RBC Capital Markets Corp., a subsidiary of Royal Bank of Canada, is an investment bank that provides products and services to institutions, corporations, governments and high-net-worth clients. The company provides personal investing services, including mutual funds, bonds, annuities, portfolio planning and investment advice. It also offers institutional investing services such as asset securitization, public finance and fixed-income trading and equity capital-markets services. The Minneapolis-based company provides services to 160 countries and has 75 offices in 15 countries. It drives about one-third of Royal Bank of Canada's profit. It's best known for serving the middle market, but it has been targeting larger clients.
RBC Capital Markets was named the best investment bank in Canada by Euromoney in 2008, and the U.S. midmarket investment bank of the year by Investment Dealers’ Digest in 2008. With about 2,000 employees in the U.S., the bank is a relatively new player in the States after its 2001 acquisition of investment bank Dain Rauscher. The firm recently became one of 17 Federal Reserve primary dealers, able to underwrite U.S. Treasury auctions and serve as the Fed's counterparties in its open market operations.
The U.S. capital-markets business plans to expand its balance sheet by 50% by mid-2011. It seeks to take advantage of Wall Street's turmoil to buy bank assets cheaply and recruit from competitors. It recently named a new head of U.S. investment banking, Blair Fleming, who had led its syndicated and leveraged-finance operations. The capital markets arm added 300 staffers in 2009 and recently hired 15 senior bankers in leveraged finance and in newly created transportation and restructuring groups. In 2009, RBC Capital Markets acquired Commission Direct Inc., one of Canada's largest independent providers of independent commission-compensated investment services for Canadian institutional investors.