Brian J. Porter is a Canadian businessman and the current President and CEO of Scotiabank, one of Canada’s largest financial institutions. He has been with the bank since 1981 and has held a number of senior leadership positions, including Group Head of Risk and Treasury and Group Head of International Banking. He was most known for his position at Scotiabank, where he retired in January of 2023.
Porter was born in Toronto, Ontario in 1952. He graduated from the University of Western Ontario with a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics in 1974 and later earned a Master of Business Administration degree from the Harvard Business School in 1979.
Brian Porter of Scotiabank clearly comes from a family of achievers. Brian’s father was a successful real estate investor, and Brian followed in his footsteps as President and CEO of the multinational banking company. Brian’s siblings continue to make their mark on industries across the world; one is an attorney, another an established entrepreneur.
Brian’s mother was a distinguished judge who worked hard to ensure justice was served during her career. Brian continues to be inspired by the work ethic of his parents and is proud to carry their legacy forward as one of Canada’s leading corporate executives.
Mr. Porter is a distinguished alumnus of Dalhousie University, having earned his B.Comm and then subsequently being honored by the institution with an honorary Doctorate of Laws (LLD). Additionally, in 2018 Ryerson University followed suit to recognize him for his accomplishments.
His high-level achievements have been further bolstered through Harvard Business School’s Advanced Management Program graduation credentialing him as a leader within business circles today.
Porter was once quoted as saying, “I’ve always believed banking is a calling”, and his life and career has certainly shown that to be true for him.
Brian has received honorary doctorates from Dalhousie University and Ryerson University.
Porter began his career in the banking industry in 1981, when he joined Scotiabank as a management trainee. Over the next three decades, he held a number of senior leadership positions at the bank, including Group Head of Risk and Treasury and Group Head of International Banking.
November 1, 2013 marked a major milestone for Brian Porter – the day he assumed the role of Scotiabank’s Chief Executive Officer. His impressive journey with the Bank began in 1981 when he joined as their chief risk officer and continued through to his appointment as Group Head of Risk and Treasury then subsequently International Banking. He would continue to work his way up to lead the company.
Apart from being at helm of one Canada’s largest financial institutions, Mr. Porter is also Chairperson on various boards such as University Health Network (UHN), Council of The Americas & BlackNorth Initiative while most recently appointed chairman of Huron University College Board at Western University!
He has previously served noteworthy stints as Vice Chairman & Treasurer at the Institute of International Finance (IIF) in Washington DC making him an inspiring leader both inside & outside banking circles globally.
In November 2013, Porter was named President and CEO of Scotiabank, succeeding Rick Waugh. Since taking on the role, he has led the bank through a period of significant growth and expansion, with a focus on expanding the bank’s international presence and increasing its digital capabilities.
“Brian Porter has been a forward-looking leader who has made bold, strategic decisions that have repositioned the Bank while growing assets to $1.3 trillion from $744 billion. He refocused the Bank’s geographic and business priorities and redeployed capital into businesses with greater growth opportunities while exiting non-core markets,” said Aaron Regent, Chair of the Board for Scotiabank.
He also made important strides for the bank during the Covid-19 Pandemic. “Brian’s focused stewardship through challenging macroeconomic environments and through the global pandemic, has resulted in outstanding employee engagement, customer satisfaction and brand equity, leading the Bank to win multiple industry awards including Bank of the Year in Canada for three consecutive years. As well, Scotiabank has been recognized for its leadership in Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) and was named Best Bank in Canada for leadership in sustainable finance in 2022,” continued Mr. Regent, Chair of the Board for Scotiabank.
These are just some of the highlights of his more than 30 years in the banking industry and with Scotiabank. Even after retirement from this position, he continues to make a difference in the world and in the banking industry.
Porter is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Bank of Nova Scotia, Bombardier Inc., and the C.D. Howe Institute. He is also a member of the Group of Thirty, a private, non-profit, international body composed of very senior representatives of the private and public sectors and academia.
He also has a great deal of volunteer work, including being the Chair of 2018 Fundraising for the United Way Greater Toronto and the Chair of the Board of Trustees for the University Health Network.
In terms of net worth, Porter’s income is not publicly available.
Porter has been recognized for his leadership and business acumen and has been awarded several honors including the Order of Canada and the Order of Ontario. He is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Bank of Nova Scotia, Bombardier Inc., and the C.D.
Achievements also include: