Canada’s Outstanding CEO of the Year: Royal Bank of Canada’s Dave McKay

Excerpted from Financial Post:

Bank executives aren’t always what they appear to be. The chief executive title conjures up an image of a stuffy numbers’ nerd focused on meeting targets, growing business lines and slashing unproductive expenses. Dave McKay, chief executive at the Royal Bank of Canada, certainly has banking in his blood. But when he’s not in the boardroom, you may find the 59-year-old catching a pick-up game on the basketball courts or jamming out on one of his 10 or so guitars.

Part-time B-ball player, part-time guitar player and full-time RBC lifer, McKay has worked his way up through the ranks since starting a co-op work placement in 1983 while studying computer programming. Since taking the top spot at the country’s biggest bank in 2014, he has led the acquisition of City National Corp. in 2015, launched a youth-focused skills program in 2017 and, most recently, won the hand of HSBC Canada, Bay Street’s belle of the ball, after weeks of courting from the other Big Six banks.

Those are just a few of the feathers in McKay’s cap, but he’s likely staring at his greatest challenges as the country grapples with recession risks and works out a collaborative green transition plan to combat climate change.

But his accomplishments so far are why McKay was named Canada’s Outstanding CEO of the Year for 2022, as presented by Bennett Jones LLP, Caldwell Partners International Inc. and the National Post.

“RBC is one of the world’s largest and most sophisticated banks and Dave McKay has taken its performance to another level,” said Hugh MacKinnon, chair and chief executive of Bennett Jones and chair of Canada’s Outstanding CEO of the Year Advisory Board. “He is passionate about innovation and technology and is a steadfast champion of using them to shape the future of financial services.”

Added John Wallace, chief executive at Caldwell: “Dave is that rare and inspiring executive who merges work excellence with dedicated philanthropy. He’s committed to advancing Canada’s interests both globally and locally, and is a real champion for issues such as climate change, preparing youth for the future of work and combatting inequities in the workplace.”

Click here to read the full article and interview with Dave McKay

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