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RBC recruits female team managing $1.2 billion from JPMorgan

In the latest sign that the pandemic-related economic slowdown and business shutdowns are not reducing the pace of adviser movement, RBC Wealth Management-US has recruited an all-female team overseeing more than $1.2 billion.

The six-person team, joining from JPMorgan, operates as The LSS Group and has a 23-year history of working together in Manhattan. The team boasts more than 100 years of combined experience.

The team includes Eden Lopez, managing director; Leslie Schwartz, managing director; Paula Steinberg, managing director; Katie Bishop, vice president; Carmilita Aching, senior registered client associate; and Alanna Hitscherich, registered client associate.

Lopez said the decision to move to RBC followed “years of due diligence,” and ultimately came down the platform, especially as it relates to “fixed income, where RBC is second to none.”

The other major factor in the decision to leave JPMorgan related to RBC’s ownership of City National Bank, she said.

“City National speaks to our niche focus on the entertainment industry,” Lopez said. “They have always been one step ahead of us in the entertainment industry, so why recreate the wheel.”

With a presence in Los Angeles, Nashville, and New York City, the entertainment industry is a specialty of The LSS Group, but the team generally caters to high-net-worth individuals, Lopez said.

City National, a subsidiary of Toronto-based Royal Bank of Canada, has a long history of specializing in and serving the entertainment industry, and provides tailored financial advice and personal service to over 80% of the country music industry in Nashville, as well as half of all Broadway shows and much of the film and television industry.

The bank’s teams in L.A., Nashville and New York will collaborate closely with The LSS Group to offer clients a full breadth of financial services and City National’s suite of technology solutions designed specifically for the needs of the entertainment industry.

Another influence on The LSS Group’s move to RBC was the opportunity to reconnect with New York complex director John Moran, whom the team worked with more than a decade ago at Smith Barney.

“Having worked with these incredible women in the past, I can say first-hand how their drive, ambition, expertise and strong wealth management practice will be a great fit for our team,” Moran said in a statement. “They have become the gold standard for wealth management, and I look forward to helping them grow their impressive practice even further.”

David DeVoe, managing director of DeVoe & Co., highlighted the rarity of an all-female team in an industry in which 80% of financial advisers are men.

“Kudos to RBC,” he said. “It’s a great win to get a strong team, and a female team is important in today’s environment.”

In terms of the all-female factor, Lopez said it was never by design. Up until four years ago the group included a man, who passed away.

“It has been a natural organic evolution of our team and support team that happens to be all female as well,” she said. “We’ve all been working mothers and we’ve broken through a lot of glass ceilings.”

Mark Bruno, managing director at Echelon Partners, said the move is proof that the pandemic is not standing in the way of adviser movement.

“We’ve seen a lot of really good recruiting activity this year and it’s been interesting to see how many really large teams are moving,” he said. “Earlier this year, with all things being virtual, we thought more people would be staying in place, but it seems like more people are using this as an opportunity to move.”



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