RBC Capital Markets, the Europe-based investment banking division of the Royal Bank of Canada, has hired a team of four bankers to establish an infrastructure finance platform in Australia and New Zealand.

Dominic Hudson will head the team based in RBCÆs Sydney office. He is accompanied by Stan Nikiforou, Rim Foy and Matthew McKenna, all who departed Rothschild to join the new division.

The quartette will report to Wayne Jarman, vice-chairman of RBC Capital Markets in Australia and Adrian Bell, global head of infrastructure finance.

Their job is to originate domestic and global deals, and to provide local expertise to RBCÆs international clients looking to bid for assets and projects in Australia and New Zealand. The firm wants to offer investing banking services to the public and private sectors, and arrange financing for infrastructure, transport, utilities and essential services.

RBC, as a bank, has operated in Australia for many years and RBC Capital Markets is an underwriter, for example, of Kangaroo bonds.

The firm hopes to build on its success in Europe where it has recently advised the French national rail infrastructure company Reseau Ferre de France on the Ç1.2 billion rail bypass from Nimes to Montpelier. It has also worked on the privatisation of the Brussels and Copenhagen airports, the M1/Westlink road in Ireland and the M77 motorway in the UK.

In the US, RBC was co-arranger for the debt financing of Macquarie BankÆs acquisition of Connecticut-based water utility company Aquarion.