Sarabjit Singh Marwah

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2016: Canada’s first Sikh Senator

Business Standard, November 3, 2016

Kolkata-born Sarabjit Singh Marwah becomes Canada's first Sikh Senator

Former Scotiabank Vice Chairman Sarabjit Singh Marwah has become the first Sikh to be appointed to the Canadian Senate.

Toronto-based Marwah, who retired as from Scotiabank in 2014, is among six people from Ontario who have appointed to the Senate by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

In appointing him to the Senate, the Canadian Prime Minister has lauded Marwah for his efforts "to showcase the rich diversity of Sikh and South Asian art and culture". Marwah is one of the founders of the Sikh Foundation of Canada that promotes Sikh culture and art among the diaspora community.

Marwah was born in Kolkata in 1952 and did his schooling from St Xavier's School.

He is an alumnus of Delhi's St Stephen's College and the Delhi School of Economics and holds an MBA degree from the University of California in Los Angeles.

Marwah joined Scotiabank in Toronto as a financial analyst in 1978. Rising through the ranks, he went on to become the Chief Financial Officer (COO) of the bank in 1998. In 2002, he was made the bank's senior executive vice president and chief financial officer.

In 2005, he was elevated as the vice chairman and chief administrative officer. In 2008, he was re-designated as vice chairman and chief operating officer of the bank - the positions he held till his retirement in 2014.

He has served on the boards of many famous Canadian institutions such as the Toronto Star, the Toronto International Film Festival, the C.D. Howe Institute, the Royal Ontario Museum, the United Way Campaign, and the Hospital for Sick Children.

Marwah joins two other turbaned Sikhs - Defence Minister Harjeet Sajjan and Science Minister Navdeep Bains - in the Canadian parliament. While Marwah will be the only Indian-origin member of the Senate (upper house), there are over 20 MPs of Indian origin the Canadian House of Commons (lower house).

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