lass of university students using laptops in lecture

Toronto-based BMO Capital Markets’s 2018 Equity Through Education trading day raised $1.6 million for educational scholarships, the company announced Thursday.

The annual event sees investment and corporate banking arm of Bank of Montreal donate a day of institutional equity trading commissions from the U.S., Canada and Europe to organizations that provide scholarships, bursaries and other academic programs to under-privileged students.

The program has raised more than $20 million since its launch in 2005, and helped about 4,500 students.

“We could not be more proud of achieving the milestone of reaching the $20 million donation mark since the inception of our Equity Through Education program,” Carl Kirst, BMO Capital Markets’s managing director of research, U.S. equities, says in a statement. “As we continue into our 15th year, it only becomes more meaningful to see how dollars raised can help support charities built on the foundation of student academic success.”

The proceeds from this year’s event will benefit the following eight non-profits: The Loran Scholars Foundation, Indspire, The Jackie Robinson Foundation, Lime Connect, The Financial Women’s Association, Say Yes to Education, Imperial College and Women in Capital Markets’ Return to Bay Street Program.

“Through its annual Equity Through Education program, BMO Capital Markets has contributed significantly to our mission to identify and nurture Canada’s next generation of leaders,” Meghan Moore, CEO at the Loran Scholars Foundation, says in a statement. “We are so grateful to BMO for embracing our belief that the young people who are going to create positive change in our world are those who show strength of character, a deep commitment to service and an inner fire that draws others to their work. With BMO’s support we can provide transformative experiences to help these students to realize their potential.”