RBC Wealth Management, one of the world's largest money managers, works with individuals and families, as well as retirees. Its services for these clients include cash and credit solutions, trust services, insurance solutions, investments and research, retirement income planning, funding education, gifting and philanthropic solutions and responsible investing.
It also specializes in working with business owners, offering many of the aforementioned services as well as retirement plans. For these clients, RBC can provide retirement plans, corporate and executive services and fiduciary support through institutional consulting services.
The firm, which operates in hundreds of locations across 42 states, is a division of RBC Capital Markets, LLC. Its account minimums vary by program and service.
RBC Wealth Management Background
Although RBC Wealth Management can trace its roots to 1909 in St. Paul, Minn., it has existed in its current form since 2008. The firm originally operated under the name Dain Rauscher, until it was acquired by the Royal Bank of Canada in 2001.
The firm originates from numerous regional firms across the U.S. that came together to form the wealth management firm, which is now one of the world's largest wealth managers by assets.
RBC Wealth Management Client Types and Account Minimums
Like many large wealth management firms that offer a wide range of services and account types, RBC Wealth Management’s requirements for its minimum account sizes vary by program. The firm’s individual advisory services have the following minimums:
- RBC Unified Portfolio: $2,500
- Consulting Solutions: $100,000*
- *Generally $250,000 for fixed-income accounts
- Portfolio Focus: $50,000
- RBC Advisor: $25,000
Services Offered by RBC Wealth Management
RBC Wealth Management sponsors a number of customized advisory programs. In each program, RBC Wealth Management works with clients to determine their objectives and needs, which will inform their investment strategy. The firm's offered programs include:
- RBC Unified Portfolio: Client accounts are unified managed accounts that are managed by RBC or third-party overlay manager, Envestnet Asset Management.
- Consulting Solutions: Clients can select an investment manager or model provider, as well as the investment strategy.
- Portfolio Focus: Clients receive discretionary management services from a designated financial advisor.
- RBC Advisor: Clients receive non-discretionary advice on eligible securities, as well as a investment strategy based on their risk profile.
In addition to investment portfolios, RBC offers:
- Cash and credit solutions
- Corporate and executive services
- Estate planning solutions
- Fiduciary support through institutional consulting services
- Education funding planning
- Gifting and philanthropic solutions
- Insurance solutions
- Private wealth services
- Retirement income planning
- Retirement plans
- Trust services
RBC Accounts for High-Net-Worth Individuals
For wealthy investors, RBC offers RBC Private Wealth, a program exclusively available to clients who have invested at least $5 million with RBC. This program is focused on addressing the financial needs that arise from having substantial wealth.
Its three main areas of focus are wealth accumulation, wealth protection and wealth distribution during and after your lifetime. The first, wealth accumulation, includes investment management, strategies for exercising stock options and restricted stock and business ownership interests. Wealth protection covers areas like insurance needs and powers of attorney, while wealth distribution covers gifting to family members and charities.
For high-net-worth families, RBC also offers the Wealth Management Professionals Group. This group gives these clients greater access to experts throughout RBC's global network who have expertise in areas including estate planning and asset protection.
Hiring a Third-Party Manager Through RBC Wealth Management
As noted in the offered services section, a number of RBC Wealth Management’s programs may be managed by a third party. Its RBC Total Portfolio, specifically, is a unified managed account overseen by Envestnet Asset Management. This third-party manager may also oversee RBC Unified Portfolios.
Different programs incur different investment manager or overlay manager fees, in addition to the RBC Wealth Management Advice Fee that's applied to all accounts.
The exact strategy and investing approach employed by RBC Wealth Management will depend on the program selected and a client’s goals, circumstances, time horizon and risk parameters. The firm's advisors will help clients to determine an asset allocation strategy and select investments and then monitor portfolio performance. Portfolios will be rebalanced and investment strategies will be updated as needed.
The firm says that its client accounts generally consist of a mix of securities, including:
- Equity securities
- Mutual funds
- Alternative investments
- Exchange-traded products, including exchange-traded funds and exchange-traded notes
The firm can create customized solutions designed to reach a wide range of goals, from growing or protecting your wealth to planning for retirement or providing for your family. Additionally, it offers responsible investing, which allows clients to invest in accordance with their personal values.
Fees Under RBC Wealth Management
For its investment advisory services, the fee-based firm may charge clients a percentage of assets under management, fixed fees and/or commissions. Clients who have accounts enrolled in an advisory program are charged an annual asset-based fee that's owed quarterly in advance.
Exact fee percentages vary not only depending on program, but also depending on the size of the account, the length of time you've had the account, the overall amount of business you conduct with RBC and the types of securities and services provided.
For the Unified Portfolio Program, the fees to the model provided can be as high as 0.65%.
Keep in mind other fees, such as mutual fund fees, will also apply.
RBC Wealth Management Awards and Recognition
RBC Wealth Management has won numerous awards both in the U.S. and internationally. In 2017, The Human Rights Campaign named the firm a best place to work for LGBT equality. The other U.S. award it picked up in 2017 was Private Banker International’s Best Initiative of the Year in Relationship Management (in North America) award.
What to Watch out For
Unlike many other wealth management firms, RBC Wealth Management’s fee schedule is not tiered. Though there is a breakpoint, that does not apply until portfolios reach a value of $25 million. This means that accounts of more than $1 million may incur higher fees than they would at comparable firms, as the fee percentage charged for accounts of $250,000 is the same as the percentage charged for accounts of $10 million.
Additionally, RBC Wealth Management notes that not all of its advisors may be able to offer all of the programs listed above. However, you may be able to access these services through another financial advisor at the firm.
RBC Wealth Management, like many massive wealth management firms, does have disclosures. However, as RBC Wealth Management is part of RBC Capital Markets, LLC, many of the disclosures apply to the larger organization as a whole. RBC also notes that it hasn't admitted or denied to allegations when it's entered into various orders, consents and settlements.
In 2016, for example, RBC Wealth Management was one of a dozen firms fined by FINRA for "significant deficiencies" in its protection of broker-dealer and client data. Though in RBC's case there wasn't evidence of hacking or a breach, it was fined $3.5 million. In 2015, FINRA fined the company $1 million for not properly overseeing the sales of complex securities to clients.
Opening an Account With RBC Wealth Management
To open an account with RBC Wealth Management, you must sign an advisory agreement before enrolling in any of its available programs. This agreement gives your the firm permission to make certain transactions in your account and update it as you request.
Most programs require you to sign the RBC Advisory Master Services Agreement. However, for Consulting Solutions, MAP, Portfolio Focus, RBC Advisor and RBC Total Portfolio programs, you're required to sign a separate client agreement, called the Single Program Agreement. This serves a similar purpose to the Master Services Agreement, though it may have slightly different conditions.
RBC Wealth Management offers two ways for prospective clients to begin this process and speak to an advisor: They can either provide their contact information to have RBC contact them or they can fill out a brief survey to get matched with an advisor who suits their needs. The firm's website also has an advisor directory, so you can see if there are advisors and branch locations near you.
Tips for Finding a Financial Advisor
- Finding a qualified financial advisor doesn’t have to be hard. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with up to three financial advisors who serve your area, and you can have free introductory calls with your advisor matches to decide which one you feel is right for you. If you’re ready to find an advisor who can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.
- Do your due diligence. Be sure to talk to a few financial advisors before settling on one, and ask them questions to get a good understanding of the fees they charge and their investment approach.