Diversity and nurturing talent are paramount and a passion for alum, Jonathan Yu (MAcc ’07, CPA)

by Patty Mah

Image of Jonathan Yu sitting in front of the University of Waterloo sign

It doesn’t take long to realize that for alum, Jonathan Yu (MAcc ’07, CPA), people and talent are the most important assets for his work with RBC. The innovative nature and authentic work in equity, diversity and inclusion at the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) have made the last 12 years for Yu exciting and fresh. Yu returned to the Waterloo campus to chat with SAF about his career path and passion for helping RBC further its diversity and inclusion goals.

Yu began his career as a co-op student working for a major public accounting firm before transitioning into the banking industry and finance after graduation. Through the variety of work and roles he’s held, Yu described his transition from a traditional accounting role to finance as natural.

“Accounting is the foundation for a lot of things… and hits the fundamentals around understanding numbers, how activities translate to results and how numbers can describe a company and activities...,providing the right ingredients to learn the skills needed for [finance] jobs.” – Jonathan Yu

Yu’s excitement for the work he does can be attributed to RBC’s environment and culture. Yu commends RBC’s leadership and investment in Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) initiatives, as the biggest bank in Canada. One of the key drivers for Yu’s passion in D&I work is his involvement in fostering and nurturing the talent pipeline. Initiatives such as RBC’s IGNITE program bring together a diverse group of individuals from all business areas to provide them with opportunities to enhance their skills and knowledge as part of RBC’s development of future BIPOC leaders.

“Diversity and inclusion, and in general, inclusivity is not optional. This is a core value to RBC’s culture which helps us attract top talent, innovate, see things differently, and make changes through a combined diversity of thoughts.” – Jonathan Yu

Fostering talent also means giving back. Yu has been a popular guest speaker for SAF’s student groups and co-curricular activities. Always willing to help train the next cohort of talent, Yu considers it time well spent in meeting with SAF students to share stories of his career, his work with RBC, and his passion for furthering D&I goals.