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Another loss for Wells Fargo as $925M team jumps to RBC

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Wells Fargo's advisor attrition problems don't appear to be ending any time soon.

In the latest loss, a team managing $925 million in client assets jumped to RBC.

“After careful consideration, we decided to join RBC Wealth Management because of its reputation for integrity, corporate responsibility and overall fiscal stewardship,” advisors Joseph Bivona, his son Thomas Bivona and Robert Impelluso said in a statement.

The advisors, who operate a practice known as the Bivona Consulting Group, are leaving Wells Fargo to join RBC’s Glastonbury, Connecticut branch.

One of the biggest notable losses came from Merrill Lynch, which lost a team managing $1 billion to the independent space.
April 11

Wells Fargo, which has been plagued by scandals and is facing mounting regulatory scrutiny of sales practices within its wealth management division, recently reported that broker headcount fell to 14,399 at the end of the third quarter. That's down 258 advisors from the year-ago period and 145 from the prior quarter.

The firm has had difficulty recruiting fresh talent to replace advisors who have been leaving for regional brokerages and independent firms. Some of the departing brokers say they are looking for more work flexibility and fewer conflicts of interest at their workplace.

A spokeswoman for Wells Fargo declined to comment on the team’s departure to RBC, and said that attracting top talent remains a priority for Wells Fargo Advisors. “We continue to take a disciplined recruiting approach, and it’s working,” the spokeswoman said in a statement.

RBC's newest hires are industry veterans. Joseph Bivona started his career at PaineWebber in 1981, according to FINRA BrokerCheck records. In 1988, he moved to Dean Witter. Thomas Bivona joined him at the firm in 1993, and they moved together to Prudential Securities in 2000. Prudential was a predecessor firm of Wells Fargo.

Impelluso joined Wells Fargo in 2010, per BrokerCheck.

Senior registered client associates Lori Carroll and Eileen Martyn will accompany them in the move.

RBC has approximately 1,800 financial advisors and $348 billion in total client assets, according to the company. The Canadian-owned brokerage recently announced plans to move into a new U.S. headquarters in Minneapolis in 2021. RBC already employs about 1,500 people in the Twin Cities, but the firm's expansion efforts have upped the pressure to find more spacious offices, a spokeswoman said.

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