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RBC recruits $150M mother-daughter duo from Merrill Lynch

Financial advisor Susan Stewart and her daughter Taylor, also an advisor, have exited Merrill Lynch for RBC, the regional BD says.

The Stewart team managed more than $150 million while with Merrill Lynch, according to RBC which has been on a strong recruiting push for more than a year.

The advisors join RBC’s office in Washington D.C. Susan Stewart has more than 20 years of industry experience, according to her new employer. Her daughter has five years of industry experience.

Stewart said in a statement that they made the move for RBC’s platform and “small firm atmosphere.”

“We know if clients need something out of the ordinary, RBC will strive to find a way to make it happen. Lastly, we wanted to work for a firm that values diversity — not just in words but in action too — and where that commitment is evident in its leadership,” she said.

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Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) signage is displayed at the Royal Bank Plaza in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, on Thursday, Dec. 18, 2014. Royal Bank of Canada Chief Executive Officer David McKay said U.S. moves to normalize relations with Cuba present an opportunity for the lender to return to the Caribbean nation. Photographer: Kevin Van Paassen/Bloomberg

Merrill Lynch did not respond to a request for comment on the move.

Wirehouses have been seeing the backs of many advisors over the last few years, as they exit to join smaller independent and regional firms. Some have cited what they say is bureaucratic nature of big banks as a reason for making the move.

However, Merrill Lynch doesn’t appear to be losing talent to the degree some of its competitors.

Wells Fargo has lost more 1,100 advisors since 2016, due in part to a phony accounts scandal that was made public that year. The company’s headcount fell below 14,000 at the end of 2018.

Merrill Lynch’s headcount has tended upward over the past year, though it recently dipped to 14,796 advisors for the fourth quarter from 14,838. The firm attributed the decline to seasonally low hiring.

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