Message from Katie Taylor

Imaginative leadership will ensure a prosperous future for both RBC and the communities it serves. That message was delivered to a gathering of RBC shareholders following the Second World War, and it rings true today.

It is the willingness to reimagine – and disrupt – the way RBC operates that helps the bank create meaningful value in our clients’ lives. And as this year’s results attest, RBC’s approach continues to resonate in the marketplace, reinforcing its stature as one of the most trusted and successful financial institutions in the world.

The primary role of the Board is to support RBC’s executive team to sustain the bank’s leadership position today, and into the future. To this end, we act as stewards and provide oversight to ensure the bank’s strategic plans and priorities create value and align with our risk appetite.

Importantly, we do so on a continuous basis – constructively challenging management and monitoring initiatives. We provide guidance to the bank’s leadership team as it anticipates the ever-evolving needs of its clients while seizing the right business opportunities in a rapidly changing and increasingly competitive global marketplace.

Sustaining success over the long term also requires a pipeline of qualified leaders. To ensure continuity, the Board oversees talent management and succession planning. In 2019, this included key appointments for the Group Head, Capital Markets and the Chief Administrative Officer.

Culture is critical in any winning organization. Directors champion the core values underpinning the way the bank operates – internally and externally. For us, leadership is about setting an example for others. To this end, we work with management to set the right tone, and signal the behaviours each and every employee must embody. We recognize the value of respectful and inclusive workplaces, where people can speak up for the good of RBC, and in turn, contribute to the business and brand in meaningful ways. In 2019, our Governance Committee continued to enhance Board and Committee reporting on conduct and culture matters and proactively monitored emerging trends and best practices.

Risk management is another core focus area. Millions of people and thousands of communities trust RBC to act prudently and be a model corporate citizen. The Board oversees risk management on an enterprise-wide basis and carefully assesses whether management’s plans appropriately balance strategic opportunities with risk discipline. An important area of focus that relates to both risk management and community and social impact is climate change. As part of the Board’s oversight, several important steps were taken in 2019, including the development of an enterprise climate change strategy, advancement of our capabilities in climate risk management, and the enhancement of our climate-related disclosures to better align with the recommendations of the Financial Stability Board’s Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures.

In all of this, continuing our history of demonstrating the highest standards of good governance is an essential foundation for strong performance and fundamental to the bank’s success. Directors contribute to effective and transparent oversight by setting the structure through which management work to meet our strategic objectives and achieve long-term value for our shareholders, as well as the clients, communities and other stakeholders who we are privileged to serve. Building upon an already very strong Board, we were pleased to appoint a new RBC director, Frank Vettese, who brings a wide array of global experience to our discussions.

RBC continues to unlock the imagination and insights of its people to create even greater value for its clients, and the communities where RBC operates. Your Board is proud to support the CEO and Group Executive team in making this happen through sound counsel, a supportive culture, strong risk management, and good governance.

On this very special year, when we celebrate our 150th anniversary, the Board appreciates everything Dave McKay, his leadership team and our incredibly talented employees have done to celebrate the bank’s storied history, and set it up for an exciting future. We are confident in the bank’s strategic direction and believe the bank’s purpose-led approach will help clients thrive and communities prosper for years to come.

Kathleen Taylor

Kathleen Taylor
Chair of the Board