View from the C-Suite with Peter Aceto, CEO, ING Direct

Posted December 17, 2013 in Latest News & Insights

Earlier this month, twelve of our lucky members had the privilege of sitting down with ING Direct’s (soon to be Tangerine’s) down-to-earth CEO Peter Aceto.  For 90 minutes we enjoyed a candid conversation with Peter on the lessons learned throughout his interesting and fast tracking career path.  Here are a few of the highlights:

On Career Management…

Don’t be afraid to step down to move forward.  Taking a “demotion” in title can provide you with rich experiences that will vault you to higher levels.

On Going Social…

Be clear on your agenda when you jump into social media (and yes… he does his own tweets).    The benefits can be many and, for ING, was a great way to carry the culture of transparency beyond the walls of the organization.

On Talent…

Recognize that people are going to leave and develop them anyway.  Even if a high performer is only with your company for a short time, they can make massive contributions that move the organization forward.  Retention shouldn’t be the only goal when it comes to talent.

And never be afraid to hire someone smarter than you.

 On Being CEO…

Asking great questions, championing culture and cultivating people are crucial jobs for the CEO.  Know your personal limitations and make sure you bring in the right talent to strengthen your team and give you the knowledge/insights you need.

On selling to the CEO…

Put yourself in the shoes of the CEO.  Share your viewpoints in a thoughtful way.  Don’t be afraid to disagree… respectfully.

Final Thoughts…

  • Gather experiences
  • Build your self awareness
  • Be the positive person in the room
  • Prioritize the needs of the team above your own
  • Show confidence… always

On a personal note, we have had over 75 senior executives speak for us over the past 6 years.  They’ve all been terrific leaders but only 5 of them made me want to fold up shop and pass them my resume.  Peter Aceto was one of those five.  Inspiring, candid and authentic.  Definitely one of the leadership good guys.  All the best to the ING Direct Canada team as they migrate to their new relationship with Scotiabank.  Hopefully their new owners won’t mess with a good thing.

Happy leading!


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  1. […] you don’t have a “career plan”? Well, don’t worry. You’re not alone. Recently, we had Peter Aceto of ING Direct join our podium and I asked him if he always planned to be the CEO of a bank and he laughed “was […]