Royal Bank's Micheline Martin named Quebec Person of the Year



    MONTREAL, Feb. 7 /CNW Telbec/ - Micheline Martin, President, RBC Royal
Bank, Quebec Headquarters, has been named "Quebec Financial Person of the
Year" by the Finance et Investissement newspaper. She heads the list of the
Top 25 economic and financial newsmakers of 2007, as compiled by the Quebec
financial newspaper.
    Martin's reputation extends all the way to Bay Street. She has repeatedly
posted record-breaking internal growth numbers ever since she took over as
President of Royal Bank's Quebec division. Under her watch, the value of
deposits rose 62% in 5 years, to $28B from $16B in 2001. She revamped customer
service, a strategy that also paid dividends. Martin hired 1,000 additional
workers in the last 5 years. Every unit reported substantial increases in
business volume, surpassing the already record-setting figures of previous
years. In 2007, residential mortgages rose 15%, deposits 10%, and business
loans 14%. To top things off, RBC in now Number One in Quebec in terms of
customer satisfaction.
    Better still, the figures for November and December, the initial
two months of the current financial year, bode well for 2008. Residential
mortgages have topped 16%, deposits are growing at a rate of 12 to 15%, and
business loans have eclipsed the 20% mark.
    After factoring in the slowdowns in the manufacturing and forestry
sectors, the adverse effects of the rising Canadian Dollar on exports, and the
rising economies of the BRICs (Brazil, Russia, India, China), the Bank
naturally forecast moderate 10% growth for 2007. It achieved 15% in Quebec!
    RBC added a dozen branches in Quebec, in addition to renovating and
relocating 20. "Expect more of the same this year as our budget is the same as
in 2007, i.e. $25M," explains Martin.
    Martin is the first woman to be named Financial Person of the Year. She
beat out stiff competition under difficult conditions, namely the asset backed
commercial paper crisis that has been rocking financial markets and a looming
potential recession in the U.S.
    The Top 25 also includes 24 other financial newsmakers featured in the
February issue of Finance et Investissement, in a special segment titled "Le
Top 25 de l'industrie financière au Québec." The Top 25 were chosen by
reporters and editors from the various financial newspapers and magazines
published by Transcontinental Media.
    Also, this is the third straight year Finance et Investissement handed
out financial advisor awards. The finalists were selected based on the results
of an internet survey of financial advisors across Quebec. The four recipients
were picked by a jury composed of Jocelyne Houle-LeSarge, Executive Director
of the Institut québécois de planification financière, Luc Labelle, Executive
Vice-President of the Chambre de sécurité financière, Sylvain Bédard,
Publisher, Transcontinental Media Financial Magazines, and Stéphane
Desjardins, Editor-in-Chief, Finance et Investissement.
    The 2007 recipients are: Nathalie Bachand, Actuary and Financial Planner,
and André Charest, Investment Advisor with National Bank Financial, who tied
as the "advisors most respected by their peers"; Louis Paquet, Investment
Advisor and Vice-President, National Bank Financial, named the "executive
consultant who impacted the financial sector through his practice, skills and
presence"; Ginette Fortin, Manager, Private Banking, Banque Nationale
Mauricie-Sorel, named the "advisor most involved in the community."
    A reminder that the 2006 financial newsmaker of the year was Luc
Bertrand, President and CEO of the Montreal Exchange. In 2005, François Joly,
then President and CEO of Desjardins Financial Security. In 2004, Yvon
Charest, President and CEO, Industrial Alliance. In 2003, Réal Raymond,
President and CEO, National Bank of Canada. In 2002, Stephen Jarislowsky,
Founding President, Jarislowsky Fraser.




For further information:

For further information: Stéphane Desjardins, Editor-in-Chief, Finance
et Investissement, (514) 392-4234

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