How the Royal Bank of Canada is reaching new clients in key markets

While searching for innovative space solutions, RBC realized there was also a huge business opportunity in joining the WeWork community

Around the world, companies of all sizes find space to succeed at WeWork. Our Member Spotlight series shares their unique stories.

The challenge: increasing scale in key markets while maintaining meaningful client connections

The Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) is driven by one goal: helping clients thrive and communities prosper.

RBC prides themselves on being a forward-thinking organization, experimenting with different business models, working styles, new technologies, and strategic partnerships. To keep pace with the speed of change and continue to bring exciting new opportunities to clients across their lines of business, it was clear they had to quickly scale up agile project teams while maintaining a strong focus and dedication to clients.

RBC set out to find a multi-market real estate solution that would strengthen their role as a trusted, innovative, and agile business partner for their clients, while placing their teams in dynamic spaces that fostered creativity, innovation, and collaboration.

The solution: a unique opportunity to achieve success for clients

With this goal in mind, RBC began to consider WeWork, not only as a real estate solution, but as a strategic partner. WeWork has a community of more than 400,000 members ranging from entrepreneurs to global enterprises—who would all benefit from RBC’s breadth of financial and business expertise.

Niranjan Vivekanandan, vice president, strategy, commercial banking, RBC, saw this as a distinct opportunity: RBC could leverage WeWork locations to bring their advisors closer to clients, working side-by-side and being readily available to connect business owners with value-added solutions beyond traditional financial services.

“WeWork is an extraordinary ecosystem of businesses creating unique and highly collaborative environments,” says Vivekanandan. “It makes sense for us to partner with WeWork and be an active member of a community redefining success.”

In September 2017, RBC launched advice hubs in Toronto and Montreal WeWork locations— providing expert and personalized financial and business support for WeWork members.

“Whether it’s assistance on applying for a loan, optimizing their capital structure, or growing their headcount, the onsite RBC teams are able to provide expert advice whenever needed,” explains Vivekanandan.

The results: deepening our partnership

RBC quickly recognized WeWork shared their goal of finding innovative solutions to clients’ unique business problems. “From our own experience, we understand space can foster innovation, creativity, and disruptive thinking,” says Vivekanandan. “Clients are time-starved, and WeWork helps eliminate a big point of friction when it comes to finding office spaces and negotiating with landlords. With locations in major financial hubs all over the world, WeWork would help RBC’s business clients easily scale teams into additional markets.”

The WeWork partnership builds on RBC’s Beyond Banking services: providing tools and solutions beyond traditional financial services. Together, RBC and WeWork are offering unique ways to deliver exceptional client experiences with flexible real estate solutions to support clients’ business growth.

A shared commitment to innovation and client experiences

After early successes with co-locating agile teams at WeWork in 2017, RBC’s presence at WeWork has grown significantly. RBC and City National Bank, an RBC company, now have more than 700 desks within seven major cities across Canada, U.S., and Europe, with plans to continue to expand globally.

Working alongside their clients has been invaluable to the RBC team. “It allows us to understand our clients’ business and financial needs on a deeper level,” says Vivekanandan.

By providing WeWork members business advice, RBC employees gain a greater understanding and appreciation of their clients’ pain points, providing the avenue to develop solutions that work. Vivekanandan explains, “Our teams tell us they’re able to create and build out tailor-fit solutions collaboratively with our clients, versus just providing a standard solution to a unique business problem.”

What began as a solution to help RBC scale key markets and connect further with clients, has turned into a mutually beneficial long-term strategic partnership.

Through this partnership with WeWork, RBC is bringing more value to their clients and accomplishing exactly what they set out to do: help their clients thrive and communities prosper.

Key highlights

  • 700 desks in seven cities in Canada, the U.S., and Europe
  • Ability to quickly scale teams in key markets
  • Innovative office design that fosters creativity and innovation
  • Integrated partnership to amplify RBC to WeWork community
  • Deep client insights gained from one-on-one work with WeWork members

WeWork offers companies of all sizes space solutions that help solve their biggest business challenges.