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Darrel Hackett: Industry Leader and Innovator

Darrel Hackett, a highly experienced professional in the banking sector, recently stepped into the role of U.S. Chief Executive Officer for BMO Financial Group. With a longstanding career at BMO since 2004, Hackett has a wealth of knowledge and expertise in the banking industry. In his new position, he succeeds Dave Casper, who is set to retire this summer.

In addition to serving as the U.S. CEO, Hackett also holds the titles of President & CEO of BMO Harris Bank N.A., and CEO of BMO's U.S. holding company, BMO Financial Corp. (BFC). His extensive background and proven leadership skills make him an excellent choice for spearheading BMO's continued growth and success in the United States market.

Under Hackett's leadership, BMO aims to enhance its overall performance, ensuring effective governance across all U.S. operations. With his strategic vision and strong track record, Hackett is poised to further strengthen and cement BMO's position as a leading financial institution in the industry.

Early Life and Education

Darrel Hackett was born and raised in the Philippines. He developed a strong interest in engineering during his early years, which led him to pursue higher education in this field. Darrel enrolled in a prestigious university to obtain a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering. As a dedicated and hardworking student, he excelled in his studies, becoming a skilled mechanical engineer by the time he graduated.

After completing his undergraduate studies, Darrel decided to further refine his skills and broaden his horizons. He set his sights on obtaining a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree to complement his expertise in engineering. This decision led him to the esteemed Stanford University, where he was accepted into their well-regarded MBA program.

While at Stanford, Darrel proved to be a diligent and resourceful student who made the most of the opportunities available to him. He delved deep into the world of business and management while still retaining his strong connection to the field of engineering. His time at Stanford provided him with a solid foundation in business principles, as well as the necessary tools to excel in managerial roles within the engineering industry.

Professional Career

Before joining BMO Financial Group in 2020, Hackett held various roles at prominent companies such as General Electric Company, Eastman Chemical Co., and McKinsey & Co. In his early years, he began his professional career as a mechanical engineer at General Electric Company and Eastman Chemical Company.

After a successful stint in the engineering field, Hackett shifted his focus to the world of finance and business. He earned an MBA from Stanford University and an undergraduate degree from the University of Tennessee. Post his MBA, he served as a Management Consultant for McKinsey & Company, which marked an essential phase in his career where he honed his skills in advising businesses across industries, including investment banking, global markets, and financial services sectors.

Later, Hackett joined Harris Bankcorp, Inc. as Senior Vice President for Small Business Banking. In this capacity, he made use of his valuable experience from McKinsey and his educational background to contribute significantly to the banking and financial industry in both the United States and Canada.

Roles and Achievements at BMO

Before his current roles, Hackett has served in various leadership positions at BMO. He started at the company in 2004 and has been responsible for driving key aspects of the bank's strategy across North America while focusing on improving customers' experiences. Throughout his tenure, he has led important business sectors, such as the U.S. Business Banking group and the North American Integrated Channels team.

In addition to his executive roles, Darrel Hackett has contributed to the company's overall growth and success as a member of BMO's board of directors. His strategic and financial insights have been invaluable to the bank, helping it navigate through the ever-changing landscape of the finance industry.

Hackett's achievements at BMO extend beyond his executive roles. As President of BMO Wealth Management - U.S., he has led a team of wealth management professionals to provide comprehensive financial services to their clients. Under his leadership, the division has thrived by consistently delivering exceptional value and strategic advice to high net worth customers.

His remarkable leadership has earned him recognition as one of the Top 100 Most Influential Blacks in Corporate America by Savoy Magazine. 

U.S. Business Banking

Under Hackett's leadership, BMO Harris Bank is focusing on strengthening its presence in the U.S. market. The bank offers a comprehensive range of commercial banking services, catering to the specific needs of businesses, including lending, cash management, and foreign exchange services. BMO Harris Bank has a strong track record in serving various industries, such as manufacturing, healthcare, real estate, and technology.

In addition to commercial banking, BMO Harris Bank provides retail banking services to individuals and families, targeting a broad customer base with offerings such as checking and savings accounts, personal loans, and mortgages. The bank is committed to creating user-friendly products that align with the evolving needs of its retail clients.

Wealth Management Initiatives

Under Darrel Hackett's leadership, the U.S. wealth management division of BMO Financial Group has seen significant growth and expansion. Based in Chicago, Hackett has been responsible for overseeing the private wealth management businesses throughout the United States, including BMO Private Bank, BMO Family Office, and BMO Investment Services.

Darrel Hackett has played an instrumental role in increasing BMO's assets under management, focusing on providing tailored services to high net worth individuals and families. BMO Private Bank offers a comprehensive range of services, such as capital markets, personal and commercial banking, trust, and personal wealth management solutions. This combination of services allows the bank to cater to clients seeking sophisticated financial strategies and personalized guidance.

Hackett has also been successful in leveraging BMO Harris Financial Advisors, a wealth management arm that offers retail investment and brokerage services. This entity complements the bank's core capabilities, ensuring that clients have access to a broad spectrum of investment products and services.

BMO Family Office and Ultra-High Net Worth Services

Darrel Hackett leads BMO Financial Group's private wealth management business in the United States, which includes three distinct divisions catering to ultra-high net worth clients, high net worth clients, and BMO Harris Bank's wealth management clients. Under Hackett's leadership, BMO Family Office has emerged as a key player in the ultra-high net worth space, providing a range of services to help clients manage their complex financial situations.

BMO Family Office specializes in delivering customized solutions for ultra-high net worth clients, with a focus on comprehensive wealth planning, investment management, and other essential family office services. Their team of professionals works closely with clients to develop and implement wealth strategies that address their unique needs and objectives.

In the realm of private wealth management, BMO offers customized investment management and wealth planning services to high net worth clients. These services are designed to assist clients in achieving their financial goals, preserving and growing their wealth, and navigating the complexities of wealth management.

Community Involvement and Philanthropy

Darrel Hackett exhibits a strong commitment to giving back to his community and having a significant impact on various institutions. As a prominent figure, he has involved himself with multiple organizations in Chicago that emphasize the importance of art, education, and unity.

Hackett's passion for art and culture is evident through his service on the Board of Directors for the Art Institute of Chicago. By actively participating in this role, he contributes to the sustainability and growth of the iconic museum, which houses an extensive collection of artworks from around the world. His association with the Art Institute demonstrates his dedication to preserving and promoting the arts for the enrichment of Chicago's citizens and visitors.

In addition to his support of the arts, Darrel Hackett dedicates his time and resources to healthcare and education. He holds a position on the Board of Directors for Rush University Medical Center, where he is actively involved in ensuring the institution provides high-quality care and education to a diverse community. His work with Rush University Medical Center exhibits his commitment to enhancing medical research, treatment, and training for the benefit of those in need.

Furthermore, Hackett is also a supporter of social and economic unity in the city. He is an active member of Chicago United, an organization focused on promoting diversity and inclusion in Chicago's leading businesses. This engagement reflects his determination to foster a more equitable and inclusive business environment, as well as his dedication to strengthening the social fabric of the community.

Corporate Governance and Boards

Among his directorship roles, Hackett holds a position on the Board of Directors for Glatfelter Corporation, a leading global supplier of engineered materials, listed as NYSE: GLT. His election to the board took place in October 2020, bringing his wealth of knowledge and experience to the organization.

In addition to his work with Glatfelter, Hackett also serves on the board of Chicago United, an organization committed to promoting corporate diversity and inclusion. His involvement in these various organizations emphasizes his commitment to good corporate governance and promoting diversity within the corporate sector.


Hackett's leadership, paired with his active participation in various boards and committees such as the U.S. Management Committee, demonstrates his valuable contribution to the companies and organizations he works with. As a result, the entities in which Hackett is involved benefit from his experience, expertise, and steadfast commitment to strong governance and inclusive leadership.

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Allen Lee

Written by Allen Lee

Allen Lee is a Toronto-based freelance writer who studied business in school but has since turned to other pursuits. He spends more time than is perhaps wise with his eyes fixed on a screen either reading history books, keeping up with international news, or playing the latest releases on the Steam platform, which serve as the subject matter for much of his writing output. Currently, Lee is practicing the smidgen of Chinese that he picked up while visiting the Chinese mainland in hopes of someday being able to read certain historical texts in their original language.

Read more posts by Allen Lee

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