"Global financial reform is one of the most important stewardship undertakings going on in the world today. This reform is needed and, if successful, can be a model for stewardship undertakings in other areas of society as well." - John G. Taft
John Taft is CEO of RBC Wealth Management – U.S. (RBC WM – U.S.), the seventh largest full-service retail brokerage firm in the U.S., with nearly 2,000 financial advisors in 42 states and over $235 billion in assets under administration. The firm’s success is rooted in its long-standing stewardship tradition of responsibly managing clients’ wealth and a reputation for putting clients first.
As the great-grandson of U.S. President William Howard Taft and grandson of Senator Robert A. Taft, John comes from a distinguished family well-known for its commitment to integrity. This family legacy informs his belief in the importance of staying true to his core principles of Purposefulness, Humility, Accountability, Foresight and Integrity.
John has been active in the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA), the leading securities industry trade group in the U.S. He served as chairman-elect in 2010 and chairman in 2011. As a representative of SIFMA, John advocated for responsible financial reform and testified before Congress in support of a federal fiduciary standard of care.
John has worked in the financial services industry for more than three decades. Prior to leading RBC WM – U.S., John served as head of Asset Management and Products for RBC’s U.S. and international division. He served as chairman, president, and CEO of Voyageur Asset Management; president and CEO of Dougherty Summit Securities; a member of the board of directors of Segall, Bryant and Hamill, The Clifton Group and Vintage Mutual Funds; and a managing director at Piper, Jaffray & Hopwood. John was assistant to the mayor of the City of St. Paul, Minnesota, and has worked as a journalist.
Investment Advisor magazine named John to its 2013 IA 25 list of the most influential people in the financial industry, and he was included on the 2014 list of Top 100 Thought Leaders in Trustworthy Business by Trust Across America. Additionally, he was recently named as a “Leading Individual” by the Family Wealth Report.
An active diversity advocate around issues of gender identity, John serves as executive sponsor for the RBC WM – U.S. Gay, Lesbian, Allied and Diverse Employees (GLADE) employee resource group. Under his leadership, RBC WM – U.S. received a 100% rating in the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index. In 2010, the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) named John the "Outstanding Corporate Diversity Leader."
John is the author of Stewardship: Lessons Learned from the Lost Culture of Wall Street. The book explores the importance of stewardship as a core principle — for John personally; for the financial services industry; for the global financial system; and for society. Editors at Amazon selected John's book as one of their "top picks" for March 2012, and it was named "best book of spring" on Bloomberg radio, while Bloomberg TV cited it as an "absolute must-read book."
John has been a guest host on CNBC’s Squawk Box and has been interviewed by other top news outlets, including FOX, FOX Business News, Bloomberg TV and radio, The Wall Street Journal, The Economist, The New York Times, Barron’s, Fortune, and Financial Times. He has also authored articles that appeared in The New York Times, Harvard Business Review, Business Insider, Forbes and the Huffington Post. John is a frequent presenter and speaker at various events across the country, including the Securities Industry Institute at the Wharton School and the Center for Ethical Business Cultures at the University of St. Thomas.
As a member of the board of directors and a volunteer, John has served a wide range of not-for-profit and public service organizations. He is an active member of the boards of the Itasca Project, Greater Twin Cities United Way and Taft School, and serves on the Minnesota Business Partnership Executive Committee. Previously, John served as a director of the Walker Art Center, Macalester College, Breck School, Northwest Area Foundation, Minnesota Public Radio, Twin Cities Public Television, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Illusion Theatre, and the Minnesota Film Board. He has also served on several public sector task forces, including the Mayor’s Council on Economic Development Finance, Blue Ribbon Commission on Pensions and the Mayor’s Working Group on Local Government Finance.