RBC Said in Talks to Hire Oplinger to Run U.S. Junk Bond Sales

Royal Bank of Canada, the country’s largest lender by assets, is in talks to hire Steve Oplinger, the former co-head of U.S. high-yield sales for Credit Suisse Group AG, according to three people familiar with the matter.

Oplinger would start in April running U.S. high-yield sales and trading, said one of the people, who asked not to be identified because the discussions aren’t public. A contract may be signed as soon as next week.

Reached on his mobile phone, Oplinger declined to comment, as did Elisa Barsotti, an RBC spokeswoman in New York.

RBC is expanding its credit brokerage in the U.S., rising to the 11th most-active underwriter this year of dollar-denominated junk bonds from 17th place in 2007, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Sales of high-yield, high-risk, or junk, bonds rated below Baa3 by Moody’s Investors Service and lower than BBB- at Standard & Poor’s, reached a record $358.9 billion in 2012.

A managing director at Credit Suisse, Oplinger departed Switzerland’s second-biggest bank in January amid a disagreement over his group’s compensation, two people briefed on the matter said at the time. He earlier worked at Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette Securities Corp., according to records with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. That firm was acquired by Credit Suisse in 2000.