Royal Bank of Canada Chief Financial Officer Rod Bolger said the lender’s push to expand its business with mid-tier U.S. companies is exceeding its expectations.

Toronto-based Royal Bank, through its City National U.S. private and commercial bank, began focusing on winning over mid-market companies less than a year ago to help expand its business south of the border. The strategy, which primarily targets private companies with revenue of US$500 million to US$2 billion, fills a gap between City National’s wealthy clients and the large enterprises handled by RBC Capital Markets, Bolger said Wednesday at a Barclays Plc conference.

“So often we have a business case, and as CFO you’re skeptical of what those results might look like, and on this one they’re doing a great job of surprising me on the upside,” Bolger said, without providing specific figures. 

Royal Bank Chief Executive Officer David McKay said on an earnings call in May that City National President Rich Raffetto has built similar businesses at other large banks, and that he was confident in the firm’s ability to replicate that success. City National, led by CEO Kelly Coffey, also is growing by hiring bankers, building up its business of providing jumbo mortgages to wealthy clients and expanding in cities tied to the entertainment industry, including Atlanta, New York and Nashville, Tennessee, Bolger said.