Eric S. Smith
Vice Chair, BMO Commercial Bank
Vice Chair, BMO Commercial Bank. In this role, Eric is responsible for working with the U.S. Commercial Banking team and across other lines of business to develop the bank’s strategy and product capabilities as it expands nationwide by cultivating new and existing client relationships. As an ambassador for the bank, Eric is a key leader of several firmwide initiatives including regulatory affairs, community affairs, and diversity and inclusion.
Eric joined BMO in January 2020 from Fifth Third Bank, where he served as the Regional President responsible for the growth and strategic alignment of the commercial banking, wealth & asset management and consumer businesses across the Chicagoland market. Prior to assuming that role in 2016, Eric served as Chief Financial Officer of Middle Market Banking for JPMorgan Chase for several years following his leadership role as a Managing Director in the Investment Bank responsible for advising Fortune 500 consumer product companies on mergers and acquisitions as well as debt and equity underwritings. Eric has more than 25 years of banking experience, and he began his career with Merrill Lynch as a Financial Analyst in Public Finance.
Eric has a long history of commitment to the non-profit and civic community as reflected through his board service and volunteerism. He currently serves as Chairman of the Board for the Chicago Urban League and the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital Foundation as well as immediate past Vice Chair of the Board for Goodman Theatre. Likewise, Eric is an Executive Committee Board Member of the Lyric Opera of Chicago and an active Board Member of the Chicago Public Education Fund, Chicago United, Ravinia Board of Trustees, Northwestern Memorial Hospital Board of Directors and St. John A.M.E. Church of Aurora. Eric is also a member of the Commercial Club, Economic Club of Chicago, Executives Club of Chicago, Executive Leadership Council, and Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity.
Eric earned his bachelor’s degree in Finance from Howard University and his MBA from Harvard Business School.