Dexia and RBC merge institutional investor services businesses

Source: Dexia and Royal Bank of Canada

Dexia and Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) today announced they have reached an agreement to combine their institutional investor services businesses in an equally owned joint venture to be named RBC Dexia Investor Services (RBC Dexia IS), pending regulatory and other approvals.

The new company, with approximately US$1.8 trillion in client assets under custody (representing combined parent AUC), will rank among the world's top 10 global custodians and will offer a complete range of investor services to institutions around the world.

Under the terms of the joint venture agreement, RBC and Dexia, through its wholly owned subsidiary Dexia Banque Internationale à Luxembourg (Dexia BIL), will each own an equal share of the new company, resulting in net tangible equity of EUR500 million. RBC Dexia IS, a holding company that will be headquartered in London, U.K., will provide strategic direction and management oversight to the operating companies.

Marc Hoffmann, CEO of Dexia BIL and member of the Dexia Executive Board, will be Chairman of RBC Dexia IS. The CEO of the new company will be José Placido, currently Executive Vice-President of RBC Global Services, who is responsible for institutional investor services. Operations will be conducted mainly by RBC Dexia Investor Services Bank in Luxembourg and RBC Dexia Investor Services Trust in Canada and their respective subsidiaries and branches around the world.

RBC Dexia IS will benefit from the reputation of its parent companies, both respected financial services enterprises with strong credit ratings (Moody's Aa2 senior debt for both organizations). RBC is a leading financial services provider in Canada and sixth-largest bank in North America, as measured by total assets, and Dexia is one of the largest financial institutions in the euro zone, as measured by market capitalization.

"RBC Dexia IS clients will benefit from the size, product breadth and high touch client service of two well-respected and well-financed global banks," Hoffmann said.

The combination of a leading global custodian known for best-in-class client service with a leading European player in global custody, fund administration and transfer agency services creates a unique proposition for sophisticated institutional investors worldwide.

"We are excited by what RBC Dexia IS can provide for our current and future clients," Placido added. "We will focus on achieving long-term growth by providing institutional investors with an integrated proposition of global custody, fund and pension administration, transfer agency and related services. Our local presence on four continents will provide the scale and expertise to meet the needs of global asset managers."

The transaction is expected to close by early 2006. The new structure will have 3,500 employees and operations in 15 countries. "During the transition period, we will maintain consistent, uninterrupted service to our clients," Placido said.

"RBC Dexia IS is expected to continue producing growth and value for both parent companies by using greater scale to attract new business, improve operational efficiency and generate synergies resulting from cross-selling," Hoffmann said.

"Both RBC and Dexia are committed to this business and look forward to seeing RBC Dexia IS succeed as a strong global competitor," said Gordon M. Nixon, President and CEO of RBC Financial Group. "We believe this joint venture is the best way for us to ensure that we can continue to grow to meet the complex needs of our clients effectively."

"We have been very supportive since the idea originated," said Pierre Richard, President and CEO of Dexia Group. "We consider the strong commitment of both parent groups to institutional investor services as an essential condition for RBC Dexia Investors Services' long term growth."

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