There’s been more high-end recruiting happening this year than last — some of which has come at the expense of Merrill Lynch, which has lost financial advisors managing nearly $18 billion in assets this year, according to data collected by On Wall Street.
The latest team to depart headed to RBC.

The regional BD's newest advisors are Jim Senderling and John Robbie, who managed $465 million at Merrill Lynch, according to RBC. This is their first move after spending 27 and 25 years, respectively, at the wirehouse, according to FINRA BrokerCheck.

“The decision to move to a different firm didn’t happen overnight,” Senderling said in a statement. “After careful consideration, we made the decision to join RBC Wealth Management because of the unique culture, as well as the management team who truly believe that clients come first.”

The advisors will be joining the Conshohocken branch of RBC in Pennsylvania, which is managed by branch director Joe Mooney.

Before this team’s departure, Merrill Lynch had lost at least 34 advisors year-to-date, according to recruiting data collected by On Wall Street. This includes a $2 billion team that went to J.P. Morgan and a $1 billion team that went independent with Focus Financial Partners.

The firm has lost fewer advisors than Wells Fargo, which just announced its second quarter headcount has shrunk by 173. Merrill's attrition rate has also dropped to a new low, according to the firm, which reported earnings on Monday.

A spokeswoman at Merrill Lynch declined to comment on the most the recent loss to RBC.

Recruiter Frank LaRosa says advisor headcount tells a more realistic story as to what is happening at the firm. He doesn’t see the departures at Merrill Lynch to be significant.

“I think for the most part it is going to be natural attrition—it’s just the nature of the beast,” says LaRosa.

Jessica Mathews

Jessica Mathews

Jessica Mathews is a reporter for Financial Planning, On Wall Street and Bank Investment Consultant.