RBC Lands $420-Million Morgan Stanley Broker in Maryland
The surprisingly strong levels of broker moves despite pandemic constraints are continuing, with RBC Wealth Management saying it hired a 15-year Morgan Stanley veteran in Baltimore this week who was managing about $420 million of client assets.
Witherspoon could not be reached to comment on his reasons for joining RBC after almost 34 years at wirehouses. In a prepared statement, he touted Minneapolis-based RBC as a firm with “all the capabilities and resources I need to serve my clients, but the unique culture and strong local leadership are what ultimately led to my decision.”
Michael Armstrong, chief executive of RBC Wealth Management-U.S. since 2016, had earlier been head of private wealth management at Morgan Stanley. RBC employs about 2,000 U.S. advisors, compared with about 15,400 at Morgan Stanley.
Chris Walker, producing manager of the Hunt Valley, MD, branch that Witherspoon joined, declined to comment. Average assets managed by advisors at RBC Wealth’s Baltimore complex grew by 20% in the past two years, fueled by $1.5 billion of net new assets, the firm said. (The total included $426 million from former Merrill Lynch brokers Daniel Gounaris and Daniel Bachmann, who joined RBC in February.)
RBC said its just-ended quarter was one of its strongest ever for recruiting nationwide, with total production of new hires up 112% from the July-September period.
The Royal Bank of Canada unit last week lured a $625 million-asset Morgan Stanley team in Princeton, NJ, and also hired advisors last month from Wells Fargo Advisors and Merrill Lynch who were collectively overseeing $1.7 billion in client assets.
Morgan Stanley, which on Thursday said it was buying asset management firm Eaton Vance, has itself renewed its recruiting appetite for advisors after a pause of several years. Among its recent hires was an $8 million RBC team in New York City.