RBC Dominion Securities has long focused on some out-of-the-way bond markets in Europe, making a name for itself dealing bonds denominated in Polish zloty or Norwegian kroner, but avoiding going head-to-head with global giants in the biggest bond markets.
Now, however, the firm is making an impression on a wider stage and that may presage an even bigger presence in global credit markets as other rivals retrench.
Based on responses from 479 money managers and others in the debt market, RBC was just named Best Overall Credit House in Credit Magazine's European Credit Awards 2009, with JP Morgan coming second. RBC also took the title for Best Bank for Sterling Bonds, Best Bank for Non-Core Currency Bonds and Best Bank for Electronic Trading.
"It tells us that we're really moving in the right direction," RBC Dominion co-chief executive Mark Standish said. "It really gives us added confidence in expanding operations where we can broaden our exposure and broaden those relationships."
"Historically we've been a niche-focused player," Mr. Standish said. "That really speaks to the discipline of the business. We've not wanted to be all things to all people and we've not tried to do that."
However, that was beginning to change, and the credit crisis has cleared out some competition and opened the way for RBC to move into the bigger markets of euro and U.S.-dollar bonds.
"It's a progression, and the thing the crisis has allowed us to do is really prove to clients that we can do it," he said. "There's nothing like being there for them in their time of need to get that message across."