RBC Calgary Mass Exodus

I've been interviewing with the group but really concerned with the number of folks who have left recently, hearing that it's around 9-10 people over the course of last year and 5 people in recent months. Does anybody have any context around this?


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Comments (179)

  • Prospect in IB-M&A
May 11, 2021 - 7:29pm

How bad are things in calgary O&G right now? Would you opt for a banking role in calgary Vs say houston and curious as to what you reckon deal flow/exit ops/comp might look like going forward for some of the Calgary banks? Heard big 5/peters usually do well volume wise and BBs are a lot more sporadic? 

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  • Associate 1 in IB-M&A
May 11, 2021 - 10:22pm

Terrible culture, honestly that's the biggest concern. In this hot job market, people have to option to leave for a better group, make more money, and not get treated like an absolute dog. Why would you stay? Objectively RBC YYC is the top Canadian energy shop (or has been historically), but given the awful culture and general decline in O&G, I think smart juniors are taking better offers at different shops (where they get treated like a human being). The recent mass exodus is true, and it's not by coincidence. 

May 11, 2021 - 11:23pm

It happens to that bloody awful sweatshop every couple of years. 2 of my close buds worked there, so my take on the key issues below: 

  • Some of the most disrespectful seniors on the street (starting with group heads down to VPs and Directors)
  • Insane amount of politics even for an investment bank
  • Nepotism hires / office transfers
  • Pay consistently below other Big 5 (except for Scotia who shouldn't really be counted anyways)

Would avoid at all costs if you have any other reasonable offers. 

  • Associate 1 in IB - Cov
May 12, 2021 - 3:41am

Curious why Scotia isn't counted? Don't have a dog in the race but Scotia M&A in Toronto does pretty well I think? 

  • Associate 1 in IB-M&A
May 11, 2021 - 11:52pm

I'd say "give it a try and find out", but I couldn't live with the guilt

  • Incoming Analyst in IB - Cov
May 12, 2021 - 12:55pm

Difficult culture there for juniors to say the least, but good deal flow and good experience to be had. Heard BAML and Peters are also sweatshops, JPM has the best overall mix of culture and workflow, Barclays and JPM have good culture. 

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
May 12, 2021 - 5:32pm

LOL... So if folks on this forum are not exaggerating, I should stay the hell away from this team and clearly put in more time into my lower tier BB NYC P&U process. 

  • PM in HF - Other
May 12, 2021 - 6:19pm

Know some folks from back in the day, couple who worked at MFs or so. Exits were good cause work on headline deals but with todays industry not sure anyone sees those deals anymore. 
Also the US BBs do pay much better and everyone I know had a chance to look at other offices. But deal experience could vary.

  • Associate 1 in IB - Cov
May 13, 2021 - 1:24am

TD out of Big 5; BarCap and JPM out of BBs; boutiques / randoms have very little deal flow so hours and culture tend to be a lot better.

  • Analyst 2 in IB - Cov
May 29, 2021 - 2:40pm

The only boutiques worth a shot are:


Stifel (formerly FirstEnergy)

TPH (newest guys on the street)

All of the other boutiques are garbage: no expectation of deal exposure (nor A&D work) and pay is shit. 

From those Peters has the shittiest pay: base pay of $70k (~$130k total comp) ~2yrs ago for Analyst 1. Add on top of the reputation of having an asshole culture forcing analysts to come in on Sunday's and other stupid shit. 

  • Associate 1 in IB - Cov
May 13, 2021 - 11:58am

Pros: they had a very strong year and the deal flow continues to be decent, at least for now

Cons: inhumane hours, terrible leadership, extreme levels of disrespect by seniors, good people leaving left, right and center 

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
May 13, 2021 - 12:17pm

Perfect summary with a couple of additions:

Pros: a couple of senior bankers are ok

Cons: the ones that are NOT truly make your life a living hell

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
May 13, 2021 - 3:34pm

They also had two of their best MDs leave in last couple of years so their ratio of tolerable ones to psychopaths is at its worst. 

May 16, 2021 - 11:08am

Worked there several years ago and it's amazing to read all these comments and see that nothing has changed. It was a terrible place to work at but if you were lucky you got decent deal exposure.

Toxicity aside, my two biggest issues were:  1. lack of any coherent leadership or employee retention with us consistently losing best performers; 2. Bad advice to clients to make a quick buck. 

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
May 17, 2021 - 11:53am

Culture is still ok at the junior level to be fair. Seniors are a mixed bag - the ones that are bad are really bad. Comp is not great even if you perform well. 

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
May 18, 2021 - 11:27am

How problematic is the culture there? Can people share any specific examples? Isn't the current CEO of RBCCM from there? 

May 28, 2021 - 4:57pm

Gotta love banking, its like every other day I get learn about another bank or office with a horrendous culture. IB never fails to surprise me with how shitty it can be.

  • 4
  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
May 28, 2021 - 6:48pm

This particular one definitely deserves a place in Toxic Sweatshop Hall of Fame.  

  • VP in IB - Gen
May 28, 2021 - 5:50pm

CIBC P&U in Calgary is also awful.  There's one ED who juniors hate so much and turn over so much while blaming him directly that his promotion was tied to juniors under him not quitting for a minimum period of time.

  • VP in IB - Gen
May 30, 2021 - 3:36pm

For a secondary finance city, Calgary has a disproportionate amount of bad banking culture. 

yes and the weirdest thing is how the BBs have better culture than the big 5.  It's a black eye for rbc especially because in Toronto, it's generally known for having comparatively chill vibe.   The hours are the hours but not much toxicity. 

  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Jun 6, 2021 - 11:40am

Is that ED still at CIBC? Heard a very similar story about another Director who actually left the bank to head the same group at a different bank.

  • VP in IB - Gen
Jun 7, 2021 - 12:02am

just looked on LinkedIn, you're right.  guess he never got that MD promo after all, for good reason.  sounds like he legitimately has mental problems.

  • Associate 1 in IB - Cov
May 31, 2021 - 10:49am

East Coast RBC associate here. 

Calgary office is terrible but is by no means representative of RBC culture in Canada. Had a few good acquaintances there and they are all either gone or are looking to leave ASAP. They've been trying to poach people from any team they can and folks are openly shutting them down. Heard some disturbing stories of senior abuse there as well.  

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
May 31, 2021 - 12:42pm

Funniest thing about this thread is how universally despised this group is. Typically you'd see at least some keyboard warriors jump on here and defend the mothership but alas.  

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
May 31, 2021 - 1:13pm

Have heard that a staffer will walk the floor on Friday to assess your weekend workload. If it is deemed to be light, you will proceed to receive additional work.

  • Partner in PE - LBOs
Jun 1, 2021 - 2:39pm

I'm genuinely surprised it took this long for that office to get bashed on here. The truth was bound to come out sooner or later. 

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
Jun 2, 2021 - 10:35am

How would exits compare between the Big 5 in YYC? Specifically curious on TD, RBC and BMO

  • Associate 1 in IB - Cov
Jun 4, 2021 - 2:18pm

Adding another posts for the sake of adding another post just to get this baby to a 100! Drinks all around!!!

  • Associate 2 in IB - Cov
Jun 6, 2021 - 4:29pm

NYC RBC associate here. Seniors are some of the worst people I've ever crossed paths with. 

I wish they would not transfer these geniuses into other groups though. One of my close friends in the bank works in PU&I and one of Calgary people joined them last year - she's universally despised and makes juniors' lives hell. 

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
Jul 20, 2021 - 11:52am

Triple LOL. I hope she's reading that - she was so hated in Calgary, people high-fived when she left and celebrated her leave with shots.  

  • Associate 1 in IB - Cov
Jun 10, 2021 - 1:06am

I love this place. 120 posts on this thread alone saying how terrible Calgary office is but that don't stop no eager beavers from keeping on! 

  • VP in IB - Gen
Jun 11, 2021 - 2:53pm

it's still better than unemployment.  you work there 6 months and can leave.

  • Associate 1 in IB - Cov
Jun 11, 2021 - 2:59pm

Seems like their deal flow is drying up too. Missed every one of the big transactions except for Enbridge in recent months. 

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
Jun 15, 2021 - 5:09pm

Enlighten me where were they on BIP / PPL - IPL or TOU - BS? There were about 8 banks that got paid there and none of them were RBC.

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
Jun 23, 2021 - 11:33am

What are RBC's strongest and best culture groups in Canada? 

  • Incoming Analyst in IB - Cov
Jul 20, 2021 - 12:36am

Heard awful things from multiple people, each with some crazy stories about this place. Culture seems bad top to bottom with a couple exceptions, people dating their subordinates, bad HR, awful work hours and expectations. Corporate Calgary seems so friendly otherwise, not sure why RBC is such a garbage dump.

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
Jul 20, 2021 - 11:45am

All those stories are true too btw and the worst ones don't get told because people don't want to out themselves. One of my bros there got stabbed in the back by head of the office so badly it's actually comical. Guy is one of the worst human beings I've ever encountered. 

  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Jul 21, 2021 - 1:37pm

What would you guys say are some of the better banks to look at in calgary? With o&g deals drying up, which banks/groups in calgary do you guys reckon have had traction and would be successful in transitioning towards energy infra, energy transition, renewables type mandates?

Aug 19, 2021 - 12:20pm

Should be a new job posting at RBC soon lol.  Heard that another analyst left after just 3 weeks on the job cause it is a complete sweatshop. Heard he was treated like shit and he was told the bank owned him 24/7.  I think this makes 9 or 10 juniors who left in the last year.  Seriously WTF.  Gotta wonder when someone in charge there is going to step up and make some serious changes? They can't afford to lose any more hires.  It's such a bad look. No other shop in Calgary has this much turnover or bad press.  The hype is real boys

Aug 25, 2021 - 11:37pm

Leaving after 3 weeks shows exactly how bad this place is.  A buddy of mine knows the guy who recently left and says he's solid. Sounds like he had a particularly brutal experience with the group.  Doubt that any of the stories in this thread are exaggerated, as I've heard remarkably similar versions over the past few years.  The culture is really just that fucking bad.  Verbal abuse by seniors, juniors working sweatshop hours and having to be available at all times of the day and night, nepotism, women treated badly etc.  the list is endless. Being owned 24/7 by the bank is going to be a disaster every single time for the juniors.  At this point, given the turnover in the last year, someone needs to take the lead at the senior level.  If the bank wants juniors who are productive and who stay on for longer terms, the bank also needs to allow them to have regular protected downtime without always worrying about getting an email or being called back to work. I know that many banks are moving towards this approach of promoting work life balance because it actually fucking works. It's not rocket science, people do better work when they are happy.  If so many people have left this office this year, the seniors need to own the fact that they are not doing something right and just do better.

Aug 30, 2021 - 5:52am

When  juniors decide that they want to leave, it is usually due to the bank's shitty culture rather than due a lack of motivation or work ethic.  What contributes to a "bad" workplace culture?  It's not just working ridiculously long hours with tyrannical seniors.  Funnily enough, a lot of it has to do with what the bank takes away from juniors.  In my experience, there are three main things that cause a junior to consider lateraling to find "a better fit": 1. If juniors find that their physical and/or mental health is deteriorating, 2. if juniors  aren't able to form or to maintain relationships with partners, friends, and family due to the long hours and the inability to make plans, and 3. if juniors are no longer able to engage in activities that they truly enjoy (golfing, going to the lake, fishing, etc) on a regular basis because they have no downtime. Seniors need to recognize that prioritizing work-life balance will seriously increase satisfaction, productivity, and retention among juniors.  Just because "this is the way that things have always have been done" doesn't mean that it's working. If the banks wants to stop the mass exodus, they need to start making some changes ASAP.

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
Aug 30, 2021 - 12:51pm

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  • Associate 1 in IB - Cov
Aug 31, 2021 - 9:26am

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  • Analyst 1 in IB - CB
Oct 16, 2021 - 10:58am

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  • Associate 1 in IB - Cov
Sep 21, 2021 - 5:13pm

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