MARK Preston, one of the City’s most influential rainmakers, is joining RBC Capital Markets – Royal Bank of Canada’s investment banking arm – as head of the UK advisory business.
RBC is this morning poised to confirm the appointment of Preston, whose illustrious CV features stints at both JP Morgan Cazenove, Merrill Lynch and Deutsche Bank, where he spent 18 years of his 25-year career. At Caz, which he joined in 2006, Preston was a member of the executive committee and a managing director.
He is best known for his work on the two biggest ports company takeovers the UK has ever seen, having advised Dubai’s DP World on its £3.4bn acquisition of P&O and Associated British Ports on its £2.8bn sale in 2006.
The move comes as part of a concerted effort on the part of RBC to enter the top tier of the European M&A advisory market in the UK.
The bank currently employs over 1,400 people in London, though most work in the wealth management division rather than at the capital markets arm. RBC has recently advised on a number of large deals such as Resolution’s £2.75bn acquisition of Axa’s UK life insurance operations and the £2.1bn acquisition of the High Speed One rail link by the Ontario Teachers Pension Plan and Borealis.
It has been on an aggressive hiring drive in the City recently, snapping up a number of well-known individuals. Guy Mullin-Henderson joined last month from NM Rothschild to head up business support services coverage, a new sector for the bank, while Russell King also moved over to become a senior adviser in the metals and mining sector, having previously been a board member and chief strategy officer at Anglo American.