But this industry has evolved significantly over the past 10-15 years, and organizations including TD Wealth have run a series of investment advisor development programs. A good percentage of our sales force is made up of individuals whom we have trained in-house to become investment advisors to service the high-net-worth population. And the high-net-worth population has also evolved. The first wave of the baby boomers has started to move into retirement, as well as experience the passing of parents, we’ve already seen the intergenerational wealth transfer from baby boomers’ parents to baby boomers themselves. Over the next several years we are going to continue to see intergenerational wealth transfer extend to the children of baby boomers.
We’ve evolved as our population and the demographics of our population have evolved, both on the advisor front and on the client front.
TD seems to be ahead of the curve on where the population is moving in attitudes. Even my generation – in my 40s – has significantly different attitudes to than our parents’ generation on issues such as marriage equality. It’s at a point where it even seems odd to even call marriage equality ‘an issue’ in Canada.
It remains an issue in Canada so long as it is an issue anywhere else in the world. Because we’re a much more open and accepting society. Although it’s not an issue within our borders it is an issue outside of our borders and it impacts our fellow countrymen, relatives or so forth so it still impacts us as a whole.
Regarding things outside our borders, TD has a significant presence in the US and same-sex marriage is still very much an issue there. One of the only US banks that has sponsored things such as Pride is Wells Fargo… and as they are headquartered in San Francisco that seems a very natural thing. How is TD’s being out in front of the issue playing in the US?
We are a North American institution and we have more stores – we call them stores and not branches – on the US side of the border than we do in Canada. When we look at our diversity strategy and in particular our LGBT strategy, it is a North American strategy. It’s not Toronto-centric or Canada-centric, it’s a bank initiative and we are a North American bank. Does that bring about potential issues for our business partners in the US that we might not be facing in Canada? Certainly. But we’ve made every effort to support them and make every effort on the US side of the border as we have in Canada. For instance, we support and sponsor six Pride festivals in the US, including New York City and Boston.
For perhaps a decade, TD has been targeting the LGBT community where other banks have been slower off the mark. Do you know how much loyalty you have in the community, or a concept of how big a segment of the LGBT affluent clientele you have managed to capture?
This started as a people strategy and a social strategy, and there are business components because we are a business organization. But it is important that as a business we represent diverse communities and ensure that those communities are comfortable in coming to us and doing business.
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