RBC Dain Rauscher Inc., a subsidiary of the Royal Bank of Canada, announced today it signed a definitive merger agreement to acquire Ferris, Baker Watts Inc., a full-service broker-dealer and investment banking firm. Terms of the deal weren't disclosed, and it's expected to close by mid-year pending approval by U.S. and Canadian regulators and FBW shareholders.

Based in Washington, D.C., FBW is a privately-held company with 42 branch offices and 15 capital markets/support services offices in ten states and the District of Columbia with roughly $18.5 billion in assets under administration. Slightly more than one-third of its 900 employees are financial consultants.

"FBW represents a strong strategic and cultural fit for the U.S. wealth management business of RBC, and will significantly expand our presence in the Eastern, Midwest and Mid-Atlantic regions," said John Taft, president and CEO of RBC Dain Rauscher, a securities firm that's part of the RBC Wealth Management segment that has more than $160 billion of assets under management and more than 3,600 financial consultants, advisors, private bankers and trust officers.