RBC wealth focuses on adviser growth, not acquisitions

Mon Apr 28, 2014 3:50pm EDT
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By Andrea Hopkins

TORONTO, April 28 (Reuters) - Royal Bank of Canada's wealth management division has firm targets for growth, aiming to add both advisers and assets every year, but Canada's biggest player in the high net worth arena is not looking at acquisitions as a source of growth.

"In Canada, we have leading market share and we are not looking at any major acquisitions," David Agnew, chief executive at RBC Wealth Management Canada, told reporters on Monday.

"However, our strategy since 2005 has been looking for high-quality investment professionals who are looking for a firm to provide the best experience for their clients. So that has been our acquisition strategy -- one by one, high quality people."

RBC said it has 19 percent of the market share in Canada's coveted high net worth segment, which serves clients who have more than C$1 million in investible assets, primarily in its RBC Dominion Securities full-service brokerage and RBC PH&N Investment Counsel units.

Wealth management at Canada's biggest bank brought in C$1.5 billion ($1.36 billion) in revenue and C$235 million in profit in the first quarter of 2014, about 11 percent of the bank's profit. The wealth management unit has C$412 billion in assets under management.

Agnew was quick to list targeted headcount growth for each service, including adding 25 net new advisers every year at RBC Dominion Securities, which has 1,576 advisers.

The bank also wants to boost the number of advisers at PH&N from 62 to 80 - and ideally 100 - over the next five years, and add two to five private bankers every year to international private banking.

The bank has increased the number of advisers at RBC Wealth Management Services - a separate team of wealth and insurance specialists - to 206 from 185 last year, and Agnew said RBC is continuing to invest in that area.   Continued...