RBC's Lead Stick

North Carolina bankers: get your lighters ready. RBC Bank Chief Executive Jim Westlake's rock cover band, The Performing Assets, will be playing Friday night at the Downtown Raleigh Amphitheater as part of a Bud Light music series tied to the NHL All-Star Game.

It's unclear whether Westlake's group (an all-RBC-exec team) nabbed the spot because of its talent or because the arena where the game will be played is called, ahem, the RBC Center. Either way, it has got to be a rare night that a bank CEO opens for the rock band Three Doors Down.

RBC Bank, a Royal Bank of Canada subsidiary formed from the old Centura Banks Inc., is sponsoring several activities this weekend tied to professional hockey's showcase event. The company is to offer hot drinks, face painting and autographs from NHL players through Saturday at the RBC Plaza Banking Center in Raleigh, and it will donate $27,000 to youth hockey organizations in Raleigh, Tampa, Fla., and Atlanta. At the game itself, RBC Bank is to fill four suites and more than 100 arena seats, many of which are reserved for clients who redeemed their RBC Bank rewards points for a chance to attend the game as VIP guests.

If you are curious about Westlake's role, he is, of course, lead guitarist.

Get My Passport

Average bonuses for financial markets professionals in 2010 rose 22% in Asia and 5% in the United Kingdom, but in the United States, Wall Street workers on average took home 5% less in bonus compensation than in 2009 — yet they are the ones least likely to look for new jobs.

In a survey this month by eFinancial Careers, a job market site that surveyed 2,511 bonus-eligible financial markets workers in the U.S., U.K. and Asia, 37% of U.S. respondents said they expected to change firms this year. In the U.K. and Asia, the rate was 41% and 42%, respectively.

"It's become a cliché to talk about retention issues in the first quarter of the year, post bonuses. But that doesn't mean it isn't a significant issue this year, after financial markets professionals have been stretched over the last two years and recruitment activity continues to strengthen," Constance Melrose, managing director of eFinancialCareers North America, said in a press release.

Across the board, a majority of those polled said their bonuses at least met their expectations. Only a third of U.S. and U.K. respondents said they were displeased; in Asia, the figure was closer to 25%.

The B-to-B Team

Synovus Financial Corp. has expanded its large-corporate banking team by hiring a former Wells Fargo & Co. banker and by moving six of its own people over into the group.

Chris S. Abele, a former relationship manager and Wells vice president focused on midsize companies, has joined Synovus in Columbus, Ga., as director of syndications, the company said on Wednesday.

Six Synovus corporate bankers were also added to the large-corporate team, which is to work with local bank offices to drum up business with large corporations in the five states where it does business.

The other new team members are: David Bowman, Charles C. Clark Jr., Anne H. Lovette, Kelly D. Peace, Julie G. Kendrick, and Terry Herron.

Family Tradition

First Citizens BancShares announced on Tuesday the election of a vice chairman, Hope Holding Connell.

The Raleigh, N.C., company's top business banking executive, Connell began her career at its bank in 1985. Part of the family that has run First Citizens for three generations, she has been on the board since 2002. Her brother, Chairman and CEO Frank Holding Jr., and father, Frank Holding Sr., are also board members. 

"Her 25 years of financial service experience, her leadership and business acumen will help guide our company toward even greater success," Frank Holding Jr. said in the company's announcement.

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