Our Audit team at Scotiabank plays a key role in the internal control system of the bank while driving a customer focused culture. They are a global community of trusted advisors and partners for Management, Executives and the Board. The audit department provides independent assurance, innovative value-added insights to mitigate risk and also challenges the business to achieve winning outcomes.
Meet Kera Rollins, the Chief Operating Officer for the International Banking Audit group, as she shares her inspiring story at Scotiabank and how she empowers her team’s growth through a supportive leadership approach.
“I joined the Bank in 2018 as the Chief Auditor for The Bahamas. For the first couple of years, I got the opportunity to learn from other Chief Auditors in the region. At the end of 2019 I started working more closely with the VP for the Caribbean. Learning from his agile mindset shaped me professionally. I am a planner, I am very much about efforts to drive results, and Scotiabank has taught me to be very agile, to adapt and find ways to create value out of every situation”.
Kera’s ability to pivot and adapt to challenges has proven to be one of her greatest strengths.
“It was during 2020 when I had the best appreciation for my ability to manage situations where you don’t know how to get from point A to point B, but you find comfort in knowing you will help management to develop the best solutions for our customers. At the beginning of the pandemic, after amazing collaborations between management in international banking, within weeks management had set up a comprehensive customer assistance programs, including the IT infrastructure to support it. In the audit department, we were asked to provide advice and counsel on the readiness of the solutions and the quality of their implementation across the International Bank.”
This unique project expanded beyond the Caribbean and led Kera to work with Mexico and several Latin American Countries, stretching Kera’s professional development to new heights, including her recent appointment as Chief Operating Officer for the International Banking Audit group.
“This was a very rewarding experience that gave me an international exposure that taught me so much. Audit tends to be quite technical, so I really enjoyed interacting with Scotiabankers from other countries, understanding how they operate and also got the added benefit of practicing my Spanish which is something that I now do on a day-to-day basis in my current role.”
When reflecting on her greatest achievement thus far, she immediately brings it back to her team, their growth and how she has impacted their career development. Her genuine interest in seeing her team shine comes across loud and clear.
“Earlier on in my time as the Chief Auditor of Scotiabank Bahamas, through conversations with employees across the bank and business leaders, I learned that people were very curious about the audit department and also that across business units, employees wanted to learn more about the business outside of their current role. So, I worked with local HR to rollout a program for 6 months to 1 year where we identified high potential talent from other units, trained them, and had them work within the audit department in a cross-function assignment”.
This initiative led by Kera, continued for 4 years, but in her eyes the positive impact of exposing that talent to that unique program are still felt to date.
“The program led the participants to advance their career in new ways, because it gave them exposure to business leaders and processes that they would not have had access in the past. I am so proud to see how many of them have gone and done great things in the bank and continue to excel in their careers.”
Currently, Kera is leading the international expansion of the Audit Department’s talent programs. These programs span the career lifecycle of Audit department employees and impact many more Scotiabankers than Kera could have reached in The Bahamas.
We end our conversation discussing the impact of her work and her advice to future Scotiabankers.
“One of the most important things for me is the impact on the people. The Bahamas is very small within the Scotiabank context, but I love to help empower my team, have them believe in their abilities, not feel limited by their circumstances but rather guide them to finding ways to do what they like the most”
“My advice is to be confident and understand that at Scotiabank there is always space at the table for people who show up everyday with willingness to learn and be better. There are so many people in the bank willing to invest in you, support you and give you advice. I think the diversity of opportunities that exists in the bank for myself, and my team is definitely something that excites me.”
We thank Kera for sharing her inspiring professional journey with us and invite you to read more about our Life at Scotiabank.
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