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  • Associate 1 in ER
Jun 8, 2021 - 11:02am

Article below... shoutout to TD for actually doing something! As we all know... culture starts from the top and that's where changes should be made too.


TD investment bankers depart amid culture issues on the Diversified Industries team

Two senior investment bankers unexpectedly left TD Securities Inc. on May 31 amid concerns about stress and workload on the team they led, sources told The Globe and Mail.

According to an internal memo obtained by The Globe, Sanjay Nakra and Steve Dumanski, who co-led the Diversified Industries Group (DIG) at TD Securities, left the bank in May.

The memo said Alan Polak, who joined TD Securities in 2015, will replace them as the head of DIG, which works with clients in sectors such as construction, engineering and consumer packaged goods. Mr. Polak has led the Financial Sponsors group at the bank since 2018, which serves pension funds and private equity funds. A source at TD Securities said groups typically have 10 to 12 team members.

Three sources with knowledge of the departures said that culture issues arose from DIG leadership pushing some team members to their limits during the pandemic, when capital markets often ran hot with deals and financings. The Globe is not identifying the sources because they are not authorized to speak on the matter.

Elizabeth Goldenshtein, a spokesperson for TD Securities, confirmed the departures of Mr. Nakra and Mr. Dumanski, and the appointment of Mr. Polak as the new head of DIG. She declined to comment on the reason for the departures.

Mr. Nakra spent 17 years at TD Securities, according to his LinkedIn profile. He is listed on the board of directors for the Soulpepper Theatre Company, and runs a philanthropic foundation with his wife. Mr. Dumanski worked at the investment bank for more than a decade. Mr. Dumanski and Mr. Nakra both declined to comment when reached by phone.

Adam Dean, founder of Dean Executive Search, which helps financial services companies with hiring, says Bay Street managers must prioritize how they govern talent.

"Job one of leadership on Bay Street is inspiring and retaining talent," he said. "With high-stress cultures and high-stakes files, leaders need to set the example and be a role model. … The highly talented individuals on Bay Street will always have options, and if they find themselves as part of a challenging workplace or worse, if history is our guide, talent will pull up stakes and leave."

Many employees at investment banks across Canada and the United States have felt intense pressure to respond to heavy workloads during the pandemic. In March, a group of junior bankers at Goldman Sachs said they were exhausted by the demands of their jobs, which they said entailed 100-hour work weeks, and caused sleep deprivation and severe stress.

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