Gordon Nixon

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Gordon Nixon
CM, O.Ont
Born Gordon M. Nixon
(1957-01-25) January 25, 1957 (age 58)
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Alma mater Queen's University (B.Com.)

past President & CEO,

Royal Bank of Canada
Salary $11,851,900 (2010)[1]
Spouse(s) Janet Nixon
Children 3

Gordon M. "Gord" Nixon, CM, O.Ont (born January 25, 1957) is a Canadian business executive and investment banker. He was the President, CEO and Director of Royal Bank of Canada, from 2001 to 2014.[2]

Early life[edit]

Born in Montreal, Quebec, he was educated at Lower Canada College. Nixon received an Bachelor of Commerce degree with Honours from Queen's University in 1979,[3] where he played four years of varsity rugby. Nixon is a grandson of a former director of Royal Bank of Canada.

Upon graduation, he became an investment banker with Dominion Securities, which included a stint running their Tokyo office in 1986, at the height of Japan's economic boom. Dominion Securities was acquired by Royal Bank of Canada in 1987 and Nixon returned to Canada in 1989 as a Managing Director of Investment Banking. In 1995, he was appointed head of Global Investment Banking.[4]

Royal Bank of Canada[edit]

In 2000, at the age of 43, he became chief executive officer of RBC Dominion Securities,[5] since then renamed as RBC Capital Markets, succeeding long-time head Anthony Fell.

He was appointed president and chief executive officer of RBC on April 1, 2001,[6] after John Cleghorn retired, making him one of the youngest bank CEOs of Canada in the 20th century.

Initially, with RBC's stock price stagnating, Nixon received some criticism for being unwilling to change the status quo and because of the lackluster performance of RBC Centura's (RBC's retail operations in the United States). Chief financial officer Peter Currie and banking chief Jim Rager wanted RBC to make a major acquisition in the United States, as Centura's capital markets and banking assets were too small, too scattered and struggling to earn money. However, in late 2004, he initiated a major reorganization and management shakeup known as "Client First" and significantly restructured the Bank. Subsequently RBC delivered one of the best shareholder returns among the Big Five banks from 2005–2014, emerging largely unscathed through the late 2000s financial crisis and economic recession.[7]

For his efforts, Nixon was named CEO of the year by the Financial Post Business Magazine in 2007. Upon receiving that accolade at the age of only 50, Nixon was already one of the longest tenured CEOs in the industry, considering that his Big Five peers were only named CEO when they were in their 50s.

In 2007, he was awarded the Order of Ontario.[8] In 2010, he was appointed a Member of the Order of Canada.[9] Mr. Nixon has twice been on Barron's list of the World's Best CEOs, and has been on Bloomberg's list of the World's 50 Most Influential People.

Gordon Nixon stepped down as CEO on August 1, 2014 and was succeeded by David McKay, who headed the personal and commercial bank.[10] Over his 13 years as CEO, the Royal Bank's market capitalization more than tripled and it's shares were one of the strongest performing of all global banks.

Gordon Nixon is currently a director of BCE and George Weston limited and is on the Advisory Board of Kingsett Capital.

Personal life[edit]

He is married to Janet Nixon and has three children.


  1. ^ Reuters http://www.reuters.com/finance/stocks/officerProfile?symbol=RY.N&officerId=137734.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  2. ^ "Gordon Nixon - Profile". Forbes. Retrieved 4 February 2013. 
  3. ^ "Executive profile-Gordon M. Nixon". Businessweek. Retrieved 22 February 2013. 
  4. ^ "Biographies - Nixon". rbc.com. 2011. Retrieved 31 March 2011. 
  5. ^ Craik, Kristin. "Top CEOs from Canada's Best Companies". Canada Business Review. Retrieved 5 December 2013. 
  6. ^ Alexander, Doug (8 January 2013). "RBC CEO Gordon Nixon Says His Retirement From Bank Not Imminent". Bloomberg. Retrieved 19 March 2013. 
  7. ^ "The revenge of Gordon Nixon". The Globe and Mail (Toronto). 23 August 2012. [dead link]
  8. ^ "Order of Ontario Recipients Announced". 
  9. ^ Governor General announces 74 new appointments to the Order of Canada
  10. ^ Alexander, Doug. "RBC Says CEO Nixon to Retire as Lender’s Profit Beats Estimates". BloombergBusinessweek. Retrieved 5 December 2013. 
Business positions
Preceded by
John Cleghorn
CEO of Royal Bank of Canada
2001- 2014
Succeeded by
David McKay