Barbara Dirks, head of Silicon Valley Bank’s Canadian division, is leaving the firm


Dirks’s departure comes four months after SVB received a licence to operate in Canada. She cited family health issues as reason for her departure. (Globe and Mail)

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Talking point: Dirks was the public face of the bank’s Canadian expansion. Her exit comes as the firm is facing growing competition from Canada’s Big Five banks. In April, CIBC provided Lightspeed with a US$55-million debt facility, replacing a line of credit SVB was previously providing to the company. Despite the competition, SVB maintains a strong reputation in Canada’s tech sector, with the bank gaining the top choice spot among The Logic subscribers in a survey of the best institutions for startup debt financing. With Dirks gone, Denis Nagasaki will be in charge of competing with the Big Five as the firm’s new principal officer in Canada. He’s been with the firm since September 2018, prior to which he worked at the Toronto-based management consultancy Optimus SBR.