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Under protocol pressure, $180M Morgan Stanley advisor split for RBC

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A Morgan Stanley advisor who managed $180 million in assets quit for RBC one day before the wirehouse formally pulled out from Broker Protocol, his new employer said.

Dan Sherman’s departure marks the eleventh team to leave Morgan Stanley after its abrupt protocol exit announcement. The wirehouse has lost advisors managing about $7 billion since then, according to recent hiring announcements. Among them, a $778 million team joined Wells Fargo’s independent broker-dealer arm. Others joined J.P. Morgan Securities, Stifel and RBC.

Citing alleged abuses of loopholes in the Broker Protocol, Morgan Stanley officially left the accord Nov. 3.
Some recruiters suggest that Morgan Stanley’s move, aimed at stemming the departures of advisors to rivals, might actually have accelerated them. In the post-protocol period, advisors leaving the firm may face costly litigations over who owns the clients. If other firms copy Morgan Stanley's policy shift, the industry could revert to a more litigious era.

Like other wirehouses, Morgan Stanley has been losing advisors to smaller regional and independent rivals. In October, at least 20 teams with more than $9 billion in total client assets defected, according to hiring announcements. Meanwhile, regional brokerages such as RBC and Ameriprise have been aggressively poaching wirehouse talent. For example, RBC recently nabbed a $610-million team from Merrill Lynch.

Sherman, the firm's latest hire, joined RBC’s office in Sewickley, Pennsylvania. He began his career in 1997 at Legg Mason. Sherman had been with Morgan Stanley and Smith Barney since 2006, according to FINRA BrokerCheck records.

Sherman said he made the move because of RBC’s reputation and leadership. The firm has about 1,800 advisors and $310 billion in total client assets, according to the company.

A spokeswoman for Morgan Stanley could not be reached immediately for comment.

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