Bank of Montreal: Wikis


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Bank of Montreal
Banque de Montréal
Type Public
Founded Montreal, Quebec, 1817
Headquarters Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Key people Bill Downe,
chief executive officer
David A. Galloway,
Industry financial services
Revenue $11.1 billion CAD (2009)
Net income $1.8 billion CAD (2009)
Total assets $388.5 billion CAD (2009)
Employees 36,173 (Full-time equivalent, 2009)
Bank of Montreal debit card

The Bank of Montreal (in French, Banque de Montréal, and commonly BMO in either language) is the fourth largest bank in Canada by deposits. The Bank of Montreal was founded in 1817 in Montreal, making it Canada's oldest bank.

In Canada, the bank operates as BMO Bank of Montreal and has more than 900 branches, serving over seven million customers.[1]. The company also has substantial operations in the Chicago area and elsewhere in the United States, where it operates as Harris Bank and as BMO Harris. BMO Capital Markets is BMO's investment and corporate banking division, while the wealth management division is branded as BMO Nesbitt Burns.

The company is ranked at number 189 on the Forbes Global 2000 list.[2]



[[IFile:Toronto - ON - First Canadian Place.jpg|thumb|First Canadian Place, Toronto's tallest building.]] BMO (pronounced Bee-Moe) today is a major international bank with a large amout of connections across Canada and around the world. In 1977, BMO's operational headquarters moved to Toronto, while its legal head office remained in Montreal. Today, Bank of Montreal has assets of more than $387 billion CAD. (Source:



BMO, Edmonton

During its history, Bank of Montreal has merged with or acquired several other Canadian banks:


The following nine merchants signed the Articles of Association for the creation of the "Montreal Bank" on June 23, 1817:[3]

  1. Robert Armour (1781-1857) businessman, militia officer, and office holder
  2. John C. Bush (? - 1859)
  3. Austin Cuvillier (1779 - 1849)
  4. George Garden (c.1772-1828), director from 1817 to 1826 and vice-president from 1818 to 1822.
  5. Horatio Gates (1777-1834), merchant and banker, President of BMO 1832-1834
  6. James Leslie (1786–1873); bank director
  7. George Moffatt (1787-1865); bank director
  8. John Richardson (c. 1754 - 1831)
  9. Thomas A.Turner (1775 ? - 1834)
  10. Ezekiel Hart - Businessman and First Jewish Member of Parliament in 1806


  1. John Gray (1817 to 1820); co-founder and first President
  2. Samuel Gerrard (1820 to 1826)
  3. Horatio Gates (1826); co-founder and President
  4. John Molson (1826 to 1834)
  5. Peter McGill (1834 to 1860)
  6. Thomas Brown Anderson (1860 to 1869)
  7. Edwin Henry King (1869 to 1873)
  8. David Torrance (1873 to 1876)
  9. George Stephen (1876 to 1881)
  10. C. F. Smithers (1881 to 1887)
  11. Donald Smith (1887 to 1905)
  12. George Alexander Drummond (1905 to 1910)
  13. Richard B. Angus (1910 to 1913)
  14. Sir Vincent Meredith (1913 to 1927)
  15. Sir Charles Blair Gordon (1927 to 1939)
  16. Huntly Redpath Drummond (1939 to 1942)
  17. George Wilbur Spinney (1942 to 1948)
  18. B. C. Gardner (1948 to 1952)
  19. Gordon Ball (1952 to 1959)
  20. G. Arnold Hart, president from 1959 to 1967 and CEO from 1959 to 1974
  21. Fred McNeil, CEO from 1975 to 1979
  22. William D. Mulholland, CEO from 1979 to 1989
  23. Matthew W. Barrett (1987 to 1990)
  24. F. Anthony Comper (1990 to 2007)
  25. Bill Downe (from March 1, 2007)

Chief Executive Officer

The senior officer of Bank of Montreal is styled President and Chief Executive Officer. That officer often also held the title Chairman of the Board, until 2003 when a non-executive chairman was appointed.

(partial list)

The second-ranking executive is the Chief Operating Officer.


Bank of Montreal branch at Square One Shopping Centre.
A typical BMO branch

BMO is divided into three "client groups" which serve different markets. Each of the client groups operates under multiple brand names.

  • Personal and Commercial Client Group (retail banking), including
    • BMO Bank of Montreal (retail banking in Canada), including BMO's Mosaik Mastercard credit cards; BMO Life, a life insurance company; and the former virtual bank division mbanx
    • Harris Bank (retail banking in the United States, headquartered in Chicago)
  • Investment Banking Group (known as BMO Capital Markets)
  • Private Client Group (wealth management), including
    • BMO Nesbitt Burns (full service investing in Canada)
    • BMO InvestorLine (self-service investing in Canada)
    • Harris Investor Services (advisory services in the United States)
    • BMO Harris Private Banking

In October 2008, BMO Financial Group was named one of Greater Toronto's Top Employers by Mediacorp Canada Inc., which was announced by the Toronto Star newspaper.[4]

Corporate governance

Current members of the board of directors of BMO are: Robert Astley, Stephen Bachand, David Beatty, Robert Chevrier, Bill Downe, Ronald Farmer, David A. Galloway, Harold Kvisle, Eva L. Kwok, Bruce Mitchell, Philip Orsino, Robert Prichard, Jeremy Reitman, Guylaine Saucier, Don M. Wilson III, and Nancy Southern.


Bank of Montreal's main Montreal branch at Place d'Armes in Montreal.

BMO maintains its official legal corporate head office in Montreal, located on Saint-Jacques Street. However, the Chairman and President and most senior division executives work out of Toronto headquarters at First Canadian Place. Under the direction of the Toronto executive, the Montreal Place d'Armes office oversees the bank's economic (and, to some extent, political) relation with the province of Quebec. This reflects the preponderant place of the Toronto Stock Exchange and Bay Street in the Canadian economy.

Sport events sponsorship

BMO is the sponsor for this season of the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Toronto Raptors.

BMO Bank of Montreal is the current title sponsor for the marathon race for the Vancouver International Marathon Society held each year in May. The current name is "BMO Bank of Montreal Vancouver Marathon".

Bank of Montreal is also a major sponsor of Skate Canada, and is the title sponsor of the BMO Financial Group Canadian Championships, BMO Financial Group Skate Canada Junior Nationals, BMO Financial Group Skate Canada Challenges, BMO Financial Group Skate Canada Sectionals, and BMO Financial Group Skate Canada Synchronized Championships. It is also the presenting sponsor of the CanSkate Learn-to-Skate Program.[3]

BMO purchased the naming rights to the national soccer stadium (BMO Field) at Exhibition Place in Toronto, the home of the Major League Soccer team Toronto FC, which BMO is also sponsoring. BMO's logo is on the front of their jersey.

On July 23, 2008 it was announced that BMO signed a one-race deal with IndyCar team Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing to appear on the #06 car of Graham Rahal in the first-ever IRL-sanctioned Canadian IndyCar race at Edmonton.[5]

Recent mergers and merger attempts

Purchase of Harris Bankcorp (1984)

In 1984 the bank greatly expanded its operations in the United States by purchasing Chicago's Harris Bank.

Proposed merger with RBC (1998)

In 1998 Bank of Montreal shocked the Canadian financial community by announcing plans to merge with RBC. The Canadian government later blocked the proposed merger. In December 2000, the banks were successful in merging their credit and debit card processing services to form Moneris Solutions.

Purchase of GKST Inc (2008)

In 2008 Bank of Montreal bought Griffin, Kubik, Stephans, and Thompson. GKST was a Chicago based employer that employs about 100 people in sales, trading, research, public finance and underwriting, and specializes in municipal bonds, U.S. Treasury and agency debt, and mortgage-backed securities.[6]

Purchase of AIG Life Insurance Company of Canada (2009)

In 2009, the Bank purchased AIG's Canadian life insurance business, AIG Life Insurance Company of Canada, for approximately $330 million CAD. The transaction, including 400,000 customers and 300 employees, makes BMO the second-biggest life insurer among Canadian banks. The company was renamed BMO Life Assurance Company.

Purchase of Diners Club International Franchise

In November 2009, Bank of Montreal announced the purchase of Diners Club International's North American franchise from Citibank. The transaction will give BMO exclusive rights to issue Diners cards in the U.S. and Canada. The deal is expected to close in March, 2010.[7].


BMO is a member of the Canadian Bankers Association (CBA) and registered member with the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC), a federal agency insuring deposits at all of Canada's chartered banks. It is also a member of:


  • Denison, Merrill, 1893–1975. Canada's first bank : a history of the Bank of Montreal. Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, c1966. 2 v. : ill., maps, ports., (some folded, some col). ; 25 cm.
  • Nolin-Raynauld, Michelle, 1926–. The Bank of Montreal building on Place d'Armes, 1845–1901 / Michelle Nolin-Raynauld ; foreword by Jean Bélisle ; translated by Judith Berman. Montreal : Varia Press, c1999. 143 p. : facsm., ill., plans ; 23 cm. Originally presented as the author's thesis (master—Université de Montréal), 1984, under the title: L'architecture de la Banque de Montréal à la Place d'Armes. Translation of: L'édifice de la Banque de Montréal à la Place d'Armes, 1845–1901. ISBN 2922245128
  • BMO Financial Group Corporate Archives, Montreal

External links

Official sites

Other sites

BMO Bank of Montreal

Chief Executive Officer: Bill Downe | FY 2007 Statistics: Net income: $2.1 billion CAD (4%) | Market capitalization: $28.9 billion CAD | Assets: $366.5 billion CAD | Employees: 35,827 | Stock symbols: TSXBMO NYSEBMO | Website:

Major brands by financial service
Financial group: BMO | Canadian banking: BMO Financial Group | U.S. banking: Harris and Harris myCFO | Canadian Mutual Funds: BMO Mutual Funds and Guardian Group of Funds | Canadian self-service investing: BMO InvestorLine | Canadian full-service investing: BMO Nesbitt Burns | U.S. brokerage: BMO Harris Investor Services | Canadian insurance: BMO Life | Capital markets: BMO Capital Markets


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