The moves have been fast and furious in recent months. The latest sees two replacing one. Can co-CEOs work? We’ll see soon enough.
Royal Bank of Canada announced
Tuesday that the current CEO of RBC Global Asset Management, John Montalbano, is moving upstairs taking the vice-chairman’s job at RBC Wealth Management, which overseas RBC GAM.
Canada’s biggest bank – and the world’s fifth largest wealth manager – is replacing Montalbano with not one, but two executives. Taking the helm on May 1, 2015, are co-CEOs Damon Williams and Alex Khein.All three will report to George Lewis, RBCs head of wealth management and insurance.
In its statement, Lewis stated, “RBC's asset management business is among the fastest growing in the world… John's decision to initiate this leadership succession reflects the strength of RBC GAM and the talented global management team he has built. Damon and Alex are accomplished leaders with extensive experience, and this transition will be seamless for our employees and our clients."
While it’s clear this transition initiated by Montalbano, who’s successfully built RBC GAM into a wealth management powerhouse over the past six years, is a peaceful one, you have to wonder if appointing co-CEOs is a good idea.
When Larry Ellison announced his succession plans in September, Fortune ran an article
addressing the reasons why there are so few co-CEOs. Chief among them is the fact the dual-leader setup rarely works because of friction between the two leaders.
It’s possible Williams and Khein share complimentary skills that make this arrangement a good fit. History demonstrates, however, that this is rarely the case.