Scotiabank’s Ron Porter retires


They came, colleagues, partners and dealers alike to honour Scotiabank’s Ron Porter, senior V-P auto finance and indirect lending, the man who built auto finance at Scotiabank.

“This is a big business for the bank worth $26 billion. And it’s grown 1,200 per cent since I started with Scotiabank,” Ron Porter told a banquet hall filled with family, friends, colleagues, partners and dealers.

But Porter refused to take the credit.

“It takes a village to raise and grow this great business to where it is today. That growth would not have been possible without the hard work, dedication, focus, passion and good customers. But for me it has always been about shared success,” he said.

Others were not as reserved.

Robin Hibberd, Scotiabank executive V-P retail products and services Canadian banking, praised Porter for the bank’s industry-leading 45 per cent dealer penetration rate. He said it all started when Porter joined the bank in 1980 and began plugging away with 75 dealer calls a month in a “yellow K car that had no AC.”

“Ron, you built auto finance and indirect lending!” Hibberd said, “with hard work, and an exacting attention to details. The devil is in the details, you used to say.”

He added that Porter’s success was because of his care for customers, in particular dealers.

“You were always about our customers – about customer service, problem solving, responsiveness, professionalism and earning the respect of peers, colleagues, customers and the industry.

“You earned that respect by helping grow auto finance and providing the leadership that made Scotiabank the best in the business by any measure.”

Kevin Teslyk has been named the new senior V-P auto finance and indirect lending. Teslyk spoke with Canadian AutoWorld and recalled spending four months traveling with Porter across the country meeting manufacturers, customers and employees when he was being groomed to take the helm.

“One of the things that struck me was Ron’s unrelenting passion and focus for his customers. It is his career’s work to work from the customer back, thinking about the customer and finding ways to make it easier for our customers to do more business with us,” he said. “The sheer fact there are so many customers with us today is testimony to your passionate approach and the value you brought to these relationships. That’s something you can be proud of.”

Porter cautioned customers and partners not to worry about whether Teslyk has what it takes to steer the massive ship. He said his successor was well qualified to occupy the office and was chosen after a well thought out 10-month process.

“Not to worry. We have the very same glasses and when people say to me he’s got big shoes to fill, I say ‘No problem, I’m a size 12 and he’s a size 13.’ ”