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Royal Bank of Canada names Nadine Ahn CFO, Maria Douvas chief legal officer

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A Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) logo is seen on Bay Street in the heart of the financial district in Toronto, January 22, 2015. REUTERS/Mark Blinch/File Photo

Sept 17 (Reuters) - Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO) on Friday appointed two women, already in senior roles at the country's largest lender, to its executive team, joining other banks at home and globally that are increasing diversity in their top ranks.

Investor relations head Nadine Ahn will become Royal Bank's new finance chief starting Nov. 1, taking over from Rod Bolger, who will leave after a decade-long stint at the lender, RBC said in a statement.

General Counsel Maria Douvas will take on the newly created role of chief legal officer, effective immediately.

Royal Bank shares fell 0.25% to C$129.16 in early trading in Toronto, in line with the broader benchmark (.GSPTSE).

Major banks globally face increasing pressure to bring about change in an industry that has historically had few women or people of color in its top ranks, with that shift accelerating in recent years.

Last year, Laurentian Bank of Canada (LB.TO)named Rania Llewellyn chief executive officer and president, making her the first woman to head a major Canadian bank.

Citigroup Inc (C.N) last year named Jane Fraser as its new CEO, making her the first woman to lead a major Wall Street bank.

Canadian banks have been making changes to their leaderships even outside the diversity push.

Last month, National Bank of Canada (NA.TO), named Chief Operating Officer Laurent Ferreira CEO, replacing Louis Vachon, who retires in October.

Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO) in June named its Chief Financial Officer Riaz Ahmed head of securities and wholesale banking, with Kelvin Tran, formerly executive vice president for enterprise finance, taking over as finance chief.

Ahn joined RBC, Canada's biggest lender, in 1999 and has held senior finance roles, including in Corporate Treasury.

Douvas joined RBC in 2016 and has served as the bank's head of litigation and employment law and as U.S. general counsel.

Royal Bank also said Neil McLaughlin, head of its personal and commercial banking unit, will take over leadership of startup funder RBC Ventures, replacing Mike Dobbins, who will depart on Nov. 1 after more than a decade at the lender.

Reporting by Nichola Saminather in Toronto and Noor Zainab Hussain in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel and Jonathan Oatis

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