Familiar face

Familiar face

Scotiabank promotes Atlantic Canadian to top management job in the region

For the first time in a long time, Scotiabank has named a native son to run its Atlantic Canadian operations.

The bank appointed Craig Thompson to senior vice-president, retail and small business banking, Atlantic Canada in May. It’s the bank’s top management position in the region and Thompson, who was born in Amherst, Nova Scotia and raised in Riverview, New Brunswick, becomes the first Atlantic Canadian in more than three decades to be promoted to that job.

Having a long-time Atlantic Canadian in charge of its East Coast operations could come in handy as the bank, which posted a profit of $6.7 billion in 2013, tries to carve out a bigger market share for itself in the region. That’s because relationships matter in this part of the world. Residents in many of the small, tight-knit communities here like to know who they are dealing with when it comes to financial matters. Enter Thompson, who has worked in all four provinces during his Scotiabank career. “The typical learning curve in this job can be quite steep. A lot of it is getting known in the market. I know the economy and the leaders. The familiarity is an obvious benefit. “

One of the pillars of Scotiabank’s regional strategy is to help small businesses in Atlantic Canada grow and have branch staff spend more time with customers. A lot of the products banks provide are pretty generic. To stand out in a crowded field, Thompson says Scotiabank’s 150 bank specialists in the region need to give small business owners and other customers the personal touch and establish strong relationships with them. “The big difference is the person sitting in front of our customers and the experience and advice they can bring,” Thompson says. “Word of mouth is incredibly important. It’s how you start to build business in the region.”

As Thompson goes about building that business, he’ll also be busy visiting all 152 Scotiabank branches in Atlantic Canada. “I’ll be on the road a lot. It will be about an 18-month process. My wife won’t recognize me after it’s over,” Thompson jokes. Maybe his wife won’t recognize him, but Thompson hopes by that time Scotiabank’s family will.

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Darren Campbell
About Darren Campbell

Born and raised in Cape Breton Island, Darren Campbell has a long career in journalism and in the magazine business. In the past nine years, the graduate of Acadia University and Ryerson University has served as editor of several resource and business magazines including Far North Oil & Gas (2004-2007), Up Here Business (2008-2009), and most recently, Alberta Oil (2011-2013). In 2007, Far North Oil & Gas was chosen by the Canadian Society of Magazine Editors as Trade Magazine of the Year. In 2012, Alberta Oil was chosen as Magazine of the Year by the Canadian Business Press and chosen as Trade magazine of the Year in 2011 and 2012 by the Western Magazine Awards. In 2012, Darren's feature article that appeared in Alberta Oil, "Black Art" won the silver medal at the Canadian Business Press's Kenneth R. Wilson Awards for Best Resource Infrastructure Article.

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