When HSBC announced last summer it was phasing out its Cayman Islands corporate and retail banking operation and selling its business assets to local rival Butterfield Bank, Wayne Griffith started to explore job opportunities.
While enjoying the year-round warm weather and his role as head of retail banking and wealth management in the British Overseas Territory, Griffith didn’t flinch when RBC came on his radar.
It was an opportunity to return to his homeland and be associated with Canada’s largest bank which takes diversity seriously and works with non-profit agencies to hire newcomers to Canada. One in two of the bank’s staffing positions is required to be filled by a woman and one in five by a visible minority at the executive level.
“RBC was appealing because of its tremendous values, its commitment to the community and its outstanding brand,” said Griffith who was born and raised in Montreal to Barbadian immigrant parents. “Once I met with the RBC leadership team, I knew it was going to be a good fit for me.”
The Concordia University graduate was hired last February as regional vice-president for the Greater Toronto region.
“It was hard to turn down an opportunity to come back home and work with a major progressive financial institution like RBC,” said Griffith who is responsible for the retail strategy for several banks in his jurisdiction. “In my job, it really comes down to working with people and I like doing that.”
Griffith has been in the banking industry for 17 years. Starting as a teller, he spent almost a decade with TD Bank.
“Beginning at the bottom floor of the industry and working my way up allowed me to gain valuable experience and exposure,” he said. “You get a better perspective and understanding of how to do things properly that will benefit the institution and the customer base you are serving.”
Griffith is not surprised that he gravitated to the financial sector.
“As a kid, I went for briefcases instead of knapsacks,” he said. “I was the professional type.”