© Rania Llewellyn, President & CEO, Laurention Bank of Canada, The View From The C-Suite
Llewellyn is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Laurentian Bank of Canada, which serves 1.5 million customers across the country and employs more than 2,900 people. Llewellyn is the first woman to lead a major chartered bank in Canada. She is married to Sean Llewellyn, and is the mother of two children, Sofia and Zachary.
Llewellyn was born in Kuwait to her Jordanian mother and Egyptian father. She grew up in Kuwait, Egypt, and immigrated to Canada in 1992 after the Gulf War.
Before Llewellyn immigrated to Canada, she studied at The American University in Cairo, from 1990 to 1992. After her arrival to Canada, she attended Saint Mary’s University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, where she graduated in 1994, receiving her Bachelor’s Degree in Finance and her Master’s of Business Administration two years later.
Llewellyn began her career in October 1996 at Scotiabank, one of Canada’s Big Five banks, where she worked for more than 24 years. Beginning as a bank teller, Llewellyn rose through the ranks of Scotiabank, as she was promoted to Director, Power and Infrastructure, and corporate banking in November 2004; Vice President and multicultural banking in September 2007; Senior Vice President and head of Canadian operations in July 2010; President and Chief Executive Officer of Scotiabank subsidiary Roynat Capital in November 2011; Senior Vice President, commercial banking, and growth strategy in May 2014; Senior Vice President, products and services, and global transaction banking in September 2015; and Executive Vice President, and global business payments in April 2018. Llewellyn left Scotiabank in October 2020 when she was hired as the President and Chief Executive Officer of Laurentian Bank, replacing acting CEO Stephane Therrien, who had been serving as President and CEO since Francois Desjardins retired in June 2020. Laurentian’s hiring of Llewellyn marked the first time a major Canadian chartered bank was led by a woman.
In 2014, Saint Mary’s University granted Llewellyn an honorary doctorate of commerce. In 2019, while employed at Scotiabank, Llewellyn received the Women in Payments Award for Thought Leadership from the Women in Payments Association, in recognition of her work in modernizing the Canadian payments industry. At Scotiabank, she championed the creation of The Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council, to address the problem of immigrant underemployment. In 2021, she was honoured as a LinkedIn Talent Voice – Community Change Maker, a Top 25 Woman of Influence and 2nd highest ranked Chief Executive Officer among Glassdoor’s Top CEOs of the year. Llewellyn is also Laurentian’s first champion of “ESG” issues.
In addition to her degrees from Saint Mary's University, Llewellyn additionally studied “Creating a Breakthrough Strategy” at the Columbia Business School in New York City and attended a Future Leader’s Program at the Institute of International Finance in 2014.