The Globe and Mail reports in its Saturday edition that 5-1/2 years into his tenure, Brian Porter has remade Bank of Nova Scotia. The Globe's James Bradshaw and Andrew Willis write that some investors say that his constant push for transformation is essential to ensuring Scotiabank keeps pace with digital and regulatory changes. Detractors, however, say he is moving too quickly and that Scotiabank is no longer a collegial place to work. The market is also less than convinced. After years of commanding a premium valuation, the stock now trades at a significant discount. Many of the large strategic moves Mr. Porter has made -- such as a $7-billion string of acquisitions over the past year -- are multiyear bets that have yet to strengthen the bottom line, and investors have been reluctant to pay for potential. The bank's total return of 28.8 per cent in the past five years ranks it leagues behind four of its Big Six competitors.
Some analysts believe Scotia had been hurt by the outlook for global trade, emerging markets and bank-specific issues like an aggressive acquisition calendar. Scotiabank shares remain near the back of the pack, but Mr. Porter gets credit for making necessary changes at the 187-year-old bank.
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