar to the U.S. Federal Open Market Committee, has been rapid since the start of last year. Four of the six members have been appointed since February 2013.

They include Poloz, who took over as governor in June, and Wilkins, who will take over from Tiff Macklem as the bank’s No. 2 on May 2. Tim Lane, who became a deputy in February 2009, is now the doyen of the group.

Poloz said in a statement he is also reallocating responsibilities on the council.

Patterson and Lawrence Schembri will share oversight of the bank’s analysis and activities to promote a stable and efficient financial system. Lane and Schembri had overseen the financial system previously.

Lane, with two decades of experience at the International Monetary Fund, will oversee international economic analysis, a task formerly done by Murray.

Agathe Cote, a 30-year veteran of the central bank, will continue to have responsibility for domestic economic analysis.

The entire council will share responsibility for monetary policy and financial system stability, and for setting strategic direction.

Additional reporting by Leah Schnurr in Toronto; Editing by James Dalgleish, Jeffrey Hodgson and Peter Galloway

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