Board of Directors
The members of the board of directors of BMO Financial Corp., our U.S. holding company, are listed below.
Christopher B. Begy
Christopher Begy is Chief Executive Officer of BMO Financial Corp. and U.S. Country Head. His appointment was effective on August 1, 2013. In his role he oversees the effective integration of BMO businesses and strategies in the United States.
Mr. Begy joined Bank of Montreal in 1987 from the financial services practice of a “Big Four” accounting firm. He has held a number of executive positions since his initial executive appointment in 1989.
Mr. Begy is a Director of BMO Financial Corp., and Chair of the Board of Directors of
BMO Harris Bank N.A. He also serves on the Board of Directors of: The Executives’ Club of Chicago, The Museum of Science and Industry, The Academy for Urban School Leadership – Chicago, and The Financial Services Roundtable.
Mr. Begy holds an Honors Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Toronto. In recognition of his work for the accounting profession and the community, he was elected a Fellow of the Ontario Institute of Chartered Accountants.
Adela Cepeda is Managing Director of PFM Financial Advisors LLC. She was the founder and President of A.C. Advisory, Inc., a nationally ranked financial advisory firm that provided advice to governments and corporations. Ms. Cepeda previously held the position of Vice President of Corporate Finance at Smith Barney, Harris Upham & Co. Inc. She is a Director of several mutual fund families and serves on numerous non-profit boards, including the Cook County Council of Economic Advisors and the City of Chicago Community Development Commission. She also serves on the board of the Chicago Foundation for Women. Ms. Cepeda graduated cum laude with an A.B. in Economics from Harvard College and earned an M.B.A. from the University of Chicago School of Business.
Diane L. Cooper
Diane Cooper was formerly an officer of GE Company and President and CEO of GE Capital’s Commercial Distribution business. As an officer of GE, Ms. Cooper was one of GE’s top 180 executives. Prior to this role, Ms. Cooper led the GE Capital Equipment Financing and Equipment Finance Services businesses. Previously, Ms. Cooper held senior roles in Franchise Finance, Real Estate and Consumer Finance.
Ms. Cooper is currently a member of the Board of Directors of BMO Financial Corp. She serves on the Human Resources Committee and Risk Oversight Committee of BMO Financial Corp.
Ms. Cooper received a B.A. in Business and an MBA from Baker University in Baldwin City, Kansas.
John W. Daniels, Jr.
John Daniels is Chairman Emeritus and a Partner at Quarles & Brady, L.LP. Mr. Daniels served as Chairman from 2007-2013. Mr. Daniels was formerly the national president of the American College of Real Estate Lawyers and a director of Marshall & Ilsley Corporation. Mr. Daniels has a B.A. from North Central College, M.S. from University of Wisconsin and earned his J.D. from Harvard Law School.
William A. Downe
Bill Downe is Chief Executive Officer of BMO Financial Group, a role he has held since 2007. Mr. Downe serves on the Board of Directors of Bank of Montreal, BMO Nesbitt Burns Holding Corporation and BMO Financial Corp. (both subsidiaries of Bank of Montreal).
Mr. Downe is a Director of ManpowerGroup Inc. and a member of their Executive Compensation and Human Resources Committee. He is currently a member of the Rush University Medical Center Board of Trustees, and is a member of their Development and Compensation and Human Resources Committees. Mr. Downe is a Director of Catalyst Inc., a member of their Audit Committee and Chair of Catalyst’s Canadian Advisory Board. In Canada, he is a Director on the Board of the Canadian Council of Chief Executives (CCCE) as well as their Governance and Nominating Committee and is currently a Director on the Board of St. Michael’s Hospital Foundation and a member of the Campaign Executive for The Campaign for the University of Toronto. He serves as Vice Chair, Business on the National Executive Committee of the 2015 Governor General Canadian Leadership Conference, and is also a member of the Government of Canada’s Advisory Council on Women Entrepreneurs and Business Leaders. Additionally, Mr. Downe is a Board member of the International Monetary Conference (IMC), a member of their Nominating Committee and a member of the Economic Club of Chicago. Mr. Downe holds an M.B.A. from the University of Toronto.
Bonnie L. Howard
Bonnie Howard was formerly Chief Auditor and Global Head, Control and Emerging Risk (2010-2011) and Chief Auditor (2004 – 2011) at Citigroup, Inc. Prior thereto, she was Managing Director- Global Markets Audit at Citigroup (2003) and FleetBoston Financial Corporation (2000-2002), and Deputy Auditor and Global Head, Markets Operational Risk Management during her career at JPMorgan (1988-2000).
Ms. Howard is currently a member of the Boards of Directors of BMO Financial Corp. and BMO Harris Bank N.A. She serves on the Risk Oversight and Audit Committees of BMO Financial Corp. and Chairs both the BMO Harris Bank N.A. Directors’ Trust Committee and the Bank’s Audit Committee. Ms. Howard is also a member of the Board of Directors of Assured Guaranty Ltd. (NYSE: AGO), where she chairs the Risk Oversight Committee and is a member of the Nominating and Governance Committee, and a member of STRIVE International’s board of directors.
Ms. Howard received a B.A. in Business Administration, cum laude, from the University of Missouri.
David J. Lubar
David Lubar is President and Chief Executive Officer of Lubar & Co. Incorporated, a private equity investment firm. Mr. Lubar was formerly a director at Marshall & Ilsley Corporation and spent five years in commercial banking at Norwest Bank (n/k/a Wells Fargo). He currently serves as director or member of the board of managers of ChemDesign Holdings, Inc., Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co., Wrightwood Capital, LLC, ZZI Holdings, Inc., American Pasteurization Company, LLC, D-Tec Investment LLC, Lake Express, LLC, Madison DB Acquisition, LLC, Mandel Group, Inc., The Milwaukee Brewers Baseball Club, Nicholas Company, Rockland Industrial Holdings, LLC, Shared Imaging, LLC and several other private companies and non-profit organizations, including Greater Milwaukee Foundation, Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce, UWM Real Estate Foundation, United Way of Milwaukee, Wisconsin Policy Research Institute,. Mr. Lubar received a B.A. from Bowdoin College and an M.B.A. degree from the University of Minnesota.
J. Robert S. Prichard
Robert Prichard is Chairman of the Board of Bank of Montreal, having been appointed to this position effective March 20, 2012. He is the non-executive Chair of Torys LLP, a Canadian law firm. Before joining Torys LLP in September 2010, he served as President and Chief Executive Officer and a Director of Metrolinx. Metrolinx is the regional transportation agency and operator for the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area. Mr. Prichard also served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Torstar Corporation, a leading Canadian media company from 2002 - 2009. Mr. Prichard is President Emeritus of the University of Toronto where he served as President from 1990-2000 and previously served as dean of law and as a professor specializing in law and economics. He also serves as Chairman of Metrolinx, a director of Onex Corporation and George Weston Ltd, and a trustee of the Hospital for Sick Children. He studied honours economics at Swarthmore College, received his M.B.A. from the University of Chicago and earned law degrees at the University of Toronto and Yale University. He is an Officer of the Order of Canada, a Member of the Order of Ontario and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.
John Rau was appointed Chair of the Board of BMO Financial Corp. effective January 1, 2017. He is President and Chief Executive Officer of Miami Corporation, a private diversified holding company founded in 1917. Mr. Rau previously served as President and Chief Executive Officer of LaSalle National Bank (Chicago), Chief Executive Officer of Chicago Title Corporation and Dean of the School of Business at Indiana University. He is currently a director of The Southern Company Gas, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce and First Industrial Realty Trust, Inc. He also serves as a trustee of the Field Museum in Chicago. Mr. Rau earned his bachelor’s degree at Boston College and his M.B.A. at Harvard University where he was the Goldman Sachs Finance Fellow.
John S. Shiely
John S. Shiely began his career with Arthur Andersen & Co., becoming a Tax Senior Accountant. He then served as an Associate Lawyer with the Hughes Hubbard & Reed law firm, and as an Assistant General Counsel of Rockwell International Corp. He joined Briggs & Stratton in 1986 as General Counsel, was elected Vice President in 1990, Executive Vice President - Administration in 1991, President in 1994, CEO in 2001 and Chairman in 2003. John is a director of BMO Financial Corp. and BMO Harris Bank N.A., Quad/Graphics, Inc., Oshkosh Corporation, and the corporate board of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. John is active in a number of civic and professional organizations, including service as a member of the Greater Milwaukee Committee, a member of the Board of Directors of Children’s Hospital and Health System Foundation Inc., a member of the Board of Regents of the Milwaukee School of Engineering, a member of the Trustees of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee, and as a past president of the Wisconsin Chapter of the Association for Corporate Growth. He is co-author of the book The EVA Challenge: Implementing Value-Added Change in an Organization, published by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
John received a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting from the University of Notre Dame, a Juris Doctor from Marquette University Law School and a Master of Management from the J. L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University. In 2010, he was admitted to the graduate program at Harvard Law School where he pursued a course of study in corporate governance.
Frank Techar is Vice-Chair of BMO Financial Group, appointed in November 2016. In this role, he leverages his broad and deep experience to focus on accelerating the bank’s business growth in all markets, and particularly in the U.S. Midwest.
Mr. Techar began his career with BMO Financial Group in the Corporate Banking Division in 1984 and has held a variety of senior management positions in Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom. He led the bank’s U.S. Personal and Commercial banking business from 2002-06, as President and CEO of BMO’s Chicago-based Harris Bankcorp, Inc., now BMO Harris Bank. In 2006, he was appointed President and CEO of the Canadian Personal and Commercial banking business.
More recently, Mr. Techar served as the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of BMO Financial Group from 2013 to 2016. As COO, he had direct accountability for the bank’s personal, commercial and wealth management businesses in Canada and the United States, as well as the bank’s retail distribution channels, which serve more than nine million customers. He was also accountable for marketing and for aspects of technology and operations to deliver leading customer experience and to respond appropriately to market conditions, trends and new technologies.
Mr. Techar is an active member of the civic and business communities where he has worked and lived. He is a member of the United Way of Greater Toronto’s Board of Trustees and served on the Campaign Cabinet from 2009-11. He has also chaired the annual giving campaign for the United Way of Metropolitan Chicago. He is a director of St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto and chairman of the St. Michael’s Foundation Board. He has been named a Life Trustee of Rush University Medical Center in Chicago.
A native of Minnesota, Mr. Techar holds dual Canadian and American citizenships. He earned a Bachelor of Science and Engineering degree from Princeton University in 1978 and an M.B.A. from the University of Denver in 1983.
Michael J. Van Handel
Mike Van Handel is a Senior Executive Vice President of ManpowerGroup Inc. and a member of the Executive Strategy Committee. Mr. Van Handel joined Manpower in 1989 as Director of Internal Audit, and in 1993 was named Vice President of International Accounting. In 1995 he became Chief Accounting Officer and Treasurer, and in 1998 became Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. He served as Chief Financial Officer and Senior Vice President until February 2016. Prior to Manpower, Mr. Van Handel served as Audit Manager at Arthur Andersen & Co. where he worked with a number of large public multinational companies, including Manpower. He is currently a director at Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra. Mr. Van Handel graduated magna cum laude with a B.S. (Accounting) from Marquette University and earned his M.B.A. from the University of Wisconsin.
Darryl White was appointed Chief Operating Officer (COO) of BMO Financial Group in November 2016. As COO, Mr. White provides strategic leadership for the bank’s Personal, Commercial and Wealth businesses across North America and globally. He oversees Marketing in addition to ensuring the bank’s technology function delivers strategic capabilities to all these groups. Mr. White’s responsibilities also include ensuring the bank maintains a well-developed strategic capability as it relates to customer experience, consistent with the stated priorities of the bank.
Mr. White joined BMO in 1994 and has held a variety of senior management positions including Executive Managing Director & Global Head of I&CB Montreal; Deputy Head, Investment & Corporate Banking (I&CB) Canada; Global Head, Equity Capital Markets; and Head of I&CB, where he oversaw the bank’s relationships with corporate and government as well as trade finance and international financial institutions. His responsibilities included equity and debt underwriting, corporate lending and project financing, and mergers and acquisitions advisory services. He also served as Co-Head of the Media & Communications practice. Mr. White was appointed Group Head, BMO Capital Markets in 2014.
In 2015, Mr. White co-chaired BMO Financial Group's Employee Giving Campaign, which raised a record of more than $18.5 million for charities including United Way, and he also serves as Co-Chair of the 2016 campaign. Mr. White volunteers with the United Way of Greater Toronto and York Region and currently serves on the organization’s Campaign Cabinet as Co-Chair of the 2016 Major Banks Division.
Mr. White is a graduate of the University of Western Ontario's Ivey Business School and a graduate of the Advanced Management Program at the Harvard Business School.