Indianapolis - Circa June 2017: Signage and Logo of BMO Harris Bank. BMO Harris is one of the Largest Banks in the Midwest V

BMO Private Wealth Canada has eliminated several roles as the brokerage consolidates its regions to four from six.

The brokerage’s operations have been restructured from six regions into four — West, Central, Greater Toronto Area and East — and nine market leaders from Okanagan, Edmonton, Ontario, Montreal and Atlantic Canada are leaving BMO Private Wealth, according to an internal memo sent Thursday.

The memo said the firm “must ensure our business is well positioned for the future, can support our clients and professionals, and deliver on our business priorities. An important part of our future readiness is a focus on efficiency, including our market structure.”

Those who saw their roles eliminated “are being provided with time to search for another opportunity within BMO,” it said. Market leaders are the equivalent of branch managers.

June Zimmer is now regional president, West, having previously served in the same role for the Prairies. Jamie Loughery is now regional president, Central, responsible for the Saskatchewan, Manitoba and GTA North markets, in addition to his role for Ontario. Patrick Bartlett is now regional president, GTA (previously GTA West), and Mario Rigante is now regional president, East (previously Quebec), now responsible for Quebec and Atlantic Canada.

They will report to Kevin Barnes, who joined BMO as head of wealth advice in March from TD.

Among other appointments, Julie Marche, who has been regional operations manager for the GTA since 2014, is now head of operational excellence. Matt Berry is now national director of private wealth recruitment, while John Aiello is now national director, banking, advice. Berry and Aiello were both market leaders in the GTA.

Several markets are being combined within each of the four regions.

The changes take effect Nov. 1.

“The leadership changes announced today demonstrate BMO Private Wealth Canada’s commitment to providing our clients top-tier service while being competitively positioned in all markets,” the firm said in an emailed statement.

Financial advisors with BMO Private Wealth have seen several changes over the past five years. Andrew Auerbach, who had led the brokerage since 2018 after replacing Charyl Galpin, retired in 2022 after more than two decades with the bank. Meghan Meger and Geoff Newton succeeded Auerbach as co-heads in June 2022.

The brokerage also restructured during the same period, with the bank merging BMO Private Banking and BMO Nesbitt Burns Inc. under the banner of BMO Private Wealth Canada and Asia in 2019.

Thursday’s announcement follows wider job losses at the bank and within the sector. Last week, Bank of Montreal announced it was shutting its indirect auto lending division, with loans to be delivered at BMO branches. The bank also booked $223 million pre-tax in layoff costs in the third quarter.

BMO isn’t the only bank cutting back. RBC said in its Q3 results that it had already cut 1% of its staff, amounting to some 800 positions. RBC expects to cut another 1%–2% of staff this year, which could mean upwards of 1,800 more jobs eliminated this year after overhiring by thousands.

Correction: an earlier version of the story stated that BMO had shut its retail finance business, not its retail auto finance business. The story has been updated to correct this.