HR LeadersTalk: Deborah Best Invested in Culture

By Drew Railton, CPHR
Drew Railton, CPHR is a managing partner in our Western Canada offices. He has an ongoing interview series in PeopleTalk, the Chartered Professionals in Human Resources of British Columbia and Yukon’s quarterly magazine. 

Deborah Best, CPHR is vice president, head of human resources with Raymond James, Canada’s most successful independent investment firm—with a national footprint and managing $36 billion on behalf of Canadian families throughout its 120 branches. Based on positive positioning in the market, strong commitment to clients, and a professionalism that stands out, Raymond James Financial has been able to demonstrate a profitable track record each year for the past 25 years. In 2005, Deb received the CPHR BC & Yukon’s Award of Excellence : HR Professional of the Year.

Why did you choose HR or how did it choose you?
Helping people and analytics have always been thematic. In university, it translated into psychology and economics. I entered business as an underwriter, not really knowing what HR was other than benefits and newspaper postings. The firm I was with decided to close the office and as a group we were laid off—which provided me with a case study of ‘what not to do.’ It was a memorable orientation to HR principles. I was hired back on contract, then approached by a client to join their HR team. Compensation and benefits was a a natural fit. I knew I’d found my path as an HR professional.

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