Jeremy Albrecht (RBC ITS): Attracting and retaining employees is the most critical issue
Amid the challenges of digitalisation and the sustainability transition, size matters in the asset servicing industry, according to Jeremy Albrecht, global head of Client Coverage at RBC Investor & Treasury Services, as the organisation prepares to combine with Caceis.
How has the RBC I&TS business evolved over the past two years?
As in other organisations, the Covid-19 pandemic represented an involuntary stress test of our operating model, but it was not found wanting. From one day to the next we sent thousands of employees to work from home without any disruption to our services, and accelerated our digitalisation projects to facilitate the transformation of our working methods. As a result, during the past two years we developed significantly our Private Capital Services franchise, which encompasses private equity, real estate, infrastructure and private debt. In Luxembourg we developed our operating model to provide better client service and equip ourselves for future growth. We developed data dashboards offering clients easy access to key information and better oversight of outsourced functions. Internally, our new ways of working help us retain our talented staff, whose quality is among our biggest strengths.
“We are competing for the best talent with the right skill sets”
What transformation are you seeing in your industry, and how are you adapting?
Attracting and retaining employees is the most critical issue. We are competing for the best talent with the right skill sets – it’s vital to retain our best people, and make sure our employees have opportunities for promotion and career development. At the same time, the digitalisation process goes on to enhance our service offering. Currently the asset servicing industry is undergoing consolidation – asset servicing is a scale business in which size matters – and Caceis has reached agreement to acquire RBC Investor Services business in Europe.
Which risks and opportunities exist in the medium term for RBC I&TS and Luxembourg?
The greatest bottleneck, as I have noted, is the availability of recruits for a growing industry. But a major opportunity exists in Luxembourg’s status as Europe’s preferred jurisdiction for private assets thanks to its structuring toolbox and wide-ranging funds ecosystem. There’s also increasing retailisation of private funds, playing to our strengths in private capital and shareholder services. This is happening at a time when clients seek to focus on their core capability of managing assets – anything else is a distraction to be outsourced. We also remain focused on improving the client experience for both investors and asset managers, while the sustainability transition opens up a range of opportunities to provide new services to our clients.