Director Profile

Ellen M. Costello MBA

Board Value Proposition: 

Former financial services senior executive with diverse capital markets and broad strategic, operational, and geographic experience.

C-Level Leadership

  • Proven expertise in leading businesses, developing and executing strategy, and improving talent, customer experience, brand, and financial performance.
  • Built diverse teams, led complex, high-growth businesses, and has M&A, integration, governance, risk management, regulatory, and investor relations capabilities.

Strategic Transformation

  • Developed and led a number of transformational strategies and their implementation, including:
  • Global treasury: developed strategic plan for Asia Pacific that was later executed. Developed and executed derivatives strategy, resulting in enhanced product range; team, market share and customer satisfaction; more effective risk management; improved business performance.
  • Capital markets: co-led the integration of BMO’s global corporate and investment banks. Led the operational integration of an equity research, sales, and trading boutique. Increased size and financial contribution of securitization and credit investment management businesses.

Turnarounds and M&A

  • Led turnaround of BMO’s US personal and commercial businesses by streamlining structure, allocating resources to growth opportunities, attracting and developing talent, cross-selling of wealth capabilities, making channel investments, reducing expenses, and improving discipline and accountability; this resulted in better customer satisfaction and financial performance.
  • Completed and integrated four acquisitions, increasing US retail footprint by 50%, positioning Bank for a 2011 merger of equals, which doubled the size of the US retail bank.

Regulatory Expertise

  • As US country head, BMO Harris, led relationships with key regulators, Federal Reserve Bank, and OCC. Co-led an initiative that resulted in more effective US management and board governance, as well as business and corporate function accountabilities.

Industry Experience: 

  • Diversified Financials
  • Asset Management & Custody Banks
  • Consumer Finance
  • Diversified Capital Markets
  • Investment Banking & Brokerage
  • Multi-Sector Holdings
  • Other Diversified Financial Services
  • Specialized Finance

International Experience: 

  • Asia-Pacific
  • United Kingdom
  • Canada
  • United States

Board Experience:

Corporate Boards:

Citigroup 2016 to Present
DH Corporation 2014 to 2017
Audit Committee
Human Resources and Compensation Committee
DH USA Corporation 2014 to 2017
BMO Financial 2006 to 2013
BMO Funds 2011 to 2013
BMO Asset Management 2006 to 2013

Additional Boards:

United Way of Metropolitan Chicago 2006 to Present
Board Chair
Executive Committee
Nominating Committee
Strategy Committee
Compensation and HR Committee
Campaign Chair (Past)
Chicago Council on Global Affairs 2009 to Present
Finance Committee
Audit Committee
Chicago Symphony Orchestra 2009 to 2013
Finance Committee
Financial Services Roundtable 2006 to 2013
Executive Committee
Nominating Committee
St Francis Xavier University 2000 to 2006
Chair of Investment Committee
Executive Committee


BMO Financial Group 1983 to 2013
BMO Financial Corporation 2006 to 2013
President and CEO
US Country Head
BMO Harris Bank N.A. 2006 to 2011
President and Chief Executive Officer
BMO Financial Group, Capital Markets Group 2000 to 2006
Vice Chair, Head of New York office, BMO Capital Markets
Vice Chair and Head, Securitization, Credit Investment Management and Merchant Banking, BMO Capital Markets
BMO Financial Group, Global Treasury Group 1988 to 2000
EVP and Head
SVP and Deputy Treasurer
Managing Director and Regional Treasurer, Asia-Pacific
Managing Director and Head, Financial Product Sales
BMO Financial Group 1983 to 1988
Various roles in corporate and international banking and global treasury group


MBA (Fin & Acctg), Dalhousie University, 1983
BBA, St. Francis Xavier University, 1976