In her 26-year banking career, Jane Lundquist has worked for only two banks, CambridgePort Bank and, for the past eight years, Rockland Trust, where she serves as director of retail delivery, business banking and home equity lending. It would be an understatement to say Lundquist loves her career.
“For me, it’s the variety of the challenges. Today, there are changes we must continually address as the customers change their needs,” Lundquist said. “How we meet them keeps changing with the digital age, and our ability to build a team of good colleagues is critical to customer success.”
One area where financial institutions can improve is “a real effort by the industry and regulators to try and be more transparent in how accounts and loans work,” Lundquist said. “Over the years, we’ve had so many requirements for complex disclosures that customers don’t understand it all.”
While many financial institutions suffered through the financial crisis, Lundquist said that Rockland Trust “performed extremely well” throughout it and “continues to perform at a high level,” citing the recognition of its parent company, Independent Bank Corp., by Forbes magazine as one of the nation’s 25 healthiest publicly traded banks in 2011.
“I think it’s the culture of the company in their conservative loan policies,” Lundquist said. “It managed risk extremely well through this turmoil. We were still aggressively lending because we had the capacity to do so.”
Lundquist is extremely proud of Rockland Trust’s support of women, who make up two-thirds of its workforce. Earlier this year, Donna L. Abelli became chairwoman of the board of Rockland Trust and its parent company, Independent Bank Corp. — the first woman in the bank’s history to hold that position.
“There are many more women today in executive level positions,” she said. “For me, the greatest challenge is having the opportunity to allocate more time to mentor younger professionals on how they could be more successful.”
Women Of Action
One of the ways Lundquist helps mentor women in the industry is through Rockland Trust’s Women of Action group, something she helped create.
“There was a small group of women within the bank. We met and we brainstormed not only how to network better, but do things to promote women within the bank and help their careers,” she said.
In addition to mentoring and hosting networking events, Women in Action also holds financial planning seminars and charity events to benefit organizations such as New Hope, which works toward ending domestic and sexual violence.
“Although focused on continuing to grow Rockland Trust … acting as a meaningful mentor for other women in the finance world remains a top priority for Jane Lundquist, a fearless leader,” said Shannon Watterson, former president and COO of CambridgePort Bank. “Her ambition and expertise is obvious to anyone who has worked with Jane.”
Lundquist also serves on the deposit committee for the Consumer Banking Association where she talks to regulatory agencies and congressman on how to work on issues facing the industry and consumers.
Community involvement is also important to Lundquist, who serves on several boards, including Newbury College, the Franciscan Hospital for Children and the Rockland Trust Charitable Foundation, which solicits donation requests for housing initiatives, as well as women’s and children’s issues.
Lundquist said she hopes others in the banking industry can find an institution – as she has – where they are fulfilled.
“What I advise people to do is pick an institution that has values and a culture that fits for you personally,” she said. “I also believe in picking your boss … somebody that you can learn and grow under and wants to support you.”