Gordon Nixon, former president and CEO of Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), has been named a director of New York-based asset-management giant BlackRock Inc.

Nixon is scheduled to join the company’s board on Oct. 6 as an independent director. He also currently sits on the boards of BCE Inc., George Weston Ltd. and the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) as well as on the advisory board of Kingsett Capital.

Nixon began his career in the financial services sector in 1979 with Dominion Securities, which was later acquired by RBC. He became CEO of RBC’s capital markets division in 1999 before taking over as CEO of the entire bank in 2001. He retired from RBC in August 2014.

“With thirteen years at the helm of a leading global financial institution and one of Canada’s largest public companies, Gordon brings invaluable expertise and perspective to BlackRock about the world at large and in-depth knowledge about the North American market,” says Laurence Fink, BlackRock’s chairman and CEO, in a statement. “His experience growing a diversified, global financial services organization in today’s regulatory and economic environment makes him an exceptional addition to our board.”

Once Nixon joins BlackRock’s board, it will have a total of 19 directors, including 16 independent directors. As of June 30, the firm had US$4.7 trillion in assets under management.