In discussing its Advisor Services custody initiative, management at RBC likes to focus on the Canada-upper Midwest corporate cultural fit that eased the acquisition by Royal Bank of Canada of Dain Rauscher in 2000. It stresses, too, the service culture fit between Minneapolis and New York that helped prompt the JP Morgan/Bear Stearns RIA service team headed by Leonard Palmer to buy into the mid-June acquisition by RBC of the JP Morgan IAS custody business.
There’s another aspect to RBC’s culture that hits any visitor to its Minneapolis headquarters: the artwork that graces the entire building, starting with the lobby and reaching a peak on the 15th floor which, ironically, is also the RBC trading floor. Unlike some other large financial services firms, where the good stuff is confined to the executive floor, the mostly modern and American art in its headquarters, exhibiting both serious and playful takes in sculpture, painting, and photography, is liberally scattered throughout the building for the enjoyment of all. Moreover, the art doesn’t stay fixed in Minneapolis; RBC’s full-time art curator explains that much of the collection is on the road for long stretches of the year, allowing employees and clients of RBC’s 240 branches throughout the U.S. to experience the art in their own communities. It’s a smart business move, of course, but it hints at what is clearly another important part of the RBC culture.