Ranking 11th in Global I-Banking Fees, RBC Capital Continues To Expand U.S. Industry Groups

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Automotives, aerospace, insurance, transportation...and now, leveraged finance. This is the newest area where the corporate and investment banking arm of Canadian banking giant RBC wants to build a bigger U.S. presence.

During the first two quarters of this year, the bank earned $805-million in investment bank fees, Thomson Reuters said, 32 percent increase from the year-earlier period. J.P Morgan topped the list with $3.4 billion in investment bank fees for the period, followed by Morgan Stanley with $2.7 billion and Goldman Sachs with $2.5 billion.

J.P Morgan was the leader in investment banking fees generated globally over the first and second quarters of this year, according to Thomson Reuters. Among Canadian firms, Canada's Bank of Montreal was also shining bright with a 53 percent gain in fees earned that took BMO's investment bank fee revenue to $382-million for the same six-month period ended June 30, 2011, taking BMO to number 21 on the list.

Canadian giant RBC performed like gangbusters on a worldwide basis, coming in at number 11, and apparently sees no reason to stop there.

Most, recently, RBC's capital markets unit announced it had hired former Citigroup executive Judith Fishlow Minter as co-head of its U.S. Loan Capital Markets Investment Banking group.

Since January of last year, RBC Capital Markets' U.S. I-banking group has added over 145 professionals as expanded or added industry-focused investment banking groups, pushing its U.S. banker headcount to over 350.

"Private equity firms are on the hunt using borrowed money and investors have been more than willing to finance them," Canada's Globe and Mail reported, commenting on the latest addition to RBC's lending team. "In that environment, Royal Bank of Canada looking to grab more fees from that business by adding to its ability.

Fishlow spent the majority of her career at Citigroup, where she served as head of Loan Syndicate North America and was responsible for all loan syndications including high yield, high grade, project finance, LATAM, and asset-based finance.

Most recently, Fishlow Minter was a managing partner at New York investment bank North Sea Partners. She is based in New York and reports to Blair Fleming, RBC's head of U.S. Investment Banking.

The I-Banking division now consists of over 370 professionals covering industries including as aerospace & defense, government services; automotive; communications, media & entertainment, consumer & retail; energy; financial institutions; industrials & diversified services; infrastructure; healthcare; power & utilities, real estate. technology; and transportation.

RBC was described along with Citibank and Standard Chartered Bank as among those financial institutions most likely to hire in 2011. One financial news source characterized RBC as a firm that had "emerged as a dark horse" over the past year and a half or so, having quietly increasing headcount during 2010, continuing to do so this year, ultimately pulling in staff from competitors "who, just a couple of years ago, wouldn't have considered signing up."

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