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- Bank's Institute for Learning recognized as a global leader in the field of Learning and Development

- BMO only Canadian bank to be named

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Oct. 4, 2013) - BMO Financial Group received a prestigious ASTD BEST Award at American Society for Training and Development's (ASTD) 11th Annual BEST Awards ceremony in Washington, D.C. on October 1. BMO placed 11th out of 28 winners from around the world. BMO was the only Canadian bank to receive an ASTD BEST Award. This is the second time in three years that BMO's corporate university, The Institute for Learning (IFL), has been honoured with an ASTD BEST Award. BMO's ranking improved six positions compared to its previous win in 2011, when it was ranked 17th out of 32 learning organizations.

"BMO's Institute for Learning has always been a great source of cultural pride at BMO and showcases the company's strong commitment to learning and development," said Richard Rudderham, Executive Vice-President and Head of Human Resources, BMO Financial Group. "Our strong ranking in the ASTD BEST Award recognizes the IFL as a global leader in the field of learning and development and is a testament to the Bank's commitment to our employees' growth and success."

"Over the years, we have worked very hard to build a world-class learning organization that develops inspirational leaders and passionate customer-focused employees," added Barbara Dirks, Senior Vice-President and Chief Learning Officer, BMO Financial Group. "This award reaffirms the value that we continue to deliver as a learning organization."

Prior to the ceremony, BMO shared its best practices with other learning and development practitioners at the Learn from the BEST conference. BMO noted the importance of engaging the right people and the right process in designing and delivering successful learning solutions that are aligned with the needs of the business. Projects featured in the Bank's submission included:

  • Accelerating our Competitiveness Webcast
  • Ethics and Legal Compliance Training
  • Fundamentals of Customer Experience
  • Launching a New Branch Team Training
  • Leadership Development Program
  • Orientation Training
  • Personal Lending Development Program
  • Regulatory Effectiveness: The Essentials of Regulatory Management

The ASTD BEST Awards are the training industry's most rigorous and coveted recognition. The BEST Awards recognize organizations that demonstrate enterprise-wide success through employee learning and development. "These 28 companies excel in creating innovative, vibrant learning cultures that clearly align with strategic business goals," says Tony Bingham, ASTD President and CEO. "They get it. The leadership of these organizations values the impact learning and development achieves, and knows that having a knowledgeable and skilled workforce drives success."

BMO competed against 70 organizations in nine countries for the 2013 BEST Awards. Every organization submitted quantitative and qualitative information to ASTD about its learning and development practices and programs. Applications were assessed in a blind review by members of the BEST Awards advisory committee, a select group of experts in the learning and development field.

About BMO Financial Group's Institute for Learning

Established in 1994, the Institute for Learning (IFL) is BMO Financial Group's corporate university and the Bank's most tangible symbol of our commitment to learning. Located in Toronto with regional sites in major cities across Canada and the U.S., the IFL designs and delivers world-class learning that develops inspirational leaders and passionate customer-focused employees while fostering BMO's culture.

About ASTD

ASTD (American Society for Training & Development) is the world's largest professional association dedicated to the training and development field. In more than 100 countries, ASTD's members work in organizations of all sizes, in the private and public sectors, as independent consultants, and as suppliers. Members connect locally in 120 U.S. chapters and with 15 international partners. ASTD started in 1943 and in recent years has widened the profession's focus to align learning and performance to organizational results, and is a sought-after voice on critical public policy issues. For more information, visit

For further information:
Media Contacts:
Ralph Marranca, Toronto
(416) 967-3996

Valerie Doucet, Montreal
(514) 877-8224

Laurie Grant, Vancouver
(604) 665-7596

Twitter: @BMOmedia