RBC’s Marjolaine Hudon on why Ottawa will 'always have a little piece' of her heart (2024)

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Regional president of Canada's largest bank to move to Montreal after accepting major promotion

RBC’s Marjolaine Hudon on why Ottawa will 'always have a little piece' of her heart (1)Caroline Phillips

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RBC’s Marjolaine Hudon on why Ottawa will 'always have a little piece' of her heart (2)

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Marjolaine Hudon, regional president at RBC Royal Bank for Ontario North and East, shared the news last week that she’s leaving Ottawa to take on the new role of president of Quebec for Canada’s largest bank.

Her announcement on LinkedIn racked up more than 50,000 impressions, and nearly 400 messages of congratulations from community and business leaders, as well as colleagues. People have been coming out of the woodwork to wish her well and to let her know how much she’ll be missed. “It’s unbelievable,” the beloved banker said at last night’s Ottawa Bluesfest, which runs until July 14 at LeBreton Flats. “I did not expect that, honestly. I’m overwhelmed.”

Hudon and her team at RBC hosted dozens of clients, many from Ottawa’s real estate sector, in their corporate VIP suite for a night of live music featuring Maroon 5. The popular American band delivered hit after hit to an adoring audience on a gorgeous hot summer evening. Lead singer and musician Adam Levine sweated through his white button-down shirt, which became more and more unbuttoned as the concert progressed, revealing his tattooed torso.

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RBC’s Marjolaine Hudon on why Ottawa will 'always have a little piece' of her heart (5)

This year marks RBC’s 13th as sponsor of Ottawa Bluesfest, and now RBC Stage. Hudon is aware the festival will be her last before she officially assumes her new role later this month, taking over from Nadine Renaud-Tinker. Hudon’s successor, Devinder Gill, is relocating to Ottawa from British Columbia. She will start her new role toward the end of the summer.

Hudon told OBJ.social how sorry she is to be leaving the region, despite the fact that she’s returning to her hometown of Montreal — where she grew up, started her career with RBC, and where her parents still reside.

“I’m sad; I’m sad to leave Ottawa because the people have been very good to us,” said Hudon, laughing at herself for genuinely getting a little teary-eyed.

Ottawa has come to feel like home, she continued. “We’re going to be leaving a little piece of our heart here. We have built some very good relationships. I’m going to miss the people, I’m going to miss my team.”

RBC’s Marjolaine Hudon on why Ottawa will 'always have a little piece' of her heart (6)

It’s been six years since the bilingual bank executive first arrived, via Calgary, with her husband, senior project executive John McCourt, and their three daughters. “We didn’t know anybody when we came here,” added Hudon. “Everyone welcomed us with open arms.”

Hudon will continue to serve on the National Arts Centre Foundation board and will remain a member of the Telfer School of Management’s strategic leadership cabinet at the University of Ottawa.

She’s been “an inspiration,” stated NAC Foundation CEO Juniper Locilento in her LinkedIn comment.

Hudon completed a term with the CHEO Foundation and will stepping down from its strategic advisory committee.Its retired president and CEO, Kevin Keohane, described her as an “exemplary leader in every sense of the word” with her abundance of “energy, positivity and charisma”.

Tim Kluke, president and CEO of The Ottawa Hospital Foundation, had this to say to Hudon in his LinkedIn comment: “No other banking executive has integrated better into Ottawa. You are one of a kind and an absolute class act”.

RBC’s Marjolaine Hudon on why Ottawa will 'always have a little piece' of her heart (7)
RBC’s Marjolaine Hudon on why Ottawa will 'always have a little piece' of her heart (8)
RBC’s Marjolaine Hudon on why Ottawa will 'always have a little piece' of her heart (9)

Hudon said there are plans in the works for a farewell party, as well as charitable gifts to be given by RBC. She is expecting to visit Ottawa from time to time. Her eldest daughter is studying medicine at the University of Ottawa while her middle daughter, having completed her undergrad at McGill University, is earning her Master’s degree at the Telfer School of Management. Her youngest is in biomedical science at McGill. All three are graduates of Ashbury College, an all-gender private school in Rockcliffe Park.

In Hudon’s view, being offered the bank’s top job in Quebec is “a big vote of confidence” from RBC. She shared with OBJ.social that she did consider the career advancement carefully, recognizing it would require her to leave behind a work team and broader community she’s grown comfortable with and fond of. “Sometimes, as women leaders, you kind of say ‘Maybe this is enough, maybe I’ve achieved enough’,” she said of her initial apprehension. She praised her husband for his steadfast support and encouragement. “He’s my biggest cheerleader.”

McCourt was born not far from the Northern Ireland city of Belfast, where he went to school and university. He first moved to London, England for work before coming to Canada in 1996.

One of the ways McCourt is preparing for their move to Montreal is by brushing up on his French through the online language course Linguido. “His French is very good,” said Hudon.

RBC’s Marjolaine Hudon on why Ottawa will 'always have a little piece' of her heart (10)
RBC’s Marjolaine Hudon on why Ottawa will 'always have a little piece' of her heart (11)
RBC’s Marjolaine Hudon on why Ottawa will 'always have a little piece' of her heart (12)
RBC’s Marjolaine Hudon on why Ottawa will 'always have a little piece' of her heart (13)
RBC’s Marjolaine Hudon on why Ottawa will 'always have a little piece' of her heart (14)

caroline@obj.ca

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