John Montalbano: Impactful Mentorship

portrait of John Montalbano
John Montalbano Join us in an insightful conversation with John Montalbano, former CEO of RBC Global Asset Management. With a career that culminated in managing $370 billion in assets, John offers a rare glimpse into the strategies that propel a company into the top tiers of global asset management. Serving as a Director and Audit Chair for organizations such as the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and AbCellera Inc., he brings a wealth of knowledge in corporate governance and financial strategy. This episode isn't just about John's career journey; it's a guide for aspiring finance professionals, corporate leaders, and entrepreneurs seeking mentorship and leadership insights. We discuss the essence of impactful mentorship in the world of finance, and how these lessons can be applied across industries for those aiming to leave a mark in their fields.

5 Strategies for Impactful Mentorship


1. Embracing Diverse Mentorship

  • Strategy: Seek mentors from varied backgrounds to gain diverse insights.
  • Action: Actively look for mentorship opportunities outside your immediate circle, such as different industries or life stages.

2. Embracing Empathy

  • Strategy: Cultivate empathy to better connect with and understand your team or mentees.
  • Action: Schedule regular check-ins focused on personal, not just professional, well-being.

3. Embracing Vulnerability 

  • Strategy: Embody humility and vulnerability as a mentor.
  • Action: Share your own challenges and learning experiences with mentees to create a relatable and supportive environment.

4. Navigating Pressure and Expectations:

  • Strategy: Teach mentees to balance the pressure of external expectations with maintaining personal well-being.
  • Action: Share personal experiences of handling stress and encourage mentees to seek guidance or time off when necessary to maintain a healthy balance.

5. Overcoming Imposter Syndrome

  • Strategy: Build confidence by acknowledging your journey and achievements.
  • Action: Create a list of your accomplishments and use it as a reminder of your capabilities when facing self-doubt.

Show Notes

[00:00] Introduction with John Montalbano

[01:00] The Journey to CEO of RBC Global Asset Management

[02:00] Lessons in Corporate Governance and Financial Strategy

[07:25] The Role and Impact of Mentorship in Career Development

[09:57] Leading with Empathy and Strategic Insight

[15:49] Insights on Navigating the Corporate World

[22:40] Applying Lessons from Finance Across Industries

[32:08] Advice for Aspiring Finance Professionals and Leaders

[35:52] Concluding Thoughts and Reflections

People Mentioned

Mike DuMoulin: John Montalbano’s soccer coach, who was a significant mentor during his early life.

Dick Bradshaw: CEO of Phillips Hager North and a mentor to John Montalbano.

Milton Wong (Milt Wong): A mentor to John Montalbano during his university years, known as a business leader and philanthropist in Vancouver.

Heather Munroe Blum: Current chair of the Canada Pension Plan, mentioned as a mentor to John Montalbano.