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RBC opens financial advisory office in Brazil

São Paulo, Brazil, January 12, 2009 — Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), the largest financial institution in Canada, today announced the opening of a new investment advisory business in Brazil. The firm's new headquarters in São Paulo's premium financial district of Itaim marks RBC's start in the domestic investment advisory services industry in Brazil, a country where it has had a presence since 1919.

The move complements RBC Wealth Management's strong presence across Latin America amid the firm's ongoing expansion in the region, which included the opening last year of new offices in Chile and Panama, and expansion of existing platforms in Mexico and Uruguay through the opening of new offices. The firm also has offices in Argentina and Venezuela.

"This marks a new era for RBC in Brazil," said Michael Moodie, head of Americas Region, RBC Wealth Management. "We continually look for opportunities to grow in select markets where our history and brand are strong and where we can meet the needs of our clients. In Brazil, our goal is to be perceived as one of the best advisory firms in the country."

Under the direction of José Lima, general manager, RBC Brasil DTVM, the new entity will allow RBC Wealth Management to provide investment advice through an open platform of third-party domestic securities — mutual funds, multi-market hedge funds, and equities — to high net-worth residents of Brazil, Latin America's largest economy. RBC advisors will work with local fund managers and advise clients on asset allocation of domestic financial instruments. In the future, the business may also offer international clients access to domestic financial products and services. A native of Brazil, Lima joined RBC in 2001 and most recently served as general manager for RBC Wealth Management's Latin American sales offices.

"This enhancement will be of great benefit for our clients and offers RBC a terrific market opportunity," Lima said. "The long-term outlook for Brazil's economic growth is very positive. Its economy is the region's largest, its funds industry is very developed with hundreds of billions of dollars in assets, and it has a sophisticated financial system and a stock exchange as large as the Toronto Stock Exchange."

Initially, close to a dozen financial advisors will be assisting clients in RBC's São Paulo and Porto Alegre offices, with plans to hire additional advisors as the year progresses.

"Despite the current market environment, we are actively seeking to expand our global footprint and points of distribution in key areas outside of North America in geographies that complement our strengths," said Michael Lagopoulos, international head of RBC Wealth Management. "RBC is a strong and stable bank. Our consistent financial strength and discipline in managing risk should provide our clients around the world with confidence."

RBC is the fifth largest financial institution in North America and 12th largest in the world by market capitalization, and was named last year by Euromoney as one of the top 10 wealth management firms in Latin America. Canada is rated by the World Economic Forum as having the world's soundest banking system. In fiscal year 2008, RBC generated over US$4.4 billion of earnings.

About RBC Wealth Management
RBC Wealth Management directly serves affluent and high net worth clients in Canada, the United States, Latin America, Europe and Asia with a full suite of investment, trust and other wealth management solutions. The business also provides asset management products and services directly and through RBC and third-party distributors to institutional and individual clients, and has nearly C$500 billion of assets under administration, more than C$220 billion of assets under management and more than 4,000 financial consultants, advisors, private bankers and trust officers.

About RBC
Royal Bank of Canada (RY on TSX and NYSE) and its subsidiaries operate under the master brand name RBC. We are Canada's largest bank as measured by assets and market capitalization, one of North America's leading diversified financial services companies and among the largest banks in the world, as measured by market capitalization. We provide personal and commercial banking, wealth management services, insurance, corporate and investment banking and transaction processing services on a global basis. We employ more than 80,000 full- and part-time employees who serve more than 17 million personal, business, public sector and institutional clients through offices in Canada, the U.S. and 48 other countries. For more information, please visit www.rbc.com.

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Media contacts:

Outside Brazil
Kevin Foster,
RBC, (212) 428-6902, kevin.foster@rbc.com
Stephanie Lu,
RBC, (416) 974-5506, stephanie.lu@rbc.com

In Brazil
Dora Lopes,
CDN Communications, 55 (11) 3643-2793, dora.lopes@cdn.com.br


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01/12/2009 10:01:54