ON THE MOVE-RBC Wealth adds Morgan Stanley broker team in Dallas

Tue Oct 9, 2012 1:18pm EDT

Oct 9 (Reuters) - RBC Wealth Management, a division of the Royal Bank of Canada , said on Tuesday it added a team of veteran advisers from Morgan Stanley Wealth Management to join its Dallas office.

Advisers Dick Nierling, and his two sons, Richard and Alex Nierling, and Alan Henry, moved to RBC last week from Morgan Stanley Wealth Management, where they managed more than $230 million in client assets and generated $2.2 million in annual revenue last year.

"Our story is really resonating with a lot of the wirehouse advisers," said RBC's Dallas complex director Andy Teller, referring to advisers like the Nierling team that joined RBC from the biggest U.S. brokerages owned by major Wall Street companies.

Teller, who was involved in recruiting the team, said RBC's flat management structure has been a huge selling point for veteran wirehouse brokers who have seen the gap widen between their local branches and senior management after years of mergers with bigger companies.

"There are two steps between me and the CEO," said Teller, who oversees eight branch offices in the region, adding that RBC "keeps the decision-making local."

The elder Nierling spent four decades at his old firm, which is now majority-owned by Morgan Stanley. He and his team were legacy Citigroup Smith Barney advisers who joined Morgan Stanley Wealth Management after Smith Barney merged with Morgan Stanley's wealth business in 2009.

Morgan Stanley did not immediately return a request for comment on the departures.

The elder Nierling joined RBC as a senior vice president, while Henry joined as a vice president and Richard and Alex Nierling joined as financial advisers.

With roughly 2,000 advisers managing $227 billion in client assets, RBC Wealth is about one-tenth the size of the biggest U.S. brokerages. Morgan Stanley Wealth Management, by comparison, had just under 17,000 advisers managing $1.7 trillion in client assets at the end of June.

Many of RBC's recruits in 2012 have come from major brokerages, including Morgan Stanley Wealth Management, Bank of America's Merrill Lynch, Wells Fargo Advisors, and UBS Wealth Management Americas.

With those new recruits, RBC has now added at least 28 veteran advisers who managed more than $2.4 billion in client assets at their previous firms, based on moves tracked by Reuters. The firm also said last week it added a team of former UBS Wealth Management Americas advisers in Massachusetts.

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