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RBC Wealth buying Coutts regional assets

Published:Friday | March 30, 2012 | 12:00 AM

RBC Wealth Management is acquiring the private banking business of Coutts in markets spanning the Caribbean, Latin American and African, in a deal to close within the quarter ending June.

Coutts, the wealth division of Royal Bank of Scotland Group, has client assets in excess of US$2 billion. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

"This business represents an excellent opportunity to increase our market share with high net worth and ultra-high net worth clients in key high-growth markets while delivering very attractive returns," said George Lewis, group head, RBC Wealth Management, a subsidiary of Royal Bank of Canada.

"As the sixth-largest wealth manager in the world, we can offer these clients the very high level of personal service and global capabilities that they expect from a top-tier international firm," said Lewis in the statement announcing the transaction.

The business also includes staff operating primarily out of Geneva, Switzerland and a team in the Cayman Islands.

"Our Geneva-based business has built a reputation for serving the often complex needs of emerging market clients," said Karen Simpson, general manager and head of private banking, Royal Bank of Canada Suisse SA.

RBC Wealth Management has more than C$534 billion of assets under administration, more than C$313 billion of assets under management and approximately 4,300 financial consultants, advisers, private bankers and trust officers.

Royal Bank of Canada already derives 10 per cent of its wealth management business from emerging markets.