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RBC Wealth Management Wants To Amplify Brand, Sustain Momentum

Tom Burroughes, Group Editor , 3 July 2020

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After a run of double-digit growth at the wealth management group in Asia, its head is in no mood for complacency and talked to this news service about enhancing its brand to take business to the next level.

RBC Wealth Management in Asia intends to continue using its sophisticated client acquisition approach to notch up the kind of double-digit percentage growth reported in its latest financial year, it told this news service recently. 

The Canada-based firm, led in Asia by Terence Chow, has operated in the region for over 50 years, focusing on more complex client needs. It is a good story to tell.

“We had double-digit growth and we intend to sustain that over the next few years,” Chow said in a call. “We also want to continue amplifying the brand and the brand recognition. In the past, we were perhaps a bit under the radar and amplifying our story is something that we are now doing.”

RBC Wealth Management already wields plenty of muscle globally. It has C$1.11 trillion ($816 billion) of assets under administration, and almost C$793 billion of assets under management. This puts it comfortably within the top five largest wealth managers in the world. In Asia, Royal Bank of Canada employs around 2,000 people across wealth management, in global asset management, capital markets and investor and treasury services. It has around 360 RBC Wealth Management employees in Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia.

The firm continues to hire bankers in the region; recruits must live up to the values that RBC holds dear, Chow said. In the first half of the year the firm has added a number of new relationship managers to its private banking teams in Hong Kong and Singapore, as well as two senior wealth planning figures to cover the region. Alvin Chiam joined RBC’s Singapore team as a wealth planner, and Belle (Jing) Hu joined as associate director, business development based in Beijing. Both report to Vivian Kiang – head, wealth planning and trust administration. 

Chow spoke to this publication a few months after his appointment was announced and took on the role from 1 November 2019, a few months before global markets were slammed by the pandemic. He filled the Asia head slot left by Peter Corry, who retired after a 22-year stint. (Durability in the job is something of an RBC hallmark.)

Chow, who is based in Hong Kong, re-joined RBC 15 years ago and has had a number of senior roles in the organisation, primarily focused on strategy, execution, planning and operations for the wealth management business and RBC Capital Markets in Toronto and New York. Since February 2019, Chow had been chief operating officer, RBC Wealth Management – Asia. Another change announced last year involved Mike Reed, CEO, RBC Singapore Branch. He now leads RBC Wealth Management’s Singapore office and the Southeast Asia private banking team, reporting to Chow.
 

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