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The hottest M&A shop in the U.S. is a Canadian bank

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When the financial crisis hit, every bank in the world took some share of the punishment. Still, some came out smelling better than others. Unlike many U.S. banks, which were leveraged up to their eyeballs and forced to accept federal bailouts, Canadian banks didn’t have near the exposure of say a Bank of America or a Citigroup.

Ironically, the economic crisis actually provided opportunities for Canadian banks, particularly RBC, which has been rapidly expanding its investment bank in the U.S. The Financial Times took a comprehensive look at the bank’s recent success and growth plans.

Through three quarters, RBC’s investment bank has earned more than $850 million in fees in the U.S. alone, more than tripling its pre-recession output and its overall market share. That eclipses the fees RBC generated at home in Canada.

How’d they do it? Aggressive hiring, for one. The Canadian firm has brought on 19 managing directors within its investment bank during the first half of the year while losing only five, according to the report. At U.S. competitors, those numbers are likely flipped.

The other good news for job seekers is that, unlike some other banks, RBC isn’t a fan of poaching full M&A teams from competitors. Rather, they prefer to make individual hires in an effort to keep their culture intact.

And it’s not just hiring in the U.S. RBC has been equally active in Europe so far this year. It’s been hiring equity research and M&A professionals as well as selectively bringing on fixed income sales and trading execs.

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