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An Interview With Sean St. John, Toronto Executive, Vice President At National Bank

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* – This article has been archived and is no longer updated by our editorial team –

Sean St. John has been in the business of banking for over 25 years. He currently serves as the Executive Vice President, Managing Director, Co-Head of Fixed Income, Currencies & Commodities at National Bank in Toronto. Under his leadership, National Bank has gained a reputation as a one of the top underwriters in Canada, with St. John being a key player in helping the bank rank #1 for government, high-yield finance and infrastructure finance.

Sean St. John lives under the philosophy of maintaining a healthy balance in life: whether it’s carving out time for family, achieving personal goals, or getting involved in the community.

Sean St. John

Q: Could you give us some insight into your daily role at National Bank?

A: As a member of the bank’s executive management team, I oversee all the facets of the fixed income and interest rate derivatives, sales and trading, risk management solutions, debt capital markets and infrastructure finance. As Co-Head of Fixed Income, Currencies and Commodities, I am focused on managing my team as we integrate the different groups and bring together a collective strategy that will grow the business. I lead a top-notch group of leaders, so I am excited about all of the things we will continue to accomplish together.

Q: In addition to your career, you are a devoted philanthropist dedicating your time to organizations such as Right to Play, the Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation, and Children’s Aid. Why is community involvement so important to you?

A: I always refer to the quote by Muhammad Ali where he said, “Me? We.” I live by the philosophy that it’s not about me, it’s about we, it’s about us – together. I think a well-rounded individual is one who is not only passionate about what he or she does on a career level or for his or her family, but also about what he or she does for his community. It’s about making connections with other humans. Helping each other.

Q: You co-chaired Right To Play’s The Heroes Gala this year. Tell us about the event and what it means to you.

A: The Heroes Gala means a lot to me because funds raised from the event help children in need. Right To Play is an international organization that harnesses the power of play to empower children to rise above the economic and cultural barriers that can limit their futures.

In 2018, The Heroes Gala raised a record amount of $2.825 million, speaking to how far Right To Play has come since its 2013 benefit, which raised approximately $80,000. I am very honored to be a part of this event, and I look forward to co-chairing it again this year.

Q: Outside of work, what are you most looking forward to this year?

A: Spending time with my son. I am an advocate for a healthy work-life balance. I make a calculated effort to be present for all of his hockey, sometimes leaving the office early. We also take guitar and golf lessons together.

This year, I’m especially looking forward to working with Connected North, an organization that provides educational technology to students in remote northern communities in Canada. Connected North is a breakthrough program that uses high definition video technology to virtually connect children in isolated northern communities to experiences, opportunities and educational resources not available to them locally. We are putting together a really fun hockey tournament to raise funds and more awareness and support for the organization, which I’m very much looking forward to.

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