Olya founded and launched RFuture, a global employee group with the mission to engage, connect, empower, and inspire the next generation of leaders at RBC. RFuture provides a platform whereby employees can shape the next generation in banking in an inclusive and diverse environment through self-driven corporate entrepreneurship. Olya’s significant achievement has been a powerful example that determination, thinking outside the box and strong leadership can drive change in spite of lack of seniority.
Olya Meier
Olya Meier
RBC

Olya has accelerated her career in a short amount of time, embodying longevity and mobility at a large organisation. She recently moved from Fixed Income, Currencies & Commodities in RBC Capital Markets in New York to Global Client Coverage, Product, in RBC Investor & Treasury Services in London. Despite the change in business lines, Olya has continued to deliver strong business results, demonstrate dynamic leadership and continue to empower others.

Olya has been nominated for the 2018 WIBF Young Professional Award.

Tell us about your day to day role

I am the business manager for Product at RBC Investor & Treasury Services. The team is responsible for developing new services to enhance the client experience and delivering valuable solutions to our clients in the asset management sector. As the business manager, I oversee all aspects including investment appraisal, execution governance, talent management, and internal stakeholder management.

You founded and launched RFuture, a global employee group with the mission to engage, connect, empower, and inspire the next generation of leaders at RBC. Can you tell us a little more about that?

RFuture was truly employee led – developed based on feedback from colleagues. In speaking to my peers, it was evident that people wanted a stronger internal network and a deeper connection to the organisation. It dawned on me that we needed an employee community that encouraged participation across all demographics. RFuture rose from a 13-person grassroots effort to a 500-person movement in New York alone. A year later, we expanded to London and now have plans to launch in APAC. It truly was a start-up and a tremendous amount of work but so rewarding! We’ve had extremely positive feedback from millennials and non-millennials alike, which proves there is a real need for this kind of forum. By creating a firm-wide dialogue, we are able to tap into the incredible talent at RBC and inspire employees to question the status quo and innovate.

The goal of RFuture is to create an ecosystem where millennials feel engaged, inspired and empowered to drive the change they want to see.

How did you get into the banking and finance industry?

In a serendipitous way! I was in my senior year at NYU and was no closer to figuring out what I wanted to do with my life after university. A friend of mine sent me a volunteering opportunity for Russian Jewish immigrants who are bilingual and came to the US in the early 90’s. In return for volunteering with the elderly and disabled, I was granted an internship at New York Legal Assistance Group (a non-profit that provides free legal service to low-income New Yorkers) and I loved it! After college, I got a job in the RBC Law Group supporting Fixed Income. From the moment I stepped onto the trading floor to meet with the team, I was hooked on the buzz. I knew I had to work there somehow and luckily got a job as a business analyst for the Global Head of Business Management in FICC and the rest is history.

What is your most memorable lesson in terms of diversity and inclusion?

That everyone is better off harnessing the very thing that makes them different (upbringing, culture, diversity characteristics) rather than playing it down for the sake of blending in. Believing in and tapping into the wisdom that comes from every single person’s unique perspective is the most powerful thing we can do in business as it allows for diversity of thought and innovative problem solving. Inclusion to me means that the organisation is able to provide the psychological safety for everyone to be able to do this.

Do you have pets?
Yes! We have a three year old golden retriever named Teddy – she is the sweetest, friendliest dog. She moved with us from New York and loves all the beautiful parks in London.