CIO of the Year: Private Sector – Julie Levesque

One of our two Private Sector award winners is Julie Levesque, CIO and Executive Vice President of Technology and Operations for Banque Nationale du Canada (BNC).

BNC is the sixth-largest commercial bank in Canada, and Julie was appointed as CIO in 2020.  Her tenure at the bank proves her effective communication skills and strong understanding of corporate culture combined with excellent technological acumen: attributes that contribute to the success of CIOs.

The bank had a large “technological debt” when Julie arrived. She saw this legacy as the perfect  opportunity to launch a major transformation that would touch every aspect of BNC’s technology and affect all of its 3000 employees. The way in which she led this transformation was as important as the transformation itself.

As her colleague Brigitte Hebert (EVP Employee Experience) said,

 “When [Julie] first started as CIO, she was quickly able to rally and motivate all of her colleagues and members of the Board of Directors through her vision of how we could accelerate our transformation by reducing complexity, promoting automation, rolling out new work models and a culture based on learning and performance.”

Customer and employee experiences are central to BNC’s transformation, and to achieve success, Julie established effective two-way communication that continuously elicits feedback and ideas from employees. In this way, she was able to marshal the entire workforce to achieve significant technological and operational outcomes.

Overall, this transformation has moved BNC up 6 positions to claim second place in the Canadian Banking Customer Experience Index.  Employee satisfaction hit new highs and the transformation produced more than $87 million in savings over 2 years with an ROE of 21.7 per cent.

In 2021, Julie was given the added responsibility for NBC Operations.  She is also responsible for the venture capital arm of BNC.

BNC President and CEO, Laurent Ferreira says, “Julie is a talented leader who is not afraid of surrounding herself with the best and the brightest.  She also has an excellent understanding of the banking industry and market disrupting trends.”

Finally, Julie is an innovator and widely respected for her commitment to diversity and inclusion. Her innovative thinking led to a forward-thinking project to hire neuro-atypical people in the data and analytics field.

Congratulations to Julie Levesque, the 2022 winner of the CIO of the Year – Private Sector Category!


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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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