Career Story

Ovais Ahmed

Head, Fusion Centre Operations
Financial Crimes Unit

BMO was the only financial institution who took the time to understand my military background and saw the experience as a value add to complement its workforce.

What was your job in the military?

LAV 3 vehicle commander with the Royal Canadian Dragoons, regiment.

Why did you decide BMO was right for you and why do you love working here?

I was looking for a large enterprise to grow professionally, bring my skills to and one whose values were in line with my own. BMO was the only financial institution who took the time to understand my military background and saw the experience as a value add to complement its workforce. I love working at BMO because I’m given the autonomy to work at my highest performance, while my leaders make themselves available with an open door policy.

How do you take the skills you used in the military and use those today?

One of the greatest skills I use is my ability to remain disciplined, especially when dealing with ambiguity. When faced with an immediate deadline or an unforeseen circumstance which impacts a deliverable, I’m able to remain calm and develop a solution. Discipline has also helped me manage my personal stress and makes me more patient when faced with uncertainty.

What has helped you in your career development and what lessons have you learned along the way as you explored new opportunities at BMO?

One of the most important things to do at BMO is networking and don’t limit yourself to your department or line of business but rather extend beyond this and reach out to people across your organization. It was networking which led me to my current role and it’s networking which has made me a great relationship manager at BMO.

In your experience, what has made you successful at BMO?

Likeability. Anyone can deliver quality work if they try hard but most people don’t realize that your soft skills are what differentiates yourself from the rest. I measure my success by my reputation within the organization. If people have heard of me in the context of being an intelligent and well-spoken individual, then that makes me feel successful because it organically creates credibility.

What are you currently working on that is helping you build on different skills?

I’m managing a portfolio where the culture of some of the businesses is the opposite of my own personality – being extraverted. I have learned that in order to navigate and gain buy-in during discussions, I need to change the way I communicate and deliver my asks.  By doing so, I’m able to cater to my audience in a language they better understand.

What excites you about the next year ahead?

The upcoming and challenging projects!


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