Who will be the new Bank of Canada governor?

Poloz isn’t seeking a second appointment, and the industry is abuzz with candidates ready and willing to take his place
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Stephen Poloz has confirmed that he will not seek a second appointment after his seven-year term expires in 2020. Which begs the question: Who will succeed him?

Observers narrowed the field to four leading potential candidates and a couple of others who might be nominated by the bank’s board for a federal government appointment.

First up, Carolyn Wilkins. She’s the current senior deputy governor and is considered by many to be the leading candidate.

“She’s been groomed for that role,” James Marple, senior economist for TD Bank told the Canadian Press. “She’s been highly involved in setting monetary policy as a sort of second-in-command to governor Poloz.”

Wilkins would be the first female governor, a factor that might weigh in her favour, agreed Sherry Cooper, chief economist at Dominion Lending Centres.

Another lead appointment is Jean Boivin, the global head of research for BlackRock Investment Institute. He’s is a former deputy governor of the Bank of Canada, and he would be the first francophone governor.

“Jean Boivin … is extremely well thought of in the financial community and in the academic community and in the policy community,” said Jean-Francois Perrault, chief economist for Scotiabank.

Perrault said Boivin’s previous role as a senior policy maker in the federal Finance department would also place him in good stead.

Tiff Macklem is the former senior deputy governor at the Bank of Canada, and was considered a leading candidate to be governor in 2013. He was passed over when Poloz was appointed but could get a second shot at the title this time.

Even so, Marple thinks that being passed over already, coupled with his current role as dean of the Rotman School of Management, make it less likely he will be chosen.

Perrault, however, considers Macklem a leading candidate along with Boivin. He said he is a “very accomplished individual” with the skills and respectability to do the job.

Paul Rochon is another leading candidate. The long-serving deputy minister in the federal Finance department is the only one of the top four candidates who hasn’t worked at the bank, which could be an advantage. The last three governors, David Dodge, Mark Carney and Poloz himself, were not employed by the bank when they were appointed. This trend appears to have reversed the previous practice of promoting a deputy governor as governor, noted Queen’s University economist Don Drummond.

A couple of other well-known names are in the mix as well to become the next governor, including Evan Siddall, the chief executive at Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp., and Bill Robson, CEO of the C.D. Howe Institute. Drummond said that McGill University economist Christopher Ragan might be a candidate as well.

Kimberly Greene

Kimberly Greene

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