ON THE MOVE-RBC Wealth hires veteran Morgan Stanley broker team

Tue Nov 13, 2012 4:29pm EST

Nov 13 (Reuters) - RBC Wealth Management, a division of the Royal Bank of Canada , has bolstered its broker force in California with a veteran team of advisers from Morgan Stanley Wealth Management.

Advisers Donald "Scottie" Mills, Steve Lahre, Jeff Fink and Brian Neault moved to RBC on Friday from Morgan Stanley's U.S. brokerage. The team had an annual revenue production of roughly $3 million, according to a source with knowledge of the move.

That likely represents at least $300 million in assets under management, industry recruiters said.

The advisers had been based out of Morgan Stanley Wealth Management's San Diego office. They joined RBC in La Jolla, a seaside community in the greater San Diego area, where Larry Andrews is branch director.

The moves represent the departure of legacy advisers from Morgan Stanley Wealth Management, one of the largest U.S. brokerages which formed out of the merger of Citigroup's Smith Barney and Morgan Stanley's wealth business in 2009.

Both Fink and Lahre had been with the firm for three decades, according to filings from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). They started at Lehman Brothers, later joining Citigroup and eventually Morgan Stanley Wealth Management.

Lahre was a senior vice president at Morgan Stanley, along with Mills, also a legacy Smith Barney adviser who had been with the firm for two decades. Mills had also previously been an adviser at Merrill Lynch earlier in his career.

Morgan Stanley confirmed the departures, but declined to comment further. RBC did not immediately confirm the new hires, but regulatory filings show the advisers moved on Nov. 9.

Toronto-based RBC, Canada's largest retail bank and the one most focused on wealth management, has set its sights on global wealth management as a key driver for growth. RBC Wealth Management has about 2,000 advisers managing more than $227 billion in client assets.

The firm also recently added a veteran team of advisers to its La Jolla branch from Merrill Lynch. Advisers Scott Robinson, Christian Reuter and Jeanette Cameron moved to RBC in August from Merrill, where they managed $250 million in client assets and generated $1.4 million in annual production last year.

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