Royal Bank of Canada targets Asian wealth

Canadian bank in the market to take over some smaller asset managers to tap regional growth

PUBLISHED : Monday, 15 October, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 15 October, 2012, 2:53am

RBC Wealth Management, the world's sixth largest wealth manager by assets under management, is seeking small to medium-sized asset managers in Asia, and plans to more than double client manager numbers by 2015.

It is part of a global strategy launched in 2010 to make the wealth-management business a larger profit generator for the parent, Royal Bank of Canada. The Canadian lender hopes that profit from its wealth-management business will reach US$2 billion by 2015 from US$800 million in 2010, when it first drafted its strategy.

"A large part of that growth is underpinned by investments in emerging markets," Paul Patterson, head of global trust at RBC Wealth Management said, adding that the unit had worked to build platforms and foundations supporting those goals, and now it was ready to hire.

"It's only when you have the products and platforms to service clients, can you be able to recruit," Patterson said.

RBC Wealth Management has about 4,300 staff globally, with 250 in Asia, including 65 client managers. It wants to increase the number of client managers in Asia by 2.5 times by 2015. This is to underpin its goal of increasing assets under management in Asia to US$25 billion by the end of 2015 from US$11 billion at end of last year.

Simon Ng, managing director of both Royal Bank of Canada Trust (Asia) and RBC Investment Management, said that some important qualities he was seeking during recruitment included hands-on experience, financial know-how and a deep understanding of the culture in the region.

Also, he said Putonghua was a highly desired quality for client managers in Hong Kong because the business was targeting wealthy mainlanders.

Client managers generally were expected to bring in or develop between US$100 million and US$250 million of assets under management in three years.

The bank also is seeking small to medium-sized asset management companies to acquire in Asia. In 2010, the lender bought fixed-income fund manager BlueBay Asset Management and Fortis' Hong Kong wealth management business, boosting its offerings to clients.