The BMO Climate Institute unites expertise from a spectrum of critical disciplines, including capital markets, energy, economics, climate science, and policy as we pursue our Climate Ambition. Our combined expertise reflects the complex and evolving nature of climate change and the need to solve this challenge on multiple fronts.

Team Members

Michael Torrance Profile Picture Michael Torrance Profile Picture

Michael Torrance

Chief Sustainability Officer

Michael Torrance Chief Sustainability Officer at BMO Financial Group, overseeing sustainability strategy and leading bank-wide initiatives on environmental and social risk, climate change, ESG focused investor relations, sustainability related disclosure, operational sustainability. Michael founded and oversees the BMO Climate Institute, which seeks to bridge the complexities of climate science and policy with business strategy and economics. Prior to joining BMO Michael was a Partner at a major international law firm where he practiced litigation and environmental and social risk advisory. He has served on the Steering Committee of the Equator Principles Association and Chaired the Social Risk Working Group and North America Working Group and has Chaired the Cross-Sector Biodiversity Initiative (CBSI). Michael is a published author on sustainability topics and is regularly quoted in media, and is the founder and host of the Sustainability Leaders podcast.

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Melissa Fifield

Head, BMO Climate Institute

Melissa leads BMO’s Climate Institute, a center of expertise accelerating climate solutions by bridging science, technology, policy, and finance. She is a global sustainability leader with more than 20 years of experience leading US and international programs across social and environmental impact areas. Prior to BMO, Melissa led Corporate Social Responsibility & Sustainability for Bank of the West, and led environmental sustainability across product development, manufacturing, and operations for the global specialty retailer Gap Inc. based in San Francisco.

Susan McGeachie Profile Picture Susan McGeachie Profile Picture

Kelly Deeton

Director, Environmental and Operational Sustainability

Kelly leads strategy related to BMO’s Operational Sustainability initiatives and is part of BMO’s Climate Institute.  Kelly is a globally recognized expert in environmental management and has an advanced understanding of GHG accounting and carbon offset programs.  Prior to joining BMO, she developed and executed strategies to mitigate environmental risk in a variety of industry sectors.  Kelly is Chair of the Canadian Mirror Committee to ISO / TC 207 on Environmental Management and has played a key role in international standards development.  Kelly is a licensed Professional Engineer in Ontario, Canada and holds a degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Waterloo. 

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Alma Cortés Selva

Senior Advisor, Economic Modelling

Alma leads the BMO Climate Institute’s economic analysis of low and zero emissions technologies and sector decarbonization roadmaps, as well as the cost-benefit of investments in resilience. She holds a PhD in agricultural economics and has over a decade of experience as an economist assessing the financial impact of fiscal policies in Nicaragua with the Ministry of Finance, evaluating and recommending fiscal incentives for renewable energy and data mining with a US-based public research institution and, most recently, analyzing the impact of climate change on the financial system and credit risk with Moody’s Analytics.

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George Sutherland

Senior Advisor, Climate Analytics

George leads climate resilience and climate justice work streams in BMO’s Climate Institute, working at the intersection of climate science, policy, and finance to understand and manage the opportunities and risks associated with the physical impacts of climate change and the change required to build resilience into businesses and value chains. George holds a M.Sc. in climate science and has more than a decade of experience leading innovative programs in diverse sectors to understand the impacts of climate change on environmental, social, and economic systems across Canada.

Angela Adduci profile picture Angela Adduci profile picture

Angela Adduci

Senior Advisor, Policy

Angela leads climate policy and clean energy workstreams within BMO’s Climate Institute. Prior to joining BMO, Angela led renewables and climate policy efforts at Aon with a focus on mitigating volatility and achieving greater impact from mitigation and resilience funds deployed by government entities. She began her career in infrastructure risk analysis at Argonne National Laboratory. Angela is currently wrapping up her MBA at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

Jessie Lee Profile Picture Jessie Lee Profile Picture

Jessie Lee


Jessie is a seasoned support specialist in Program Management, Community Engagement, and Office Management.  She comes from the Corporate Social Responsibility team at Bank of the West. Previously, Jessie has various experiences working in underserved communities in Washington, D.C. and in San Francisco as a Program Coordinator.  

The BMO Climate Institute Fellowship Program

As part of BMO’s climate ambition, bank employees are invited to participate in a formal enterprise program to advance the work being done by the Climate Institute to help accelerate climate solutions.

Current Fellows

Benjamin Koester Profile Picture
Benjamin Koester
Benjamin has been with BMO since 2016, by way of the GE TF acquisition, and has been on the North American Commercial Banking team throughout his tenure. He enjoys anything that involves being outdoors, and on any given weekend you’ll typically find him on a bike trail.
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Dean Folias
Dean Folias is the Chief Compliance Officer (CCO) for BMO Direct Invest Inc., as well as interim CCO BMO Asset Management Corp. and Stoker Ostler Wealth Advisors, Inc. He has over 20 years of industry experience.  Dean began his career as a Securities Compliance Examiner with the Texas Securities Board, conducting inspections of investment advisers and broker-dealers.  He served in various compliance and supervisory positions in the private sector including at First Union Securities, Inc., Securities America, Inc., and Raymond James and Associates, Inc.  Dean was also the CCO for Howe Barnes Hoefer & Arnett, Inc., a dually registered broker-dealer and investment adviser. He has been with BMO Financial Group since 2018 as a Senior Compliance Manager in BMO’s Legal and Regulatory Compliance Department. Dean has a BS in Economics from the University of Illinois at Chicago and a JD from Quinnipiac University School of Law.
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Grégoire Baillargeon
President, BMO Financial Group, Quebec
Appointed President, BMO Financial Group, Quebec, and Vice-chair of BMO Capital Markets on November 1st, 2022, Mr. Baillargeon has been with the Bank of Montreal since 2004. Over the years, he has made his mark in a number of capacities, including director, strategic relationship manager and trusted advisor to many companies in a wide range of economic sectors. From 2013 to 2022, in his leadership role at BMO Capital Markets, Quebec, he led a team that handles some of the Bank's biggest and longest-standing clients, an experience that has allowed him to develop a keen understanding of the Quebec economy and the role that BMO's 5,000 Quebec employees have played in it for over 200 years. Prior to joining BMO, Mr. Baillargeon worked as a lawyer with major law firms in Montreal and New York, where he developed an expertise in corporate and securities law. Mr. Baillargeon is also a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) and a member of the Quebec, New York and Massachusetts bars. He holds a Bachelor of Common Law degree and a Bachelor of Civil Law degree from McGill University. Mr. Baillargeon supports numerous organizations that strive to reduce social and economic inequalities. He is a member of the Board of Directors of Centraide du Grand Montréal, the Montreal Children's Hospital Foundation, and the Chambre of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal, in addition to chairing of the Board of Fusion Jeunesse.
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Jonathan Hackett
Co-Head, BMO Energy Transition and Head, Sustainable Finance
Jonathan Hackett is the Co-Head, BMO Energy Transition Group and Head, Sustainable Finance and Managing Director. In these roles he advises clients on opportunities as they navigate the transition to a low carbon economy, supports clients in navigating the impact of ESG on their access to capital, and advises on sustainable financing structures. Jonathan’s team also includes BMO’s $250MM impact investment fund which has a mandate to invest in companies that are producing solutions in the sustainability and energy transition space. Prior to joining BMO in 2017, Jonathan was a principal with the Boston Consulting Group and also a researcher in residence at the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics where he completed his doctoral research in Quantum Gravity and Topology.
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Lesley-Anne Carrothers
Lesley- Anne ‘s career has crossed over the financial, hospitality, wellness, and healthcare industries. Currently, she manages Human Resource projects across BMO that have spanned several areas such as employee experience, workplace transformation, learning, and regulatory. Lesley-Anne brings deep experience by building strong partnerships to lead and deliver numerous strategic initiatives, programs, and departments. She was instrumental in creating and managing the IFL Wellness Centre. She played a key role in Sales and Marketing for the IFL and developed and led programs to increase BMO’s brand value and drive financial revenue.  In the area of sustainability, she led the IFL’s ISO 14001 program and in 2016, the IFL was the first building in Canada to be certified to the new ISO 14001:2015 standard under her leadership. She embodies BMO’s Purpose and winning culture as a recipient of Ambition 2025 Annual award, Being BMO Annual award and numerous Quarterly Spotlight awards. Lesley- Anne obtained her Honours Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology degree at the University of Waterloo and is fluent in French. She also obtained her Advanced Executive Hospitality Certification from Cornell University and holds her Occupational Health & Safety Certification from Ryerson University. Lesley-Anne is on the Board of Directors for the Catholic Family Services of Toronto and is a recognized ambassador to the community through United Way, Kids Help Phone, and The Eczema society of Canada.
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Michelle Marais
Michelle Marais is a Senior Compliance Officer specializing in equity analytics. She joined BMO’s Fair and Responsible Banking - Fair Lending team in 2021, utilizing her experience combining policy research and statistical analysis and is excited to be able to use these skills in her Climate Institute Fellowship. Previously a Senior Analyst on Chicago Public Schools’ Data Science and Insights Team, she has a Master of Science in Analytics from the University of Chicago as well as a BA in Public Policy from Duke University

Past Fellows

Erik Johnson
Erik conducts research on financial product market trends, emerging risks and macroeconomic trends for the Bank. He plays a central role in the Department’s coverage of the auto sector. He also provides support to BMO’s internal risk management processes.    Prior to joining BMO Economics, Erik worked in credit risk modelling for BMO’s regulatory and stress testing platforms.  Erik joined BMO Economics in 2020.    He holds graduate degrees in economics from the University of California, Berkeley and Queen’s University.
Greg Timke
Greg is an ERO Analytics Manager with BMO.
James Dejardins
James is a Canadian lawyer supporting the Canadian Commercial Bank, with a background in financial services, including renewable energy project financing.
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Livia Legault
Livia Legault is currently Head, Strategic Risk Initiatives. Livia joined the Bank’s Legal & Regulatory Compliance team in 2016 where she held various roles related to compliance strategy, operations and second line oversight for the Wealth Management businesses. In 2021 Livia joined the Enterprise Risk & Portfolio Management team. In her current role Livia is responsible for leading risk initiatives, managing risk-focused investor relations, risk related disclosures and reporting.    Before joining BMO, Livia worked at Toronto Stock Exchange and Deloitte, where she assessed and advised companies on compliance, governance and internal controls. Her dedication to streamlining, implementing automation and simplification initiatives has resulted in significant time savings for her teams. Livia has a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Toronto and is a Chartered Public Accountant.   Livia believes that climate change is one of the most important issues we need to solve for future generations. She is excited to contribute to BMO Climate Institute’s efforts to solve climate related challenges