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BMO Executive Recognized as a Leading Ally to LGBT Community

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Sept. 29, 2011) - Justine Fedak, SVP, Marketing, BMO Harris Bank, will be awarded the Leading Executive Ally Award tonight at Out on Bay Street's inaugural Leaders to be Proud of Awards.

Ms. Fedak was the executive sponsor of BMO's LGBT affinity group from 2005 to 2010. She was selected for this award based on her championing of LGBT issues at BMO Financial Group, mentoring LGBT colleagues, and advocating openness, inclusion and equity in business for members of the LGBT community.

The awards are a joint initiative of Out on Bay Street and Deloitte. Out on Bay Street was founded in 2007 by students to support lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and ally (LGBTQA) undergraduate and graduate students across Canada. The non-profit group works to promote inclusion and openness for queer professionals in corporate Canada.

"BMO is focused on fostering a culture where everyone -- regardless of sexual orientation -- has the opportunity to turn their potential into performance," says Ms. Fedak.

"Studies clearly show, and it is our own belief, that a more diverse and inclusive workforce ensures we have the creativity and innovation necessary to win in the marketplace. Having an equitable, inclusive workplace is not just the right thing to do. It means we are able to attract the best pool of talent. We believe this is at the core of our ability to define a great customer experience."

Diversity and Inclusion at BMO

Diversity has been a focus at BMO for more than two decades, ever since it commissioned ground-breaking task forces on Women, Persons with Disabilities, Aboriginal Peoples and Visible Minorities in the early 1990s. The LGBT affinity group is one of 37 employee resource groups at BMO. It spans North America and helps BMO develop future leaders, build market profile, reach the diverse communities we serve, and grow employee engagement.

About BMO Financial Group

Established in 1817 as Bank of Montreal, BMO Financial Group is a highly diversified North American financial services organization. With total assets of $477 billion as at July 31, 2011, and more than 47,000 employees, BMO provides a broad range of retail banking, wealth management and investment banking products and solutions.

For further information:
News Media Contacts:
Ralph Marranca
(416) 867-3996

Carol Greene
(416) 867-3996

Sarah Bensadoun, Montreal
(514) 877-8224