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$300M Merrill Lynch trio heads to RBC

RBC reached new recruiting records last year, hiring 22% more advisors in 2018 than it had the year before, according to the company. In the first few weeks of January, the firm doesn’t appear to be slowing down its efforts.

The regional BD’s hiring success comes at the expense of the wirehouses, and most recently Merrill Lynch. At the end of last year, RBC brought on two Merrill Lynch teams in a single week, and a $150 million mother-daughter team from the wirehouse in early January.

RBC team Peter Opp, Joel Kozlak and Jessica Wright Jan 29 2019

Now RBC has hired a $300 million trio from Merrill Lynch comprised of advisors Peter Opp, Joel Kozlak and Jessica Wright, according to the regional firm. Also making the move to RBC is senior registered client associate, Christina Jamnik.

These elite advisors were responsible for more than $9 billion in client assets.
January 28

The team joined an RBC branch in Edina, Minnesota. Opp was a Merrill Lynch financial advisor for 27 years before making the move, according to FINRA BrokerCheck records. Kozlak and Wright worked at Merrill Lynch for spent 12 and 17 years, respectively.

The trio said in a statement that they made the the move for RBC’s corporate culture and platform.

A spokeswoman at Merrill Lynch did not respond to an immediate request for comment.

The wirehouse has lost some experienced advisors such as Opp to smaller competitors, but executives have said that overall attrition is down. Merrill Lynch is also experiencing unprecedented growth, which it attributes in part to its new compensation plan. About 500 Merrill Lynch advisors reached $1 million or $5 million in production for the first time last year. Client acquisition was up 63% in 2018 over the year-ago period.

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