I recently travelled to the United Kingdom to visit the London offices of RBC Global Asset Management and BlueBay Asset Management. I spent one day in each office, meeting fund managers, attending boardroom presentations, and touring their respective trading floors. RBC’s presence in London has grown from a small outpost to a bustling centre of hundreds of people in only a few years.
Because the attending group comprised only eighteen advisors, I was afforded plenty of time to question of the various personages appearing, notably Dan Chornous, Chief Investment Officer of RBC GAM and Erich Gerth, Chief Executive Officer of BlueBay AM. They remain positive about global developments in stock and bond markets. Dagmara Fijalkowski, Head of Global Fixed Income & Currencies, is in charge of almost $100 billion in fixed income assets. Her presentation, and her track record, made a strong case for active global bond management. Over dinner, I spoke with Pierre-Henri de Monts de Savasse, Senior Portfolio Manager of BlueBay Global Convertible Bond Fund, who fairly addressed my questions about recent performance. In all, seventeen executives presented on fixed income and equity investments, each adding their own perspective to the next few years in the markets.
Walking through the banks of computers with researchers and traders hard at work brought to mind the discipline involved in fund management. The behind-the-scenes work is often unremarked when taking an investment in a strongly performing fund.
The conference amplified my confidence in our RBC GAM and BlueBay investments.
My fellow attendees were advisors drawn from across Canada. Talking with them about how they grew their businesses and structure their investment processes confirmed that we are on the right path.
Rita made the same trip last year. She found it equally instructive. Your team at RBC DS is always studying, researching, and expanding our field of knowledge to serve you better.
Being an advisor as DS means mastering both Investment Management – the emphasis of my London visit – and Wealth Management, an expansive topic requiring just as much focus. Upon my return to Canada I set off for Montreal and a four-day training conference on Wealth Management atop Place Ville Marie, our downtown office.
Our small group of twenty-one Associates, gathered from Vancouver to Halifax, attended presentations, practiced public speaking, joined in role-playing client conversations, and worked through case problems in breakout sessions. Discussing work experience with my colleagues from diverse roles was a memorable part of the week.
The program covered internal operations as well as WM strategies that benefit our clients directly. We recapped our knowledge of RBC’s software packages, progress tracking, head office support personnel, and business development practices. We revisited retirement and tax planning, insurance and estate planning, charitable giving, and educating in financial literacy, all key areas of WM of vital benefit to our clients. While a large part of the syllabus involved reiterating already acquired knowledge, I was pleased that new and current material was addressed in depth. In all, it was a valuable experience.
This is clear: I will never run out of ideas to blog about.
Our training at RBC DS is an ongoing and never-ending progression. Processes change, rules change, new products and strategies are devised, markets fluctuate, client needs evolve: the world changes, and we learn to adapt and keep up.