Looking back: Staff perspective

RBC Wealth Management has existed in the Cayman Islands for an unbelievable 40 years. In that time it has expanded from a handful of staff members to over 100. Indeed, in only the last 15 years the growth has been extraordinary.

It all began on the waterfront in George Town, and then the business moved to Cardinal Avenue where it remained for many years. Over time, however, the building simply could not contain the number of offices and staff required, and so a new structure dedicated to all the sections of RBC was commissioned and built on Shedden Road in 2001. This impressive, hurricane-rated edifice now has all departments under one roof, and is considered the hub for RBC in the Caribbean.

Technology

Things have changed a lot at RBC Wealth Management over the years. Of course the department has grown in size, but the technology has advanced significantly as well.

“Not long before I joined the company workers had little access to the Internet,” recalls Sheena Thompson, Caribbean regional head of operational risk, who has been with RBC Wealth Management for 15 years.

“The improvements in technology and communication have allowed us to collaborate more with overseas colleagues through video conferencing and WebEx.”

“It has also been a huge advantage when it comes to training,” says Marcus Stafford, senior wealth manager. He too has been with the company since 1997.

“Online training has sped up the learning process significantly for our staff members.”

RBC Wealth Management has become a market leader since it was first incorporated in 1972. As the local office grew, so their offices elsewhere remained static as it was decided that the Cayman Islands would become the central location for RBC. Brian Taylor, director of trust services, has worked for RBC Wealth Management for 27 years, the last 10 of them here in Grand Cayman from Bermuda.

“We have not reduced the size of other locations, but we did make the decision to close our office in Bermuda in 2002, transferring and consolidating the business to the Cayman Islands,” he says.

“RBC Wealth Management has essentially committed itself to long-term investment in the Cayman Islands proven by its increased presence here over all its other offices.”

Efficient, professional

Ms Thompson, Mr. Stafford and Mr. Taylor have all seen improvements over their years of service. The RBC operations team is efficient, professional and with the added advancements in systems, able to get processing completed faster than ever. The managers and their staff have also had hands-on experience with various acquisitions and consolidations which has made the job very exciting for professionals in their field.

“To be able to participate in such transactions is excellent exposure for anyone in our line of work,” says Mr. Stafford.

“It is exactly what you want to see on a resume, and creates future job and career advancement opportunities that simply wouldn’t be as easily available to people in similar positions elsewhere.”

Adds Thompson, “Our services run the gamut from captive insurance financial services to investment management and fund administration, and of the 14 original staff members we employed in 1997, seven of them still work for the company. We are committed to the Cayman Islands and are definitely looking forward to future expansion.”

“My personal memories are of a small team of energetic professionals working very hard to generate new business and provide service excellence with the long term view of becoming market leaders in the industries we were working in,” states Mr. Stafford.

“Today I am proud to tell you that our strategy was well founded with RBC Wealth Management winning many industry awards and being seen by both our peers and our clients as the service provider of choice for integrated financial solutions.”