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Wealth Manager: the Canadians are coming - RBC explains its plans for a UK takeover

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by James Phillipps on Mar 01, 2012 at 10:21

In many respects, RBC Wealth Management could be said to have been hiding its light under a bushel in recent years, but the firm is intent on making the UK its third home.

Part of Royal Bank of Canada, the group is the sixth largest wealth manager in the world and it is now putting in place aggressive expansion plans.

Tracy Maeter, RBC Wealth Management’s head of investment for the British Isles, a remit that includes the UK and the Channel Islands, says the firm is set to embark on a big marketing push to raise brand awareness and broaden out its client base.

‘International clients and UK resident non-doms have been the backbone of our business, but we want to be more proactive in developing new relationships, particularly in the UK resident market at a time when a lot of people are changing their adviser,’ she says.

‘RBC is looking to the UK as its third key market after Canada and the US. We have already expanded our investments team to 60 and we are looking to build a London-based team of private bankers from 40 to 100 by 2015. Our doors are open, we have the capacity, and we are looking to build that out in London.’

The firm offers a wide range of private banking services targeted at high net worth and ultra-high net worth individuals, from investment advisory, discretionary asset management, tax planning, credit and trusts. Clients are free to pick and choose which of these services they use and are assigned a dedicated relationship manager with Maeter keen to stress the emphasis placed on personal service.

‘With high net worth and ultra-high net worth clients we offer a very high-touch service and we make sure that we understand their needs more broadly. The relationship manager acts as the central point of contact and partners with specialists throughout the bank,’ Maeter says.

‘Our business model allows us to be flexible based on clients’ needs. We don’t have to “sell” them banking, investment or tax services, we can provide them with what they actually want. Because we can offer everything under one roof we talk to clients, rather than just offering prefabricated solutions.

 

‘Our fee structure aligns our interests with the clients and we don’t price our discretionary or advisory services differently to push them into one or the other, which means the advice we give is based on client preferences rather than price.’

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2 comments so far. Why not have your say?

Dunney

Mar 01, 2012 at 12:39

Hmmm. Canada Life, Sun Life of Canada, and many other North American institutions come over to the UK with a big fanfare and grand ideas and end up deciding that they can't make enough money here and go back over there leaving annoyed clients and advisers. Stay in Canada.

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Benoit

Mar 03, 2012 at 11:05

Amusing puff piece but at odds with reality. A senior RBC person admitted to me that in the UK they would struggle to provide basic products and services such as mortgages and credit cards and that their product set does not have the range of features offered by the likes of Barclays and Coutts. I’ve also found their staff to be of a lower standard than those of its competitors. Which begs the question: if I’m a HNWI or UHNWI in the UK, why would I bank with RBC?

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