Ms. Suzanne B. Labarge
Suzanne Labarge retired from the post of vice-chairman and chief risk officer of RBC Financial Group in December 2004. In that role, she was charged with the strategic management of risk on an enterprise-wide basis and as one of nine members of the group management committee, with setting the overall direction of RBC Financial Group.
Ms. Labarge joined Royal Bank in 1971 and held a variety of positions within the bank prior to being appointed an executive officer in 1979. She worked in commercial and corporate lending roles in various branches across Canada. She ran Internal Audit in Quebec District before working in the International Division in Canada and overseas until leaving the bank in 1985 to join the federal government as assistant auditor-general, where she was responsible for a report on Financial Management and Control in the Government of Canada.
She joined the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions Canada in 1987 as deputy superintendent, policy. Apart from developing regulatory policies for Canadian financial institutions, she was a member of the BIS Committee for Bank Supervision during the time it finalized the Basel I regulatory capital regime as well as the rules governing market risk. In her last position as deputy superintendent, deposit-taking institutions, Ms. Labarge was responsible for all matters relating to deposit-taking institutions.
Ms. Labarge returned to the bank as executive vice-president, Corporate Treasury, in April 1995 with global responsibility for Royal Bank's balance sheet management, funding, liquidity and market risk management.
She assumed the role of chief risk officer in October 1998 and was appointed vice-chairman and chief risk officer in February 1999. During that period she oversaw the development of advanced portfolio management tools for the credit portfolio, the development of policies establishing the risk appetite of the organization as well as the establishment of an Operational Risk group and the strategy for the implementation of Basel II. She was responsible for ensuring that the Board of Directors had the necessary information about the risks taken on in the bank to fulfill their responsibilities.
Ms. Labarge is a member of the Board of Directors and Audit Committee of Coca Cola Enterprises. She is also a member of the Supervisory Board and Risk Committee of Deutsche Bank. She serves on the Board of Governors for McMaster University. She served as Director and then chair of the board of CLS International, a company owned by 67 large international banks, She served as a director and chair of the audit committee of Novelis Inc. and was a member of the Board of the Bank of China, Beijing.
A native of Ottawa, Ms. Labarge holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics from McMaster University and a Master in Business Administration from the Harvard Business School.