Rob Dias, Managing Director and Head, Collateral Management and Funding
The Scotiabank Women Initiative® for Global Banking and Markets talked with Rob to discuss the program’s Innovation Pillar and what we can look forward to in the year ahead.
Q. What led you to get involved with The Scotiabank Women Initiative at Global Banking and Markets?
A. I have seen, firsthand, the benefit of our efforts at Scotiabank to focus on the advancement of women across Global Banking and Markets (GBM) and the stronger teams that are the outcomes of those efforts. Scotiabank GBM is proud to be a leader in advancing Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging. We were the first Canadian bank to establish a Diversity & Inclusion Office in the wholesale bank with a presence on the sales and trading floor.
When The Scotiabank Women Initiative was launched in GBM, I saw it as a terrific opportunity for us to share our knowledge and experience with our clients, so they can build on the momentum and bring back the benefits of the program to their own companies. I am proud to have taken on the role of Advisor to our Innovation Pillar.
Q. It’s been quite an extraordinary time with Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) issues in the spotlight. How has this factored into the Innovation Pillar’s mandate?
A. The mandate of our Innovation Pillar is intentionally broad to enable us to develop connections focused on the topics that are important to our clients, fill gaps in the marketplace, and provide meaningful opportunities to deepen our relationship with a wide array of clients. While there are many ESG initiatives in the industry today, not all are fully satisfying client demand for relevant information, idea sharing, and developing innovative products and solutions. We are working in collaboration with our Sustainable Finance Group and other GBM teams and have connected with clients across the country to share ideas and develop innovative strategies and solutions that advance ESG initiatives, with a focus on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. We are pleased to be able to connect with our clients about what they need and find ways to partner with them to support these new opportunities.
Q. What are some of the achievements that you’re most proud of?
A. Looking back on the past two years of the program, I’m most proud of the awareness we are building with our clients, and internally within GBM, about The Scotiabank Women Initiative, during this very challenging time as the pandemic overshadows so many other important issues. We’ve had great feedback from the events we have hosted to date that tells us we’re hitting the mark. Our clients have appreciated learning from our DEI experience and about ways that they can apply similar strategies when it comes to meeting their own sustainability and sustainable finance objectives. I’m pleased to see many colleagues, from across GBM, who are putting their hands up to get involved, want to volunteer and make an impact. I’m also particularly proud of Scotiabank’s inaugural US$1 billion Sustainability Bond of which a portion of the proceeds will go to advancing women-owned businesses through The Scotiabank Women Initiative – an idea that was sparked by the Innovation Pillar team.
Q. What can clients and colleagues look forward to in the year ahead?
A. In F2022, we will continue to partner with our clients, listen and determine what type of content, events and solutions they would like to see going forward. We’ll also provide clients with more opportunities to share their own experiences and feedback with us and each other. For example, we plan to build on the successful ESG roundtable events we held in Canada and host a pilot session for our London-Dublin based clients in the new year. I expect there will be a tremendous exchange of perspectives among our UK and European clients, as these markets have so much experience to share with their peers. And of course, we look forward to bringing everyone together in person again soon. The virtual format has been successful in opening the events to more people; however, in-person events really help build engagement and great discussions.
Q. Along with your leadership for The Scotiabank Women Initiative, what would you like us to know about the Collateral Management and Funding team?
A. I would describe the Collateral Management and Funding (CMF) team as a multifunctional group, with colleagues working across Toronto, New York, London, Singapore, and now also Dublin, supporting both clients and other trading business lines across GBM. It includes four main areas: Client Financing Solutions, Secured Funding & Collateral Optimization, Short Duration Trading, and Financial Resource Management.
We are focused on expanding our Short Duration Trading and Client Financing Solutions business in the U.S., as we recently hired a Trader and Salesperson in CMF. We also continue to partner with our capital markets and Bank colleagues to satisfy liquidity, funding and balance sheet needs to help drive growth in GBM. It’s an exciting and dynamic time to be with Scotiabank and part of the CMF team.