Bloomberg News

RBC Pushes to Double Wealthy-Client Assets in Emerging Markets

March 27, 2012

Royal Bank of Canada said it seeks to more than double the assets the firm’s emerging-markets offices manage for affluent clients in Asia, Latin America, Africa and the Middle East by the end of 2015.

Royal Bank manages about $20 billion for customers living in those markets through local offices and wants to expand that to $50 billion, Barend Janssens, head of wealth management in emerging markets for the Toronto-based lender, said today in an interview.

“It’s a very good starting point, but if you really want to be a player, you have to reach the $50 billion mark in emerging markets relatively quickly,” said Janssens, 52, who’s based in Singapore.

Royal Bank’s agreement last week to buy private banking assets in Latin America, the Caribbean and Africa from Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc (RBS)’s Coutts unit will help bring RBC closer to that goal, George Lewis, group head of wealth management, said in an interview. The Coutts deal will add $2 billion of client assets when it’s completed.

Expanding the smallest part of the lender’s wealth- management unit will stem mostly from “organic growth” instead of takeovers, Lewis said. The bank isn’t ruling out small to medium-sized acquisitions, he said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Doug Alexander in Toronto at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: David Scheer at; David Scanlan at

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