BMO signage in Indianapolis
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Bank of Montreal CEO Darryl White received $10.1 million in total compensation in 2018, his first year in the bank’s top job, according to the bank’s proxy circular released Friday.

White took over from William Downe as BMO’s chief executive on Nov. 1, 2017. In his first year as CEO, he received $8.6 million in direct compensation, 1.7% above his target.

In his previous role as chief operating officer, White received $8.3 million in total compensation.

Downe, in his last year as CEO, received $10.5 million in direct compensation for 2017.

White’s total target compensation for 2019 increased to $10 million “to position his compensation more competitively with the market,” the circular said.

BMO reported net income of $5.4 billion in 2018, up 2% from the previous year, and customer experience scores improved across the board, the document said.

Among the bank’s other named executives, chief technology and operations officer Jean-Michel Arès saw the largest raise with total compensation of $7.5 million, compared to $6.3 million in 2017. His direct compensation was basically flat year over year but he received a $2 million tax-equalization payment that was much larger than his 2017 payment of $780,000.

Arès left his role on Nov. 1 and became a senior adviser at the bank. Steve Tennyson took over as chief technology and operations officer.

Group head of BMO Capital Markets Patrick Cronin received compensation of $7.5 million last year, the same as in 2017.

Cameron Fowler, president of North American personal and business banking at BMO Financial Group, received total compensation of $5.1 million in 2018, up from $4.6 million, with increases in option-based awards and incentive plans.

Chief financial officer Thomas E. Flynn received $3.7 million last year, compared to $3.6 million in 2017.

Diversity

One-third (33%, or 5/15) of the bank’s director nominees are women, and more than 40% of its senior leader roles (executive and managing director levels) are held by women, the circular said.

Shareholder proposals

The bank is advising shareholders to vote against the two proposals at this year’s annual general meeting:

  • to create a new technology committee, and
  • to disclose the equity ratio the compensation committee uses in its compensation-setting process.

Proposals to integrate environmental, social and governance criteria into executive compensation and on climate change were withdrawn.