Laurentian Bank recently made a significant announcement appointing Éric Provost as the new President and Chief Executive Officer, taking over from Rania Llewellyn, who has left the company. Concurrently, Michael Boychuk has been named as the Chair of the Board, replacing Michael Mueller, who resigned. These leadership changes are effective immediately.
Provost, a longstanding member of the bank for over a decade, most recently held the position of Group Head of Personal and Commercial Banking. His immediate focus will be on rebuilding trust among the bank’s customers and addressing the impacts of a mainframe outage that occurred during a planned IT maintenance update last week. It is noteworthy that customer data and financial information remained secure during the outage.
As part of his immediate priorities, Provost will implement a three-step action plan: resolving any remaining issues related to the outage, significantly improving communication with customers to provide timely updates on the full restoration of the bank’s services, and conducting a comprehensive review of the factors contributing to the outage.
Laurentian Bank has a market capitalisation of $971.85 million and a low P/E ratio of 6.77, indicating that the stock is trading at a favourable earnings multiple. Additionally, the bank’s valuation implies a strong free cash flow yield, as suggested by InvestingPro.
Boychuk, an experienced executive and board member, who previously served as the Chair of the Audit Committee for Laurentian Bank, expressed confidence in Provost’s leadership. He stated, “Éric is the right executive to lead the bank at this critical point in its evolution”.
In response to the recent outage, Laurentian Bank has announced the reversal of all monthly service fees for September, with customers expected to see a credit in their accounts in the coming days. The bank has also extended branch hours for the current week, and some branches remained open on Monday, despite it being a statutory federal holiday.
Provost expressed his honour at assuming the role of CEO at Laurentian Bank and emphasised the importance of rebuilding trust among customers, employees, and shareholders. He stated, “Once the issues stemming from the outage are completely resolved, we will develop a new strategy to ensure the long-term success of our bank.”
Publicly available date shows that the bank has consistently provided a significant dividend yield of 6.21% to its shareholders and has maintained dividend payments for 50 consecutive years.