JOHN MONTALBANO recently served as  Vice Chairman of RBC Wealth Management and Head of  RBC Global Asset Management during the period of 2008 to 2016. RBC Global Asset Management ranked among the largest 50 asset managers in the world, with more than $375 billion is assets under management. John is a Trustee of the Killam Trusts, and is a director on many community boards, including the foundations of St. Paul’s Hospital, The Vancouver Police, Take a Hike Youth at Risk, Junior Achievement of BC and also chairs the capital campaign for The Vancouver Public Library. Recently appointed to the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and the Asia Pacific Foundation, John holds a finance degree from the University of British Columbia and an Honorary Doctor of Letters from Emily Carr University of Art & Design.

3 words to describe Nature?




3 things Nature taught you? 

1. Whenever I am in nature, it always re-educates me that there is so much more to life than my urban reality.

2. Nature has taught me to be respectful of it, to relish in it and to rediscover myself with it.

3. Nature has taught me that it rarely lies. If it looks distressed, then it is likely distressed.

3 most treasured spots? 

1. Haida Gwaii

2. A savanna in Botswana

3. The tidal pools off Sonora Island

When I look at the ocean, it makes me feel…?


When I see a forest it makes me feel…?

The need to get into the trees.

When I see a volcano, it makes me feel…?

Wondrous of what lurks within it.

When I see a sunrise, it makes me feel…?

Renewed; when I see a sunset, it makes me feel… that I have lived to have seen another day in my children’s lives.

When I hear thunder, it makes me feel…?


When I hear the wind howling, it makes me feel…?

Concerned for those who do not have shelter.

Am I an Ocean, Mountain, Forest or Desert person?…?

Vancouver is deep within me, therefore, I am an Ocean, Mountain and Forest person. One is not complete without the others.

On a scale of 1 to 10, how important is Nature to your well-being? 

9- being near an ocean, mountain or forest is important for me to feel grounded.

Share with us a childhood nature memory?

Growing up in a working class family did not afford us an opportunity to see the world very often. The anticipation of my first overseas vacation had me all excited about the destination, only to find that it was the journey that I remember most. Flying through the clouds, for the first time, at a window seat, left me in awe and feeling like I was flying along side the angels…ok, in truth, I thought I was on a magic carpet, flying above earth and into space; but being raised Catholic, I quickly found myself becoming consumed with guilt because of my indulgent thoughts and, therefore, traded the carpet in for wings. Until that trip, I could never have imagined how beautiful clouds were, or how big, how broad and how bumpy. I have flown over 3 million miles and every take off would bring me back to that magic carpet ride.