In terms of whether we have been able to capture data as to whether that strategy has been successful, we certainly have made every effort to capture that data. But the reality is that when clients join our organization we don’t ask them to check a box to tell us whether or not they are from the LGBT community.
So, what we do rely on is focus-group type data that comes from third-party organizations that show us that when members of the LGBT community are asked which one of the Big-Five banks in Canada best represents them TD is at the top of the list. And I believe that’s because our strategy has come from not just supporting large scale events like Pride, but also because we are out in the community supporting grassroots organizations and events. Not just paying for the right to display our brand, but actively supporting, showing up and helping these organizations grow.
TD is planning to grow its wealth management business in the US; do you expect this strategy will have similar results there?
I think that our diversity strategy in general helps position us very well in communities across North America. At the end of the day this is about creating a more inclusive and productive workplace. Our commitment to diversity isn’t just about ‘being the right thing to do,’ it’s critical to being a leading North American bank.
There has been some discussion that there are some particular sensitivities when dealing with same-sex female couples. That while male couples tend to be two high income earners with no kids, and are a targeted clientele, lesbian couples are more likely to adopt or have their own children.
I’m very hesitant to make those broad-based generalizations. Whether you are dealing with a same-sex male couple that has two good incomes, is different with dealing with same-sex female couples with two good incomes, or dealing with a heterosexual couple with two good incomes and no children, the underlying issues, planning strategies and solutions aren’t a lot different. It’s my experience at the end of the day, all clients – regardless of sexuality, race, gender or whether they are married or single – they simply want an advisor who’s open to knowing them and understanding their needs.
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