Management’s Discussion and Analysis

BMO Wealth Management

BMO’s wealth business serves a full range of client segments, from mainstream to ultra-high net worth and institutional, with a broad offering of wealth management products and services, including insurance. BMO Wealth Management is a global business with an active presence in markets across Canada, the United States, EMEA and Asia.

Joanna Rotenberg
Group Head
BMO Wealth Management

Gilles Ouellette
Group Head, BMO Asset Management and
Vice-Chair, International, BMO Financial Group

Lines of Business

BMO Nesbitt Burns, our full-service investing business in Canada, offers a broad range of client-focused investment and wealth advisory services delivered with our comprehensive wealth planning capabilities, as well as Canada’s first bank-owned digital portfolio management platform, SmartFolio®.

BMO InvestorLine is an online investing service that offers clients two ways to invest: our top-ranked self-directed service, which provides tools to help investors make independent investment decisions; or adviceDirect™, which provides investors with online advice and investment recommendations for their portfolios.

BMO’s Private Banking businesses operate in Canada, the United States, Hong Kong and Singapore, offering a comprehensive range of financial services and solutions to high net worth and ultra-high net worth clients and, under BMO Harris Financial Advisors, to mass affluent clients in the United States.

BMO Global Asset Management (GAM) is a globally significant asset management organization that provides investment management, trust and custody services to institutional, retail and high net worth investors around the world.

BMO Insurance provides life insurance and wealth solutions. We create life insurance, accident and sickness insurance, annuity products and segregated funds that are marketed through advisors to individuals and group pension customers. We also offer group creditor and travel insurance to bank customers and reinsurance solutions to international reinsurers.

Strengths and Value Drivers

  • Planning and advice-based approach that integrates investment, insurance, specialized wealth management and core banking solutions offered by a team of highly skilled wealth professionals committed to providing a great client experience.
  • Diversified portfolio of solutions ranging from digital self-directed investment to professional money management and holistic trust/banking services for both retail and institutional clients.
  • Strong presence in North American wealth management for individuals, as well as private banking capabilities in Asia.
  • Globally significant asset manager with broad distribution capabilities in North America, Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) and Asia.
  • Prestigious brand that is widely recognized and trusted, and access to BMO’s broad client base and distribution networks.
  • Strong risk management framework, enabling us to operate within our risk appetite and respond to heightened regulatory expectations.

Strategy and Key Priorities

Deliver on our clients’ current and evolving personal wealth, insurance and institutional asset management needs through an exceptional client experience, a focus on productivity and innovation, and strong collaboration across BMO, while maintaining a strong risk management framework.

Key Priority

Deliver on our clients’ current and evolving personal wealth management and insurance needs, with an exceptional client experience

2017 Achievements

  • Transformed and digitized critical client journeys such as onboarding and account maintenance, including enhanced online/mobile channel capabilities.
  • Doubled our high net worth sales force in the United States, while also improving advisor productivity and the client experience.
  • Launched BMO SmartApp to enable online applications for life insurance, making it easier for advisors to do business with us.
  • Enhanced our cross-border banking capabilities, making it easier for clients to transfer and access funds.
  • Expanded our BMO for Women program to meet the unique needs of women entrepreneurs and clients.
  • Continued to drive improvements in client experience scores across our business.
  • Continued to expand our Private Banking footprint in Asia through accelerated hiring to drive client acquisition.
  • Introduced a new BMO Whole Life Product that is simple and flexible and has strong guarantees.
  • Entered the pension buy-in market to meet the longevity risk management needs of Canadian companies.

2018 Focus

Continue to invest in market-leading product innovations, digital capabilities and wealth planning solutions tailored to meeting our clients’ evolving needs.

Key Priority

Build on our leadership position in asset management key markets through enhanced investment and distribution capabilities

2017 Achievements

  • Streamlined our organizational structure to simplify decision-making, improve collaboration globally and reduce operating costs.
  • Strong investment performance, with a majority of assets under management outperforming the relevant benchmark over a five-year period.
  • Solidified our position as the #2 ETF provider in Canada and #1 in net sales in the market.
  • Sharpened our investment focus, with an emphasis on globally relevant and consultant-credible products.

2018 Focus

Continue to grow BMO Global Asset Management’s global platform through a sharpened investment focus, targeted distribution strategy and streamlined organizational structure.

Key Priority

Bring the best of BMO to our clients through strong collaboration

2017 Achievements

  • Focused on driving even stronger collaboration across BMO to offer our clients solutions that meet their financial needs at every stage of their lives.
  • More co-location arrangements for our banking, planning, estate and trust and investment teams, including with our business banking partners, to meet the diverse needs of our clients more efficiently.
  • Increased collaboration between BMO GAM and our bank affiliate partners to leverage strong distribution channels and investment capabilities.

2018 Focus

Increase collaboration within Wealth Management and across the bank to deliver an exceptional client experience.


This Wealth Management section contains forward-looking statements. Please see the Caution Regarding Forward-Looking Statements.