RBC picks Canada's first woman bank chairman

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 31 August, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 31 August, 2013, 3:21am

Royal Bank of Canada said Kathleen Taylor would take over as chairman next year, making her the first woman to lead the board of a Canadian bank.

David O'Brien, 71, will retire at the end of the year, Toronto-based RBC, Canada's largest bank, said in a statement on Thursday.

"I appreciate the confidence of the board and look forward to building on the bank's achievements together," Taylor, 56, said in the statement.

Women serve as chairman, or in an equivalent role, at 10 publicly listed Canadian firms with market values of at least C$500 million (HK$3.69 billion), Bloomberg data shows.

Taylor would be the first woman to lead one of the country's banks, RBC said.

O'Brien will stay on the board until the company's annual general meeting on February 26,

In 2011, Beth Mooney took over as chairman and chief executive of Cleveland-based KeyCorp, becoming the first woman to lead one of the 20 biggest independent US banks.

Taylor, the former chief executive of Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts, has been on RBC's board since 2001, according to the bank.