Head of U.S. Consumer Distribution, Strategy and Solutions, TD Bank

Jane Russell is used to accepting challenging new assignments at TD Bank.

But when senior leaders approached her last year about taking on a new role overseeing U.S. consumer distribution, she had to give it a lot of thought.

After all, as head of mortgage banking in Canada – TD’s largest business line by assets — Russell already held one of the bank’s most-coveted jobs.

Jane Russell, Head of U.S. Consumer Distribution, Strategy and Solutions at TD Bank.
Jane Russell, Head of U.S. Consumer Distribution, Strategy and Solutions at TD Bank. Bloomberg News

Moreover, it was just three years earlier that Russell and her family had moved back to Toronto from Vancouver, and she wasn’t sure she wanted to uproot the family again, this time to a new country.

With her family’s consent, Russell, who has spent her entire 30-year career with TD in Canada, ultimately accepted the offer and relocated to the Philadelphia suburbs last year.

“It was a big decision,” she said, “but being able to work in the U.S., the most competitive banking environment in the western world, was very attractive.”

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In the newly created role, Russell manages TD’s call centers, ATMs and digital operations, and directs all operations within its 1,250 U.S. branches. Her main job, as she sees it, is to ensure that all of those channels are “interconnected” so that customers can do their banking as quickly and effortlessly as possible.”

A recent innovation is something called TD ASAP, a function within the bank’s mobile app that instantly moves customers who urgently need to speak with a call center representative to the front of the line.

On Russell’s watch, TD late last year also launched TD VoicePrint, an authentication feature that quickly identifies callers by the sound of their voice.

Among Russell’s top priorities is improving online and mobile bill pay, which she said is “still a big pain point” for U.S. consumers. Moving to the U.S. from Canada, she was surprised to see payments take two or three days to go through.

“Bill pay is much more seamless in other jurisdictions,” she said.

Alan Kline

Alan Kline

Alan Kline is a senior editor at American Banker overseeing its consumer finance and national/regional banking coverage. He also helps direct coverage of the annual Most Powerful Women in Banking rankings.