BMO Financial Group will improve operational efficiency, Chairman and CEO Tony Comper said today in a speech to Merrill Lynch Canada’s Canadian Banks’ CEO Conference 2003.
“BMO’s relative performance is climbing. We have gained considerable traction as a Canada-based transnational bank, and we have done so during a very difficult time for our industry,” said Comper. “As we direct intensified efforts toward our top priority of 2003, which is to substantially improve operational efficiency, we are right where we want to be: poised for aggressive growth in the North American economic space when a market turnaround takes hold.”
Comper also stated that BMO Financial Group would continue its successful strategy of investing in its core Canadian franchise and building on its selective and substantial expansion in the United States.
“We believe we are pulling all the right levers to achieve, at a minimum, the realistic financial targets for 2003 that we set at the end of November. I want to affirm for you that we will continue steering our steady course,” he said. “The progress we have made so far – and, I am certain, will continue to make in the years ahead – results from the fundamental management style of this leadership team, encapsulated in the three defining BMO characteristics: prudence in deploying our resources, discipline in building on our strengths, and focus in executing our transnational strategy.”
Comper’s speech highlighted BMO’s continued momentum in its banking operations in both Canada and the United States, the organization’s longstanding strength in credit risk management, its strong dividend track record, its disciplined approach to expense management, BMO’s internationally renowned approach to corporate governance, and its industry-leading performance-based compensation initiatives.
BMO Financial Group, with more than CDN$75 billion in average U.S. assets, has the highest asset base of any Canadian financial institution in the U.S. The organization serves more than 1.5 million customers in the U.S., in addition to its more than 6 million Canadian customers.
Established in 1817 as Bank of Montreal, BMO Financial Group (NYSE, TSX: BMO) is a highly diversified financial services organization. With average assets of CDN$254 billion as at October 31, 2002 and more than 33,000 employees, BMO provides a broad range of retail banking, wealth management and investment banking products and solutions. BMO Financial Group serves clients across Canada and in the United States through its Canadian retail arm BMO Bank of Montreal, Chicago-based Harris Bank, a major U.S. mid-west financial services organization which also has wealth management offices across the United States, and BMO Nesbitt Burns, one of Canada's leading full-service investment firms.
A full transcript of Comper’s speech may be found at www.bmo.com.
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