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‘Our focus hasn’t changed – we build deep personal relationships with clients’

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The company’s digitization was also seamless, which surprised him, as home office and branch teams, plus clients of all ages, on-boarded. “I’m not saying it was easy,” he said, but the organization pivoted quickly and “there was probably 10 years of digitization that occurred in 12 months.”

While some digitization, such as Zoom and e-signatures, has become permanent, he said there’ll be more in the next three years.

“Technology is one of the biggest challenges right now because every organization is looking at its digital footprint and technology infrastructure across North America, but that’s where we’re directing a large portion of our investment over the next 36 months,” he said. Edward Jones is working with its U.S. partners and team to invest more than $500 million investment in technology, infrastructure, and tools in Canada and the U.S.

While Gunn expects Edward Jones’ hybrid work model to continue, he’s hiring more people from across Canada to support the teams while working from home. Historically, getting that support was a challenge in places like Toronto, but the new model is freeing real estate investment to provide more technology and products. The company can also house two, rather than one, financial advisors per office, and technology has allowed him to do monthly Zoom “town halls” to share developments with staff, which he will continue.

“We got very positive feedback as we prepared for the client-focused reforms,” he said. “So, it’s almost ironic that, during that period of time where we couldn’t meet face-to-face, we got closer together with Zoom or FaceTime.”

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