TORONTO - Bank of Montreal said it has formed a global distribution group and hired a former executive of Continental Bank in Chicago as managing director.

The new executive, Peter Vaky, has worked for both Continental and BA Securities Inc. and has 20 years of capital markets experience.

Mr. Vaky reports to Surjit Rajpal, senior vice president and head of the newly formed global distribution group, which the bank said was designed to build on its North American strengths, including enhanced coverage from Hong Kong and London.

"The bank will be a more aggressive underwriter in North America and will build up its trade finance and project finance efforts in Latin America, Europe, and the Far East," said Jeff Chisholm, vice chairman of corporate and institutional financial services, and Mr. Rajpal's boss.

"In North America, we are ready to win more lead and co-lead positions in major bank financings."

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