Big Retirement Plan Group Leaves Morgan Stanley for RBC in Dallas

June 14, 2019

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A Morgan Stanley father-son team who sources said administer about $2.5 billion in client assets for company pension and other retirement plans, left on Friday to join RBC Wealth Management-U.S. in Dallas.

The three-advisor group is led by Kevin Clift, who worked for 32 years of his 34-year career at Morgan Stanley and predecessor firms, and includes a son, Kyle, and Matthew Sheldahl.

Kevin Clift was one of the top 401 retirement plan advisors in the U.S., according to the Financial TImes’ most recent listing, and the only one of 28 in Texas from Morgan Stanley. The list comprises advisors who work with at least $75 million in defined contribution plan assets, and meet certain growth, certification and compliance metrics.

Neither Clift, who moved from Morgan Stanley’s downtown Crescent Court branch to RBC’s new location near the Cowboys’ stadium in Frisco, nor Andrew Teller—RBC’s “consulting group” complex director in Dallas—returned calls for comment.

Morgan Stanley Wealth Management head Andy Saperstein said Tuesday that broker departures are at their lowest point since the company’s acquisition of Smith Barney a decade ago, although headcount is falling because of its retreat from recruiting.

The firm withdrew from the Protocol for Broker Recruiting in December 2017 in an attempt to deter brokers from moving. Morgan Stanley last week won a restraining order preventing a Dallas team that joined Raymond James & Associates from soliciting former clients.

A spokeswoman for Morgan Stanley declined to comment on the Clift team’s departure.

Kevin Clift, who was a senior vice president at Morgan Stanley, began his brokerage career at First Jersey Securities in 1984, moving within two years to E.F. Hutton & Co. He remained as Hutton evolved into Lehman Brothers and Smith Barney, which Morgan Stanley purchased in 2009, according to his BrokerCheck history, which is unmarked by customer complaint or other disclosures.

Kyle Clift began his brokerage career in 2011 at Morgan Stanley in Dallas in 2011, while Sheldahl started first registered as a broker in 2004 in Southlake, Tex. with Smith Barney, according to their ding-free BrokerCheck histories.

RBC, a unit of Royal Bank of Canada, employs around 1,800 advisors in 200 offices in the U.S., according to the firm’s website.

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