RBC Wealth Management’s recruitment has benefited from individual connections to a diverse network of advisors and the leveling of technology capabilities, and its hiring chief expects those strategies to continue boosting its FA numbers.

“It’s the individual connections,” Kristen Kimmell, head of recruiting at RBC Wealth Management U.S., says when describing the hiring strategies that have helped lead to — among other things — a 20% increase in diversity among advisor hires in 2019.

“We have been very vocal about our commitment to diversity and inclusion and [are] really trying to … bring more diversity into the financial services industry more holistically,” she says.

Kimmell has a “very aggressive” target for diversity hires in 2020, although she didn’t share the firm's specific target numbers.

“We want to make sure that diversity is broad, [and] it includes all underrepresented groups in the financial services,” she says.

Kristen Kimmell

Kimmell says the leveling of the technology platform playing field, thanks to digital advancements, has also been advantageous for the firm’s recruitment efforts.

“Historically, the larger wirehouses had significant advantages in their technology investments; they had deeper pockets, so to speak,” she says. “At RBC now we’re able to partner with the top strategic tech partners and have a platform now that is as competitive with anyone else.”

Kimmell says the firm has invested significantly in its technology platform, which has “really been built around enabling and strengthening the client-advisor relationship.”

RBC Wealth Management saw its U.S. FA roster grow to nearly 2,000 advisors in 2019, a growth of 5.3% over the prior year.

While the firm’s advisor base is “similar to a regional” player, it's part of a global bank and thus benefits from those capabilities, according to Kimmell.

“It comes down to when you’re talking with the advisors on what is the right fit for them and their clients,” she says.

At RBC Wealth Management, advisors “can have access to the broad capabilities, the full banking capabilities, the scale of RBC in a broker-dealer the size that we are in the U.S.,” she notes.

Kimmell says the transition assistance RBC Wealth Management provides incoming advisors is another recruitment differentiator for the firm.

“We provide on-site support for them to ensure that the transition can go as smoothly as possible,” she says. “We really want to make sure that they feel like when they walk in the door, they’re part of it.”

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