indicatorMarkets and Economy

ATB Capital Markets: investing in and boosting Alberta

By October 2023 edition of Business in Calgary, and Business in Edmonton 6 October 2023 4 min read

CEO of ATB Capital Markets, Darren Eurich

With the significant shifts in the global and local economy in 2020, Alberta businesses have faced a rapidly changing landscape and greater challenges to access capital. Addressing these needs, ATB Financial, the province's leading financial institution for more than 80 years, introduced ATB Capital Markets in July 2020. This addition brought the first full-service corporate and investment banking capabilities headquartered within Alberta. Three years in, ATB Capital Markets is making a difference for corporate Alberta – and beyond.

“Through client discussions, we found there was a strong need to add ATB Capital Markets in our product offering,” says Darren Eurich, ATB Capital Markets CEO. “The focus of this arm is to provide more in-depth and sophisticated services for medium to large capital clients.”

Having more than two decades of senior banking experience, Eurich could see the many business opportunities in Alberta as well as the potential of ATB Capital Markets and joined as CEO in July 2022.

“Not many Albertans know that we are actively seeking and supporting opportunities from across North America to invest in key industries in our province. This past September, we hosted a conference in New York where we invited many Alberta-based companies to meet with investors,” he says.

While ATB is actively pursuing opportunities, it does so in a very strategic and disciplined manner.

“We are strong in a number of key industries, but we know ATB cannot be everything to everyone,” Eurich explains. “We want to be great in the sectors and segments we choose. For example, we have a very strong energy franchise. We offer tremendous services to help our clients be successful. The skills we developed in energy, renewables, growth and innovation, and life sciences are transferable across North America.”

Eurich highlights, “While we don’t have the scale of a multi-national bank, ATB is thoughtful in our areas of focus and is striving to be the top advisory service in that sector. This allows us to provide the strongest level of service to our clients.”

Client focus is always top of mind.

“The goal is to empower our clients to be successful,” says Eurich. “By not having the same public shareholder pressures that larger banks have, ATB can be more detailed in our process and focus on a longer term and sustainable strategy to clients and profitability. With a comprehensive understanding of our clients and a depth of industry expertise, we can fully support the success of their business.”

ATB Capital Market serves a specific purpose; it is designed for mid-to-large capital clients and offers a larger, more sophisticated suite of products and advisory services.

“ATB Capital Market’s focus is on IPO, equity and debt capital markets, advisory services, project finance, syndications, etc.,” he says. “The difference with our services when compared to commercial banking is that we are very engaged in advising and spend a lot of time tailoring our advisory services for each client’s unique circumstances. If you want to become their trusted advisor, you must really understand their business, their needs and their future goals. This is done by relationship-building, not a quick application process.”

“That relationship-building approach,” continues Eurich, “is truly what sets ATB Capital Markets apart. As banking continues to embrace automation (digital services, robo banks, etc.) I believe that focusing on in-person relationships will garner better results for both ATB and the client – and this is something I care passionately about. Understanding clients’ situations means being able to create a tailored approach that they need and that works.”

Clients, and their start in Alberta, are key parts of ATB Capital Markets’ success. Eurich underscores that Alberta has some major benefits as a place to do business.

“Alberta, known for its vibrant entrepreneurial spirit and exceptional quality of life, offers a multitude of reasons why companies should build and invest here. From a favorable cost of living and housing options to a strong sense of community and a diverse range of industries, Alberta provides a unique advantage that sets it apart from other regions. The entrepreneurial spirit in Alberta is palpable, with people driven to grow, expand and achieve success. The province is home to a vast number of talented individuals who are eager to make their mark in their respective industries. This collective drive and ambition create an environment where innovation thrives and businesses flourish.

“Alberta boasts a competitive advantage in several key industries, including energy, real estate, technology, agriculture and life sciences. These sectors have a strong foothold in the province and offer ample opportunities for both established corporations and emerging startups. By focusing on these core strengths first, companies can position themselves for success not just in Alberta, but also across Canada and North America.”

Eurich concludes, “Adaptability and innovation are crucial in the ever-evolving financial industry. Alberta's entrepreneurial nature plays a significant role in supporting ATB Capital Markets to stay nimble and responsive to changing market conditions. Unlike larger competitors, ATB Capital Markets can swiftly adapt to new trends and developments, thanks to our size, having our advisors close and our focus on relationship building. This agility allows us to better serve our clients and generate revenue while maintaining exceptional service standards.”

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From the October 2023 edition of Business in Calgary, and Business in Edmonton. Shared with permission.

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