August 30, 2012 / 8:38 PM / in 5 years

Canadian Western Bank CEO to step down after 23 years

Aug 30 (Reuters) - Larry Pollock, Canada’s longest-serving bank chief executive, will step down as chief executive of Canadian Western Bank next year after 23 years running the company, the bank said on Thursday.

Pollock, 65, who became president and CEO of the Edmonton, Alberta-based bank in 1990, hinted last year that he was thinking of stepping down, telling a Toronto investor conference he’d be at the bank at least two more years.

While he will retain his CEO title until March 7, 2013, he is giving up his role as president immediately to Chris Fowler, who is also the bank’s chief operating officer and has been at the bank for 21 years himself.

Over the past two decades, Pollock has overseen the transformation of Canadian Western from a six-branch operation to Canada’s No. 7 bank by market capitalization.

Its strength has been rooted in its loans to companies working in the Alberta oil sands, and the bank has reported a profit in each quarter of Pollock’s stewardship.

Late on Wednesday, the bank reported a third-quarter profit of C$48 million ($48.4 million), or 61 Canadian cents a share, up from C$38.8 million, or 50 Canadian cents a share, in the year-before period.

Its shares, which have quadrupled since the end of 2002, closed flat at C$27.64 on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

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