Royal Bank of Canada hired U.S. mortgage-bond trader Brad Scott from Bank of America Corp. as Canada’s second-largest lender bolsters its investment bank in the U.S., two people with knowledge of the move said.
Scott, 33, will be a managing director at Royal Bank’s RBC Capital Markets unit in New York and will head trading of some U.S. government-backed mortgage bonds, known as agency pass-through securities, according to the people, who asked not to be named because the information isn’t public. Scott, who had run such trading at Bank of America’s Merrill Lynch unit, declined to comment when reached by telephone.
While Wall Street’s biggest banks are paring their bond inventories to reduce risk and comply with higher capital requirements, RBC has been seeking to trade more debt such as mortgage securities and high-yield corporate notes in the U.S. The Toronto-based company also hired Ryan Craft and Ori Goldman from Bank of America earlier this year to work in mortgage sales, and is bringing in Evan Malik from BNP Paribas SA, which he joined in 2012 as head of U.S. mortgage and asset-backed debt sales, the people said.
The bank last year hired Joe Vaccaro from Amherst Securities Group LP to start trading U.S. home-loan bonds without government backing, and Hasnat Matin, an agency mortgage securities trader, joined RBC this month from Wells Fargo & Co., according to Financial Industry Regulatory Authority records. Scott will report to Christopher Belhumeur, RBC’s head of securitized-products trading, who the lender hired at the start of 2012, the regulatory records show.
Sanam Heidary, a spokeswoman for RBC Capital Markets, and Zia Ahmed, a spokesman for Charlotte, North Carolina-based Bank of America, declined to comment, as did Craft and Goldman. Malik didn’t return telephone and e-mail messages.
Royal Bank’s long-standing goal to be a Top 10 investment bank in the U.S. contrasts with a retrenchment in other areas of banking. The company sold its unprofitable U.S. lender, RBC Bank, to PNC Financial Services Group Inc. in March 2012, ending an unsuccessful decade-long foray into U.S. retail banking.
RBC boosted the staff of a U.S. corporate-bond sales and trading unit by 20 percent in less than a year, with hires including Neil Yaris, a former head of junk-bond trading and sales at Bank of America, as co-head of high-yield debt trading in September. He reports to former Credit Suisse Group AG banker Steve Oplinger, who RBC added earlier last year as head of U.S. high-yield and leveraged-loan sales and trading.
Bank of America reported last week that revenue in its fixed-income, currency and commodities sales and trading division decreased 15 percent last quarter to about $2.95 billion, excluding the impact of a $450 million writedown a year ago. Average trading-related assets fell to $437.1 billion from $504.3 billion a year earlier, according to a presentation.
Scott joined Bank of America in 2009 from Pacific Investment Management Co., according to Finra records. He’d previously worked for four years at Bear Stearns Cos. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. after its 2008 purchase of the investment bank, and earlier at Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc.