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HomePersonal BankingWealth ManagementSmall BusinessCommercialCorporate & InstitutionalAbout BMO

Executive Committee

William Downe, C.M.
Chief Executive Officer, BMO Financial Group

William Downe is Chief Executive Officer of BMO Financial Group. He was appointed CEO on March 1, 2007.

Mr. Downe joined Bank of Montreal in 1983 and held a variety of senior management positions in Canada and the U.S. In 1999, he was appointed Vice-Chair, Bank of Montreal and in 2001, he was named Deputy Chair, BMO Financial Group & Chief Executive Officer, BMO Nesbitt Burns. In 2006, he was appointed Chief Operating Officer of BMO Financial Group.

Mr. Downe is a director of ManpowerGroup Inc. and a member of their Executive Compensation and Human Resources Committee. He is on the Rush University Medical Center Board of Trustees, and is a member of their Development and Compensation and Human Resources Committees. Mr. Downe is a director of Catalyst Inc., a member of their Audit Committee and serves as Chair of Catalyst’s Canadian Advisory Board. Additionally, he is on the board of the Business Council of Canada as well as their Governance and Nominating Committee. Mr. Downe is an advisory board member of the Rotman School of Management Martin Prosperity Institute (MPI) at the University of Toronto, and a member of the Economic Club of Chicago. Mr. Downe served on the board of the International Monetary Conference (IMC) and was a member of their Nominating Committee. He served on the National Executive Committee of the 2015 Governor General Canadian Leadership Conference and is Past President of the Federal Reserve Board’s Federal Advisory Council.

Mr. Downe is a member of the St. Michael’s Hospital Foundation Board, a member of the Executive Committee, and a member of the Campaign Cabinet. He is also a member of the campaign executive for The Campaign for the University of Toronto. Mr. Downe served as Chairman of the 2009 Campaign Cabinet for United Way of Greater Toronto, and is also past Chair of the Board of Directors of St. Michael’s Hospital.

Mr. Downe holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Wilfrid Laurier University and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Toronto. He has also received an Honorary Doctor of Laws from the Lazaridis School of Business and Economics at Wilfrid Laurier University. Mr. Downe was appointed as a Member of the Order of Canada and was recognized by the Woodrow Wilson Center’s Canada Institute, receiving the Award for Corporate Citizenship. In 2003, Mr. Downe received the Rotman Distinguished Business Alumni Award from the Joseph L. Rotman School of Management.

(April 2017)

William Downe

W. Downe (high resolution picture, jpg, 3,359 Kb)

About BMO Financial Group

Established in 1817, BMO Financial Group is a highly diversified financial services provider based in North America. With total assets of $719 billion as of April 30, 2017 and over 45,000 employees, BMO provides a broad range of retail banking, wealth management and investment banking products and services to more than 12 million customers and conducts business through three operating groups: Personal and Commercial Banking, Wealth Management and BMO Capital Markets.


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