Royal Bank of Canada may spend up to C$2 billion to buy an asset management business in the US as the country’s largest lender looks to increase client assets in its wealth management business BY 5-7% this year.

George Lewis, group head of wealth management, said: "We now have a large number of capabilities that we can market into the US market. We do have a good business there, a growing sales team, but if we’re able to find an acquisition in the asset management area that would be able to expand our distribution into the US, that would be of interest."

In the US Royal Bank is the 7th largest full-service wealth manager by advisors with 2,000 in 42 states.

The bank, which has the 6th largest wealth management unity in the world, has more than C$1 trillion assets under management.

"We have been expanding our wealth management business through acquisitions in recent years, including our acquisition of BlueBay. We are looking for opportunities to expand further and are open to negotiations," said Lewis.

In December 2010 RBC led a C$1.52 billion takeover of London-based BlueBay Asset Management. The purchase of BlueBay, a money manager, that specialises in fixed-income funds, added $40 billion in assets under management to Royal Bank’s business.

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Lewis added that the bank has significantly grown its relationship manager team in London, which has doubled in the last 3 years, with further growth planned, capitalising on London’s position as a hub attracting UHNWs and internationally-mobile wealthy individuals.