Previously to working at RBC he was a Managing Director at Deutsche Bank. Prior to that he was Co-head Investment grade trading for Europe at RBS. James is a board member for the AFME credit division.
Following our interview with Francesca, and because she was on honeymoon when she won the award leaving James to collect it we thought we would ask him a few questions!
You nominated last year’s winner Francesca Lynch, what made you decide to do that?
Diversity and Inclusion is one of the RBC values and senior leaders are committed to ensuring that we offer a culture of inclusion for all employees. As part of our commitment to fostering an open and inclusive culture where all employees feel supported to achieve their full potential, the RBC Diversity Council focus on Gender, LGBT, Disability, Multicultural and Family carers. Gender is a topic that is discussed regularly and ongoing enhancements are made to ensure the culture is inclusive of all women. We participate in the Women in Banking and Finance Awards each year to celebrate and recognise contributions from outstanding women who are making an impact on the organisation. Francesca was a clear choice for me based on her track of success and achievements across RBC and externally in the community.
You attended the awards luncheon last year, what are your memories of that day?
A unique experience picking up Francesca’s award ! Lots of polite applause as I went to pick up the award turning to great support when Janet explained Francesca was on holiday. It was first time attending and I had no idea of the size and scale of the award event. A powerful impression of WIBF and the organisations achievements over the last 20 years.
How do you think men can better champion women in the workplace?
Be gender agnostic, treat your peers equally. Be aware of the historic challenges facing women in the workplace and level the playing field where needed. Diversity and equality in teams create superior results.
What do you think needs to be done to ensure more women reach senior positions in the banking and finance sector?
We have to clearly signpost career paths to senior positions and continue to attract women to banking at all levels. RBC are well evolved on this journey and we have great role models. The head of FIC Europe and Head of European credit sales are women. The journey at RBC has been to hire and develop inspirational females, sign up to the Women in Finance charter and offer clear career paths. From a trading perspective I would like hire more women into trading. This will be a longer journey to senior positions as there are many stereotypical views of trading desks to breakdown to attract the brightest talent so we generally have to hire at graduate, analyst or associate level and develop.
What advice would you give to young people just starting out on their career in banking?
I am the proud father of an amazing 14 year old daughter, because of organisations such as WIBF across many industries there will never be a more exciting time for her to enter the workplace. I encourage her and anyone else to work hard, listen and be brave in offering creative solutions. Your opinion counts .