$500M FA U-Turns to RBC Wealth After Two Months at UBS; After TRO

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An advisor RBC Wealth Management lost to UBS around two months ago is “returning home” — after consenting to a request for a temporary restraining order filed by RBC Capital Markets when he left.

Christopher Andreach, who has close to $500 million in client assets, is joining RBC Wealth Management’s Florham Park, New Jersey, branch, according to the company.

Andreach started his financial services industry career in 1994 with Merrill Lynch and came to RBC Wealth in 2004, according to his BrokerCheck profile. He stayed at RBC Wealth until early September this year, when he jumped ship for UBS, according to BrokerCheck.

On September 17, RBC Capital filed a request for a TRO against Andreach, his assistant Mary Grace Guastella and UBS, according to a complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey. The complaint alleged “ongoing misappropriation and illegal use of RBC’s highly confidential and proprietary customer information.”

Guastella had been an investment associate at RBC Wealth from 2007 until leaving for UBS in September this year, where she worked as a registered client service associate, according to her LinkedIn profile.

RBC Capital claimed that Andreach and Guastella “abruptly resigned” on September 3, without prior notice to the company. And from about August 1 until their departure, the pair, possibly with the help of one or more unidentified RBC employees, allegedly printed or otherwise removed files with non-pubic customer information and other proprietary data, according to the complaint.

In a matter of a few days at the start of August, RBC Capital alleged, “Andreach conducted or directed at least 94 print runs related to RBC customer business. This unusual volume of printing, which occurred just one month prior to his resignation is not in keeping with the regular course of business and is highly suspect in light of its timing just a month before defendants’ departure.”

By the end of September, however, Andreach and Guastella consented to the TRO without admitting liability or any wrongdoing, according to a stipulated order for temporary restraints filed on September 28.

And as of this Monday, Andreach is again registered with RBC Capital.

“It took leaving to realize that the grass truly is greener at RBC Wealth Management,” Andreach said. “The firm’s local and national leadership is approachable, accessible and supportive of their advisors, and I am confident that RBC Wealth Management is the best place for my clients and my practice.”

Tom Sagissor, president of RBC Wealth Management, notched up the move as a win for the company’s appeal to advisors, rather than its legal pursuit of departing brokers, saying in a statement that Andreach’s return “is an enormous testament to RBC’s culture.”

Guastella’s BrokerCheck record still shows her as registered with UBS.

RBC Wealth, meanwhile, also lured an advisor overseeing $215 million in client assets at UBS in August.

RBC Wealth says it now has more than 2,100 financial advisors overseeing $528 billion from 181 locations in 42 states.

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