Gordon Nixon : biography
Gordon M. "Gord" Nixon, CM, O.Ont (born January 25, 1957) is a Canadian business executive and investment banker. He is the President, CEO and Director of Royal Bank of Canada, and has been since 2001.
Royal Bank of Canada
In 2000, at the age of 43, he became chief executive officer of RBC Dominion Securities, since then renamed as RBC Capital Markets, succeeding long-time head Anthony Fell.
He was appointed president and chief executive officer of RBC on April 1, 2001, after John Cleghorn retired, making him one of the youngest bank CEOs of Canada in the 20th century. The title of chairman of the board was handed to a non-executive director.
Initially, with RBC's stock price stagnating, Nixon received some criticism for being unwilling to change the status quo and because of the lackluster performance of RBC Centura's (RBC's retail operations in the United States). Chief financial officer Peter Currie and banking chief Jim Rager wanted RBC to make a major acquisition in the United States, as Centura's capital markets and banking assets were too small, too scattered and struggling to earn money. However in late 2004, he initiated a major reorganization and management shakeup known as "Client First". Subsequently RBC delivered one of the best shareholder returns among the Big Five banks from 2005–2010, emerging largely unscathed through the late 2000s financial crisis and economic recession.
For his efforts, Nixon was named CEO of the year by the Financial Post Business Magazine in 2007. Upon receiving that accolade at the age of only 50, Nixon was already one of the longest tenured CEOs in the industry, considering that his Big Five peers were only named CEO when they were in their 50s.
In 2007, he was awarded the Order of Ontario. In 2010, he was appointed a Member of the Order of Canada.
Born in Montreal, Quebec, he was educated at Lower Canada College. Nixon received a Bachelor of Commerce degree from Queen's University in 1979, where he played varsity rugby. Nixon is a grandson of a former director of Royal Bank of Canada.
Upon graduation, he became an investment banker with Dominion Securities, which included a stint running their Tokyo office in 1986, at the height of Japan's economic boom. Dominion Securities was acquired by Royal Bank of Canada in 1987 and Nixon returned to Canada in 1989 as a Managing Director of Investment Banking. In 1995, he was appointed head of Global Investment Banking.
He is married to Janet Nixon and has three children.
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