Friday, March 28, 2014

Canada, eh? Culture clash: RBC Nice and The Alternative

Interesting snippet from the latest Micheal Lewis book entitled Flash, in an article by Joanna Slater:

The small selection of pages from Mr. Lewis's book briefly made public by Amazon contained both praise and brickbats for Canada's largest bank. 

RBC is described as "stable and relatively virtuous" but somewhat clueless as it attempted to push into the big leagues in New York a little over a decade ago.

"It was as if the Canadians had summoned up the nerve to audition for the school play, then showed up in a carrot costume," Mr. Lewis writes.

The book portrays RBC's 2006 acquisition of Carlin Financial, a U.S. electronic trading firm, as a hasty decision that set off an internal culture clash. "The bank's run by these Canadian guys from Canada," the book quotes an anonymous former RBC director as saying. "They don't have the slightest idea of the ins and outs of Wall Street."

Unlike Carlin, RBC had a "no-asshole" rule in its hiring and instead looked for people who were "RBC nice," the book says. Carlin, by contrast, was headed by a man who walked around the trading floor brandishing a baseball bat.

You choose: Do you want “RBC Nice” or a baseball bat?

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