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Ten Merrill Lynch Staffers Make Move to RBC Dain Rauscher

Ten former Merrill Lynch employees, including three brokers, recently moved to work for competitor RBC Dain Rauscher at its University City office, prompting a lawsuit by Merrill Lynch against its former employees.

“They came over in two separate groups, and for their own reasons,” said Branden Happel, a spokesman for RBC Dain Rauscher at its headquarters in Minneapolis. The brokerage firm is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Royal Bank of Canada.

RBC Dain Rauscher named Larry Andrews, a certified financial planner, as senior vice president and branch director to its local office at 4250 Executive Square. The office was formerly under the Sutro & Co. umbrella. RBC acquired Tucker Anthony Sutro in 2001.

The Andrews group also includes Stan Perry, a senior investment associate, and client associates Marliss Peterson and Gabe Garcia.

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A second group also moving from Merrill Lynch to RBC Dain Rauscher is headed by financial consultants and Senior Vice Presidents John Folsom and Linda Stirling. They are joined by Associate Vice President Matt Sweeney and client associates Ginna Olsen, Sharon Holden and Nomah Cronk.

Lantz Bell, a director for RBC Dain Rauscher’s Newport Beach office, said the experienced personnel would strengthen the company’s presence in the San Diego market.

Bill Halldin, a spokesman for Merrill Lynch, could not provide comment about the reasons for the defection, but emphasized the group consisted of only three financial advisers.

“The rest of them are support personnel,” he said.

Merrill Lynch filed a lawsuit July 6 in U.S. District Court in San Diego against Folsom, Stirling, Andrews and Perry for misappropriation of trade secrets and violation of non-disclosure agreements.

Merrill Lynch has seven offices in the county with about 200 financial advisers or brokers and an additional 100 support personnel, Halldin said.

Brokers are generally paid salaries based on a percentage of the revenues they generate through the amount of assets of their clients.

Halldin declined comment on whether the two groups left for financial reasons.

Merrill Lynch, one of the largest investment adviser companies in the world, reported it held about $1.6 trillion in total client assets as of June 30. The company’s global employment is 51,800.

RBC Dain Rauscher Inc., founded in 1909, was acquired by the Royal Bank of Canada in 2000. The investment advisory firm has 1,700 financial advisers and 5,000 employees worldwide.

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