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Éric Bujold, president of National Bank Private Banking 1859.Thanh Pham / Sid Lee

National Bank Private Banking 1859′s president Éric Bujold says the pandemic is an opportunity for leaders to show compassion.

Éric Bujold has never been afraid to show vulnerability, sensitivity and his more compassionate side.

The COVID-19 crisis has further confirmed he was on the right path.

“As leaders, we can be vulnerable and get great results. The days are gone when sensitivity and performance don’t go together,” says Mr. Bujold, president of National Bank Private Banking 1859.

Under Mr. Bujold’s leadership, Private Banking 1859′s team provides integrated and personalized services to successful leaders, entrepreneurs, and families. These include wealth protection, banking, financing, portfolio management, financial planning, trusts, inheritance, philanthropy and business transfer.

An opportunity to reflect

Many of the bank’s clients have adjusted their priorities due to the pandemic, Mr. Bujold says. For instance, while he has always been impressed with how they give back to society, many clients have started philanthropic projects, took a stand and invested time and money in causes they believe in.

“There was an opportunity to reflect; we have all done it,” he says. “There has been a shift in consciousness and concrete actions.”

The COVID-19 crisis has also helped people overcome their typical resistance to adopting new ways of doing business. For example, at Private Banking 1859, technology was used more frequently to make transfers, sign documents and create other efficiencies, which Mr. Bujold says enabled his team to “spend more time with employees and clients, talking about real things.”

Strength in diversity

The last year has highlighted another important strength for every organization: diversity and inclusion.

“At Private Banking 1859, we hire passionate people from all walks of life and value their differences,” Mr. Bujold says. “It’s what makes a great team.”

There is a concern about pandemic fatigue, which Mr. Bujold says makes it even more important for leaders like him to support staff and clients.

“People are also tired; mental health is really important,” the people-oriented leader points out. “We’ve never talked so much about the importance of mental health. We must keep this discussion open.”

Mr. Bujold says peoples’ values, goals and priorities have shifted amid the pandemic.

He believes it’s up to leaders to transform their leadership style and accommodate this new approach, for both employees and clients.

“I think that the pandemic has amplified many issues, as well as shedding light on some solutions – for those willing to see them, of course,” he says, arguing the transformation must happen at all levels.

“It’s not me as a leader that is transforming, it’s the entire team, to the benefit of our clients, our shareholders, the organization and our community.”

“Leaders and entrepreneurs need to reset, renew and restart,” he says, which means reviewing their plans and coming up with new ideas and a new approach.

A human business

Mr. Bujold has always viewed wealth management as more than a numbers game.

For him, wealth management is “a human business,” making clients and employees feel like they are part of a big family.

With the pandemic, “we didn’t want to lose this feeling of closeness, so we turned up the volume on communication,” he says.

In an employee survey, Mr. Bujold asked employees if they wanted to discontinue their daily online meetings and the answer was a resounding ‘no.’ The daily calls are a chance for the team to “share everything,” he says, which includes talking about their weaknesses and problems at this stressful time.

They, in turn, checked in with their clients more often.

The result? “We’re even closer than we were before.”

Learn more about Private Banking 1859


Advertising feature produced by Globe Content Studio with National Bank. The Globe’s editorial department was not involved.