* Clark took TD's top job in late 2002
* Bank says replacement likely to be internal
* TD aims to be No. 3 retail bank in New York City
March 29 Toronto-Dominion Bank's
long-serving chief executive, Ed Clark, told shareholders on
Thursday he is nearing the end of his tenure, but he did not say
when he would step down.
Clark, who took the reins in late 2002, is the second
longest-serving CEO among Canada's top five banks, trailing only
Royal Bank of Canada CEO Gordon Nixon.
"While I am in the final years of my tenure as CEO, I am in
no hurry to leave," he said in New York on Thursday. Clark's
current contract will move to an open-ended employment agreement
after April 2013.
TD was simulcasting the meeting from New York and its base
in Toronto, a nod to the bank's growing presence in the United
States and its aspirations in America's biggest city.
"We are the fifth largest retail bank in New York City,"
Clark said. "In four years, we want to be New York's
third-largest retail bank."
TD, Canada's No. 2 bank by assets and market capitalization,
plans to achieve that goal by opening 50 new branches, or
"stores" as it calls them, in New York.
Under Clark's leadership, TD established a U.S. foothold
with the acquisition of Maine lender Banknorth seven years ago.
It has since expanded its U.S. network to about 1,300
branches, eclipsing its Canadian branch count. The bank will
likely add around 60 locations across North America this year,
He said the U.S. economy has been showing "signs of life",
but that "it would be a mistake to believe we will see a return
to a more conventional snap-back recovery."
Clark said that over the past decade, TD's retail network,
workforce, assets, deposits, and share price have doubled, while
its customer base has nearly done so.
Speaking in Toronto, TD Chairman Brian Levitt said the board
was confident that Clark's eventual successor will be an
"We are actively managing this issue," he said.