RBC fires CFO over ‘undisclosed close personal relationship’ with another employee

Undisclosed partner given promotion, compensation increases, says bank

RBC fires CFO over ‘undisclosed close personal relationship’ with another employee

Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) has fired its chief financial officer after the employer discovered a concealed relationship between the officer and another employee that resulted in unfair treatment in the line of work.

RBC fired both Nadine Ahn and the worker with whom she had an “undisclosed” relationship, the bank said in a press release.

The employer launched an internal review and engaged outside legal counsel to investigate after it was recently made aware of allegations involving Ahn.

The investigation found evidence that Ahn was “in an undisclosed close personal relationship with another employee which led to preferential treatment of the employee including promotion and compensation increases,” said RBC. This is in contravention of the RBC Code of Conduct.

The code of conduct notes: “While we are all held to the high ethical standards set out in our Values and the Code, those of us who are people managers are accountable for leading by example” including by “being respectful, transparent and fair in all relationships”.

Previously, Nadia Zaman, senior associate at Rudner Law in Toronto, detailed the risks of romance in the workplace in a Canadian HR Reporter article.

The undisclosed relationship did not affect the bank's previously issued financial statements, RBC's strategy or its financial or business performance, said the employer.

Ahn was previously the head of investor relations at RBC before being appointed CFO in September 2021, noted Reuters.

Interim CFO appointed at RBC

Katherine Gibson, RBC’s vice president for finance, has been appointed as interim CFO. She joined RBC in 2002 as senior director of finance, according to her LinkedIn page.

“In her new role, Ms. Gibson will bring a wide range of experience leading global teams and major strategic enterprise initiatives, including a deep understanding of business drivers and growth opportunities across several different areas of the bank,” said RBC.

In October 2023, Toronto city's integrity commissioner former mayor John Tory committed two cases of violations against the Code of Conduct for Members of Council during his days as the top official of the city, including having a romantic affair with a staffer.

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