Bank of Canada senior deputy Wilkins, passed over for top job, to leave bank next year

Bank of Canada Senior Deputy Governor Carolyn Wilkins poses for a photograph following an interview with Reuters in Montebello

OTTAWA/TORONTO (Reuters) – Carolyn Wilkins, the senior deputy governor at the Bank of Canada who lost her bid for the top job just four months ago, will not seek a second term, the bank said on Thursday.

Wilkins took over the No. 2 spot at the bank in 2014 and former Governor Stephen Poloz praised her crisis management abilities before he retired earlier this year. But the government chose Tiff Macklem to succeed Poloz.

Wilkins has led the bank’s first-ever quantitative easing program, which was created after rates were slashed to 0.25% amid the coronavirus pandemic. Her seven-year term expires in May 2021.

“She steered a lot of the hard work behind the scenes in terms of forecasts and the roll-out of the bank’s unprecedented stimulus, so she will be missed and tough to replace,” said Derek Holt, vice president of capital markets economics at Scotiabank.

Macklem, who took over as governor in May, was also a senior deputy governor with ambitions for the top spot when he was passed over in 2013. Macklem later left the bank and was dean of the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto until he was named governor.

Wilkins would have been the first woman to have held the governorship, but Macklem’s experience suggests she may have a second chance after a spell in the private sector.

The Bank of Canada’s board of directors said it had begun the process of selecting Wilkins’ successor.

“The Bank has a deep bench, so to speak, so there are any number of strong internal candidates,” said Andrew Kelvin, chief Canada strategist at TD Securities. “If they do elevate someone internally, one person to keep an eye on is Sharon Kozicki, who is currently an advisor.”

Kozicki was appointed an adviser to the Bank of Canada governor in 2013 with a focus on the Canadian economy and monetary policy, according to the central bank’s website.

“The Bank is in good hands,” Wilkins said in the statement.

(Reporting by Steve Scherer in Ottawa and Fergal Smith in Toronto; Editing by Cynthia Osterman and Peter Cooney)

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