RBC on hiring spree for eastern Europe and Middle East bankers

RBC WEALTH MANAGEMENT, the high net worth specialist, is looking to hire 10 bankers to cover eastern Europe and the Middle East by the end of the year.

In his new role as head of private client wealth management for the British Isles, former UBS veteran Philip Harris is embarking on an aggressive recruitment spree. Harris wants to bring in five people apiece for eastern Europe and the Middle East, with one “rainmaker” at the head of each team, as well as extra staff for the UK.

“I’m trying to recruit people who have existing books and an existing run rate,” Harris said. “To be a successful banker in high net worth you need to be turning over at least £1m in revenue per annum.”

RBC, which manages C$240bn (£146.9bn) globally, has been pushing its London-headquartered wealth management arm. The Canadian bank has hired 1,100 people around the world in the past 12 months and believes there is an opportunity to steal market share from rivals in the aftermath of the financial crisis.

“The industry has not served itself brilliantly [in the downturn],” Harris said. “The challenge for the industry generally is client confidence.”