RBC Fires CFO Over Undisclosed ‘Personal Relationship’ With Colleague

Royal Bank of Canada (TSE: RY) has terminated its Chief Financial Officer, Nadine Ahn, after it was found that she was in an undisclosed close personal relationship with another employee, which led to preferential treatment including promotions and compensation increases.

According to the bank’s statement, RBC recently became aware of allegations involving Ahn and immediately launched an internal review, engaging outside legal counsel to investigate. The investigation concluded that Ahn’s relationship with the unnamed employee, who was also terminated, violated the bank’s code of conduct.

A report from The Globe and Mail, which cited sources familiar with the matter, said that the unnamed employee was Ken Mason, a vice-president and head of capital and term funding. According to the sources, the investigation found that Ahn had “used her authority over organizational decisions in the department to expand Mr. Mason’s role to include broader mandates that also led to pay increases.”

Ahn joined RBC in 1999 and worked her way up through the ranks, eventually being named CFO in September 2021. At the time, she was the only female CFO among Canada’s Big Six banks. Ahn’s termination ends her ascent to the top ranks of the institution, where she was considered a potential successor to CEO Dave McKay.

The bank emphasized that the investigation found no evidence of wrongdoing by Ahn or the other employee regarding RBC’s financial statements, strategy, or financial and business performance. However, the preferential treatment stemming from their undisclosed relationship was deemed unacceptable.

Also read: HSBC Completes $10B Sale of Canadian Unit to Royal Bank of Canada

In the aftermath, RBC has named long-time employee Katherine Gibson as interim CFO while the bank looks for a permanent replacement.

Information for this story was found via Bloomberg, The Globe and Mail, and the sources and companies mentioned. The author has no securities or affiliations related to the organizations discussed. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.

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