IN’s Money$tyle columnist, Al Ramsay, chats about his expanded role at TD Bank
A little over two years ago, we introduced Al Ramsay to our readers as the contributor for our Money$tyle column when he assumed the role of Regional Manager, LGBTA Business Development, at TD Bank. His role was and still is the only position of its kind in the financial industry in Canada. It was also a big part of TD’s Diversity and Inclusion initiative to deepen their support in the LGBT community.
Since then, TD has evolved this initiative with the recent announcement that Al has been promoted to National Manager and now leads a team across Canada. We sat down with Al to get some insights about his new role, his accomplishments and what’s in store for him and his team going forward.
Tell us more about your new role and how it differs from your previous one.
The biggest change is scope. As my title suggests, I’m now in charge of our LGBTA customer initiative from a national perspective, with regional managers now reporting to me. Overall, our strategy hasn’t changed a lot: our main goal still is to recognize our LGBTA customers, tell them we value their business and continue to provide the best financial advice and client experience. And if you’re not a client (yet), we tell and show you why TD is the better bank.
There is no denying TD is seen to be a leader in the LGBT community. Why is that?
We’ve had a long history in supporting Diversity and Inclusion in general. Back in 2004, TD was one of the first companies in Canada to provide same-sex benefits for its employees. We were the first bank to feature same-sex couples in a mainstream advertisement. In 2009, we established our Transitioning in the Workplace guidelines for our employees. We support numerous grassroots organizations, including more than 60 Pride festivals across North America. The list goes on. However, most importantly, I believe it’s our genuine commitment from all levels of our organization that supporting the LGBT community is a non-negotiable business strategy from a customer, community and employee standpoint year round. Hence, why we’ve coined #TDPride365 #ForeverProud.
What’s your biggest accomplishment since this initiative started?
Firstly, we’ve proven to the organization that not only is supporting the LGBTA community the right thing to do, but it makes good business sense. Numbers wise, we’ve excelled beyond expectations. Secondly, we’ve been able to embed support for our initiative across the entire organization. It’s business led.
What do you attribute to your success to?
Hands down, it’s my team, and their undying passion about the work they do to support our community. This doesn’t surprise me, because our people are the heart and soul of our organization. I couldn’t have done this without a dedicated team of advisors across the bank. They are the best advisors in the industry.
What’s the most difficult part of your job?
Saying no to people. There are so many wonderful initiatives in our community across the country, and I’m proud to say TD supports the majority of them—but, unfortunately, we cannot back everything. However, we try our very best to support, whether monetarily or in-kind, where possible.
What can we expect from you and your team going forward?
Gosh, there are so many things we would like to accomplish! First on my radar is to evolve our national strategy by deepening our support in our largest markets: Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal. Secondly, to expand more broadly in other markets such as the Prairie region, where we have tremendous support from our community partners, leaders and employees.
You’re always at community events, seminars, networking events, etc. How do you separate your professional life from your private life?
Honestly, for the most part I don’t. I really love what I do, so I incorporate both. I know how fortunate I am to do what I do. I couldn’t imagine in my wildest dreams growing up in Jamaica that I would be living in the greatest country in the world and working for the best organization. Also, it doesn’t hurt to have a very supportive and understanding husband.
AL RAMSAY is TD Bank Group’s national manager, LGBTA Business Development, and leads a team of expert advisors dedicated to serving the community. For more information or to book a meeting, he can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow him on Twitter at @AlRamsay_TD.