By Elizabeth Dilts
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Tom Buck, the Indiana broker who managed $1.2 billion in client assets at Bank of America Merrill Lynch before he was fired last month, has joined Royal Bank of Canada’s RBC Wealth Management, an RBC spokeswoman said Friday.
Buck, 61, a former Indiana University linebacker, and his daughter, Ann Buck, a former Colts football cheerleader who worked on his team, left Merrill Lynch in March. Tom Buck was terminated for, among other charges, failing to discuss pricing and service alternatives with a client, according to filings with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.
Buck’s U5 form, a regulatory filing that discloses why a broker is terminated, said he provided inaccurate information to Merrill Lynch regarding that client interaction. Separately, it said, he misreported whether a client had asked to be sold a bond from another client, and provided information to a client during an account review meeting that did not correspond to Merrill’s records.
Buck, whose first day at RBC was Thursday, did not return phone calls seeking comment. Bank of America declined to comment.
RBC spokeswoman Nicole Garrison did not comment on whether RBC investigated the claims against Buck, but said the firm was “committed to careful management.”
“We take special care to ensure that each advisor we bring to our platform shares these same values … and fits well with our client-focused culture,” she said.
Based in Indianapolis, Buck spent more than 30 years at Merrill Lynch, and was named Indiana’s number one financial adviser by Barron’s in 2013.
It is rare for brokers who manage over a billion dollars to be fired. The most recent termination of a team was Stephen Brown and James Goetz who managed $2.5 billion in assets for Merrill Lynch and were fired in September.
Buck’s story got wide attention from the media as well as other financial services firms who were interested in him because of the large amount of assets he previously managed.
Before moving to RBC, Buck also talked to Wells Fargo Advisors Financial Network, HighTower Partners and Stifel Financial Corp, among others, said sources familiar with the discussions.
(Reporting By Elizabeth Dilts; Editing by Ted Botha)