RBC Economics and Thought Leadership aims to build a prosperous and innovative future by harnessing ideas, insights and data to help RBC clients and communities understand the forces shaping the world around us.

Our team of economists and researchers deliver economic analyses, comprehensive reports and conversations with world-leading thinkers that inspire and empower informed decisions in an evolving world.

  • In-depth research reports on sustainable growth, climate change, innovation and human capital.
  • Timely analysis and forecasts of the economy and financial markets.
  • Quarterly economic updates and monthly Canadian housing analysis.
  • An ongoing series of conversations with leading thinkers about reimagining Canada’s economy in a time of unprecedented change.

Meet Our Team

Abbey Xu

Economist

Abbey Xu is an economist at RBC. She focuses on macroeconomic models as inputs into the Bank’s forward looking provisioning for credit losses and stress testing process. Her education background includes a MA in Business Economics, and a BA in Economics from Wilfrid Laurier University.

Aidan Smith-Edgell

Research Associate

Aidan joined RBC as a Banking Advisor in 2018. He later joined RBC Economics as a Research Associate in 2021. He holds a Bachelor of Arts (honours) in Economics with a specialization in Econometrics from the University of Waterloo.

Alanna La Rose

Manager, Strategic Partnerships

Alanna provides strategic development and enablement for the RBC Economics & Thought Leadership Team, with research side-quests focused around emerging Canadian trends and issues. Prior to joining the team in 2022, Alanna was a consultant to senior leadership developing RBC enterprise strategy around sustainability and human capital. She holds a masters in business from Ivey Business School, and a masters from the University of Calgary’s Faculty of Environmental Design.

Carrie Freestone

Economist

Carrie Freestone is an economist at RBC. She provides labour market analysis, and is a member of the regional analysis group, contributing to the provincial macro outlook.

Claire Fan

Economist

Claire Fan joined RBC as an economist since 2019 after graduating with a bachelor of business administration from the University of Toronto, and a master in financial economics from Western University. At RBC, she focuses on covering the macroeconomic outlook for Canada and the United States, and is responsible for projecting key indicators including GDP, employment and inflation. Her publications include the inflation watch series and various other analyses on labour market trends, recession probabilities and inequalities.

Craig Wright

Senior Vice President & Chief Economist

As chief economist, Craig leads a team of economists providing economic, fixed income and foreign exchange research to RBC clients. Craig is a regular contributor to a number of RBC publications and is a key player in delivering economic analysis to clients and the media through the Economics Department’s regular economic briefings.
A graduate of Wilfrid Laurier University and the University of Toronto, Craig was appointed Chief Economist in 2001 having joined RBC 1994 after working at another financial institution for seven years. Craig is a participant in a number of the key RBC internal committees and is a member of the CD Howe Monetary Policy Council, Lazaridis School of Business and Economics Wilfrid Laurier University, Dean’s Advisory Council at Wilfrid Laurier University and the British Columbia Economic Forecast Council.

Craig and his wife Susan live in Toronto with their three children Emily, Bradley and Jacob.

Colin Guldimann

Economist

Colin joined RBC in 2019 as an economist. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Ottawa, and Master of Arts in Economics from the University of British Columbia. Prior to joining RBC, Colin worked on mortgage, housing, and economic policy at the Department of Finance Canada.

Cynthia Leach

Assistant Chief Economist

Cynthia helps shape the narratives and research agenda around the RBC Economics and Thought Leadership team’s forward-looking economic and policy analysis. She joined the team in 2020.

Previously, Cynthia was an executive at Finance Canada, most recently heading a team responsible for housing finance policy covering housing-related risks, mortgage lending and funding markets, and the commercial activities of Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. She also has experience in current economic analysis and fiscal policy.

Cynthia holds an M.A. Economics degree from the University of Toronto.

Darren Chow

Senior Manager, Digital Media

Darren Chow manages the overall look and feel of RBC Thought Leadership and RBC Economics content. A graduate of the York University/Sheridan College Bachelor of Design program and a post-graduate degree in computer animation from Sheridan College.

Darren is well versed in all things multimedia and is involved in all stages of the design process, from concept development and storyboarding to testing and deployment. He brings a wealth of experience to the team, previously working with Autodesk, Blackberry, CIBC, CTV, HOK, and Appleby College.

Farhad Panahov

Economist

Farhad Panahov is an economist RBC. He studies the labour market – largely focusing on the future of work, demographic change, diversity, and human capital. He holds a BSc in Economics from the University of British Columbia, and Master of Applied Science in Data, Economics, and Development Policy from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Farah Huq

Senior Director, Content Strategy

Farah has spent the last 15 years at the intersection of business and government, providing strategic policy advice and insights on the issues at the heart of Canadian prosperity. As Senior Director, Content Strategy she brings ideas to life in various formats to reach economic decision-makers and influencers.

Prior to joining RBC, she led thought leadership programs for Deloitte Canada and Deloitte Global Public Policy. An economist by training, Farah has also worked within the Government of Canada and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development to advance a wide range of policy issues, including natural resource management, cyber security and manufacturing.

Naomi Powell

Managing Editor, Economics and Thought Leadership

Naomi joined RBC in 2020. She is responsible for developing the narratives driving the team’s economics and thought leadership reports. Prior to joining RBC, she worked as a business journalist in Canada and Europe, where her coverage of European economics appeared in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and Globe and Mail.

She most recently reported on international trade and economics for the Financial Post. Naomi is a graduate of Queen’s University and Toronto Metropolitan University.

Nathan Janzen

Assistant Chief Economist

Nathan Janzen is an Assistant Chief Economist, leading the macroeconomic analysis group. His focus is on analysis and forecasting macroeconomic developments in Canada and the United States. Nathan has been with RBC since 2008 with a focus on covering the macroeconomic outlook for Canada and the United States. He has a MA in economics from McMaster University and a BA in economics from the University of Regina.

Jennifer Marron

Producer, Disruptors

Jennifer Marron produces "Disruptors, an RBC podcast". Prior to joining RBC, Jennifer spent five years as Community Manager at MaRS Discovery District and cultivated a large network of industry leaders, entrepreneurs and partners to support the Canadian startup ecosystem. Her writing has appeared in The National Post, Financial Post, Techvibes, IT Business, CWTA Magazine and Procter & Gamble’s magazine, Rouge. Follow her on Twitter @J_Marron.

John Stackhouse

Senior Vice President, Office of the CEO

As Senior Vice-President, Office of the CEO, John advises the executive leadership on emerging trends in Canada’s economy, providing insights grounded in his travels across the country and around the world. His work focuses on technological change and innovation, examining how to successfully navigate the new economy so more people can thrive in the age of disruption. Prior to joining RBC, John spent nearly 25 years at the Globe and Mail, where he served as editor-in-chief, editor of Report on Business, and a foreign correspondent in New Delhi, India. Having interviewed a range of prominent world leaders and figures, including Vladimir Putin, Kofi Annan, and Benazir Bhutto, he possesses a deep understanding of national and international affairs. In the community, John serves as a Senior Fellow at the Munk School of Global Affairs, C.D. ‎Howe Institute and on the boards of Queen’s University and the Aga Khan Foundation of Canada. John is the author of four books: Out of Poverty, Timbit Nation, and Mass Disruption: Thirty Years on the Front Lines of a Media Revolution and Planet Canada: How Our Expats Are Shaping the Future.

Josh Nye

Senior Economist

Josh joined RBC Economics as an economist in 2012. He holds a bachelor of arts (honours) in economics from the University of Western Ontario and a master of science in economics from the London School of Economics.

Rachel Battaglia

Economist

Rachel Battaglia is an economist at RBC. She is a member of the Macro and Regional Analysis Group, providing analysis for the provincial macroeconomic outlook. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics (honours) from the University of Western Ontario and a Master of Science from the Amsterdam School of Economics.

Robert Hogue

Assistant Chief Economist

Robert Hogue is responsible for providing analysis and forecasts on the Canadian housing market and provincial economies. His publications include Housing Trends and Affordability, Provincial Outlook and provincial budget commentaries. In his functions, he is frequently called to comment on the economy both internally within RBC and externally with clients and the media.

Robert joined RBC in May 2008 after spending 15 years with another Canadian financial institution as a senior economist specializing in industrial analysis. At the outset of his career, he spent four years as an economist with Ontario Hydro, where he specialized in industrial and macroeconomic analysis. Robert holds a Master’s degree in economics from Queen’s University and a Bachelor’s degree from Université de Montréal.

Trinh Theresa Do

Senior Manager, Thought Leadership Strategy

Trinh Theresa Do (she goes by Theresa) is responsible for strategy development on the Thought Leadership & Economics team, with occasional forays into podcasting, research, and writing. Previously, she was a strategy advisor to senior management and executives at RBC’s Personal & Commercial Banking business. Prior to joining RBC, Theresa was a national political journalist at CBC News and co-founded a nonprofit that promoted civic engagement through technology innovation.

Yadullah Hussain

Managing Editor, Climate and Energy

Yadullah Hussain is Managing Editor, Climate & Energy, at RBC Economics and Thought Leadership. Before joining RBC, Hussain was Deputy Managing Editor at the Financial Post in Toronto, and has worked as a business journalist in Karachi, Dubai and London covering the economy, energy and financial markets in a career spanning two decades.

Benjamin Richardson

Research Associate

Benjamin is responsible for researching pieces for RBC Economics and Thought Leadership. Prior to joining RBC, he obtained a Master’s degree from the University of Toronto and worked in Washington, D.C., at the Woodrow Wilson Center, researching topics concerning Canada-US relations.

Zeba Khan

Manager, Digital Publishing

Zeba Khan is a Digital Publishing Manager on the RBC Thought Leadership and Economics team. She is responsible for the design execution, web publishing, and site improvements for the Thought Leadership and Economics content. Prior to joining RBC, she worked at CIBC in retail banking and more recently on the CIBC Business Banking Client Enablement and Journeys team.

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