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RBC nabs $610M Merrill Lynch team, opens new office

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A Merrill Lynch team managing $610 million in assets is leaving to join RBC, according to the regional brokerage.

With the new team, RBC launched its Palos Verdes, California, office and continues to expand in the region.

Named the PVG Group, the team boasts three industry veterans. Larry Prutch and Cengiz Volkan have more than 20 years of experience each, and Alan Goldstein has five decade of industry experience. Throughout their careers, the trio jumped from Lehman Brothers, to Smith Barney, and then to Merrill Lynch.

Independent and regional firms have been maintaining strong appeal with new recruits.
October 3

RBC’s announcement comes amid a rapidly changing recruiting landscape: Morgan Stanley is exiting the Broker Protocol, which may spark a more litigious recruiting era if other firms follow the move. Without the protocol, departing advisors could face costly legal fights over who owns the clients.

Some recruiters suggest that Morgan Stanley’s move is aimed at stemming the exodus of advisors to rivals. In the past year, regional firms have been poaching wirehouse advisors as the big four cut back in recruiting. Indeed, RBC just grabbed a $396M father-son team in Connecticut from Wells Fargo. In all, the 1,800-advisor regional firm added more new hires in the first half of 2017 than all of 2016.

The PVG Group completed its move on Oct. 27, per FINRA BrokerCheck records. Morgan Stanley’s planned departure from the protocol became public on Oct. 30.

The PVG Group spent eight years at Merrill Lynch. Prutch began his career in 1987 at Stuart-James Co., according to FINRA BrokerCheck records. Volkan started in 1993 at Lehman Brothers. Goldstein became an advisor in 1967 at E.F. Hutton. The fourth member – Neil Fujita – made his start at Citigroup in 2008.

The team is joined by client associates Teresa Ortega, Annelyn Drollinger, and Steve Yun, as well as investment associate Gary Gray.

A spokeswoman at Merrill Lynch could not be reached immediately for comment.

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