First Name: Anne
Last Name: Lockie
Job Title: Head of Sales, Canadian Banking (retired)
Hometown: Toronto, Ontario
Area of Study: Economics/Finance
Consumer behaviour is a topic that captivated Anne Lockie, B.A.Sc. ’73, even before she came to the University of Guelph as a consumer studies student. “I’ve always been fascinated by consumer behaviour and why people do the things they do,” says Lockie.
In 2010, Lockie retired after 35 years from her position as president and CEO of Royal Mutual Funds Inc. and Senior Executive of Sales for RBC Royal Bank. At RBC, Lockie lead the organization’s personal and business sales forces. She was responsible for client satisfaction, revenue growth, cost-effectiveness and providing co-ordinated, streamlined client-centric delivery across all RBC’s personal and business sales teams. Lockie managed roughly 26,000 employees and had 10 Regional Presidents operating across Canada. She joined the Royal Bank in 1976 at a branch in St. Marys, Ontario, and held senior management positions in recruiting, financial management, employment equity, human resources planning, strategic planning and marketing in Toronto and Montreal. She also worked in Regina and Winnipeg as a Regional President along the way.
Lockie says her U of G education gave her an understanding of the importance of meeting consumer needs. “The 70’s was the era of Ralph Nader, and I was interested in consumer protection.” Lockie’s degree allowed her to understand the complexities and rewards of working in a team environment. Having taken a diverse mix business courses such as accounting, marketing and financial planning, Lockie recognizes her diverse mix of courses allowed her to understand different facets of the business world. She now sits on the advisory board for the College of Business and Economics and is a member of the investment subcommittee on the University of Guelph’s Board of Governors.
“Looking back, I think Guelph’s consumer studies program was ahead of its time because of its focus on customers and how creating client loyalty could lead to a companies long term success. At the time, this was a relatively new idea, but now it’s everything in business.”
An important part of her job was serving as a consumer advocate for RBC clients. Banking has changed from a focus on transactions to an ability to help individuals and businesses plan for the future. Especially when the economy and world events change quickly and make things uncertain. Clients need to know you are on their side and are willing to help.
The changing philosophy in business today also includes a commitment to social corporate responsibility. “It’s part of the culture at RBC,” says Lockie. “As the largest corporate donor in the country, we tried to support a full spectrum of important activities, including arts, education, environmental initiatives, and health and wellness. It was not only financial support but also the time and involvement of employees. Everywhere I went across the country, employees would talk proudly about the types of community activities they were involved in. It’s become an important part of business culture.” Lockie emphasizes that businesses and individuals cannot succeed on their own. As she has witnessed in her time at the University of Guelph and in the banking world, “you have to be willing to work as a team.”
I’m such a huge proponent of corporate social responsibility. It makes such a difference to our communities and the way we do business.” - Anne Lockie