National Bank names Laurent Ferreira COO, setting up successor to Louis Vachon


National Bank of Canada promoted financial markets co-head Laurent Ferreira to chief operating officer, setting up the executive as a potential successor to Chief Executive Officer Louis Vachon.

Ferreira, 50, will report directly to Vachon and the board in the new role and provide strategic leadership for National’s personal and commercial banking, wealth management and financial markets business, along with its operations and information technology functions, the Montreal-based company said Tuesday. He assumes the new position, reviving a role Vachon once held, on Feb. 1.

The move positions Ferreira as a top candidate to succeed the 58-year-old Vachon, who has led National Bank since 2007, making him the longest-serving CEO among Canada’s six largest banks. Vachon also served as COO for less than a year before becoming CEO. Ferreira has been with National Bank for 23 years and held a variety of roles in the financial markets division. Since 2019 he also has been co-managing the bank’s digital overhaul and cultural transformation, the bank said.

“This appointment recognizes Laurent’s outstanding leadership and strong track record of driving performance,” Vachon said in a statement. “Laurent’s contribution to the transformation of the bank and the evolution of our agile and human-centric culture was significant over the past few years.”

Denis Girouard, who had shared oversight of the financial markets business with Ferreira, will assume sole leadership of the division. Girouard has been with National Bank for 31 years.

Under the new setup, Vachon will continue to have direct supervision of risk management, employee experience, the chief financial officer and international development.