RBC National Aboriginal Day 2013 – Career Snapshot

Elizabeth Jordan

Elizabeth Jordan

Director, Capital Markets Compliance Canada
Risk (Compliance), RBC Capital Markets


Tell us about your current role and where you’re from (heritage).

I provide compliance support to the commodities trading desk and Over-The-Counter (OTC) derivatives businesses of RBC Capital Markets in Canada. My mother is Mohawk/Oneida, originally from Six Nations of the Grand River, near Brantford.

Can you tell us a little about some of the jobs you’ve had with RBC, the journey you’ve taken in your career and if there was any critical moves or defining moments that need to be highlighted.

My role in compliance is my first role at RBC, which I joined two and a half years ago. Prior to joining RBC, I worked as a lawyer at another Canadian financial institution, providing legal and regulatory advice to its wealth management businesses. In terms of defining career moments, I was somewhat apprehensive about leaving private practice almost seven years ago at one of Canada’s largest law firms, but in hindsight it is one of the best career decisions I ever made.

Royal Eagles was one of the first employee resource groups established at RBC to connect employees who are interested in building awareness and learning more about Canada’s Aboriginal cultures and communities. How has being part of an employee resource group impacted your experience at RBC?

Royal Eagles has presented an opportunity for me to meet and network with other Aboriginal employees in other lines of business, outside of Capital Markets. It has also given me an opportunity to participate in some great charitable initiatives that the Royal Eagles run and share some of my good fortune.

Do have a personal connection to the Aboriginal community? Can you talk a little bit about your background and how your experiences growing up have influenced you in your career at RBC?

My personal connection to my community is my family. My mother has an incredibly large family – many of us grew up in Buffalo, NY, where many people from Six Nations went in the 50s for better job opportunities than were available to Aboriginal people who stayed on our reserve or went looking for work in Hamilton. We were always encouraged to do volunteer work in our community. I have done a lot of volunteer work over the years with native organizations in the City of Toronto (Nishnawbe Health and Miziwe Biik, an Aboriginal employment and training agency in the City of Toronto). I also did an internship with the Indian Law Resource Centre before I became a lawyer. These experiences have made me realize how important economic development opportunities are for Aboriginal people.

What has contributed to your success and what key principles have you used to build your career?

Luck, mentors, hard work, curiosity and the willingness to learn new things have contributed to my success. As a principle, I try to work collaboratively with my colleagues and other compliance and legal professionals.

Aside from spending time with family and friends, what’s your favourite thing to do when you have time to yourself?

It’s tough to pick one favourite thing to do – I love to cook and bake (and eat), and also enjoy travel, running, yoga and reading.