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BMO to Appoint George Cope as Chair of the Board

TORONTO, Nov. 1, 2019 /CNW/ - BMO Financial Group (TSX:BMO)(NYSE:BMO) announced its intention to appoint George A. Cope as Chair of the Board upon his re-election as an independent director at BMO's Annual Meeting on March 31, 2020. BMO Chair J. Robert S. Prichard will retire from the board at that time after 20 years of service as an independent director and as Chair since 2012.

"George's distinguished record as a public company chief executive and reputation as a strategic leader committed to innovation, growth and good governance make him the ideal Chair to take the board forward," said Mr. Prichard. "I am honoured to have had the opportunity to serve as a member of the board for the past two decades and as Chair for the past eight years, and thank my fellow directors and everyone at BMO for their dedication and support over the years."

"I am grateful for the Board's confidence and eager to work with my fellow directors in building on the success achieved under Rob's leadership. I am fully behind BMO's strong management team and its plans to deliver on the bank's strategic priorities," said Mr. Cope. "On behalf of the Board, I offer Rob our thanks for guiding BMO through a period of tremendous progress while laying the groundwork for continued success."

Christine Edwards, Chair of BMO's Governance and Nominating Committee commented, "The Board conducted a careful and deliberative succession process leading us to unanimously endorse George Cope as our next Chair.  We look forward to a seamless transition from Rob to George.'"

Mr. Cope has served as independent director on the BMO board since 2006 and as a member of the Governance and Nominating Committee and the Human Resources Committee. He has been President and Chief Executive Officer of BCE Inc. and Bell Canada since 2008, and will retire from the role on January 5, 2020. He was previously Chief Executive Officer of TELUS Mobility and of Clearnet Communications Inc.

Mr. Cope earned his HBA from the Richard Ivey School of Business at Western University and has been awarded honorary doctorates by Western, the University of Windsor, Trent University and Queen's University. Appointed a Member of the Order of Canada in 2014, Mr. Cope was inducted into the Canadian Business Hall of Fame in 2018 and was recently recognized by the Globe and Mail's Report on Business as Corporate Citizen of the Year for his leadership of the groundbreaking Bell Let's Talk mental health initiative.

About BMO Financial Group

Serving customers for 200 years and counting, BMO is a highly diversified financial services provider - the 8th largest bank, by assets, in North America. With total assets of $839 billion as of July 31, 2019, and a team of diverse and highly engaged employees, BMO provides a broad range of personal and commercial banking, wealth management and investment banking products and services to more than 12 million customers and conducts business through three operating groups: Personal and Commercial Banking, BMO Wealth Management and BMO Capital Markets.

SOURCE BMO Financial Group

For further information: For News Media Enquiries: Paul Gammal, Toronto,, (416) 867-3996