Veteran investment advisor Tom Buck, who managed over $1.3 billion for clients out of the RBC Wealth Management office in Indianapolis, has been permanently barred from the brokerage industry as a result of transgressions, running the gamut from unauthorized trading to excessive billing.
“Since at least 2009, Mr. Buck had steered clients into commission-based brokerage accounts, which charge customers for each transaction made, instead of accounts that carry a flat annual fee regardless of activity,” Finra said in a release announcing the censure. “In some instances, clients paid substantially more in commissions than they would have paid in fee-based accounts.”
Buck, who consistently was ranked one of America’s top 100 advisors by Barron’s magazine, went to great lengths to mislead clients into thinking they were better off paying commissions than being in a fee-based account, according to Finra.
In March the former Merrill Lynch advisor was booted from his job after the brokerage uncovered compliance concerns with his clients’ files. Shortly thereafter the Indianapolis-based broker turned up at RBC Wealth Management, which appeared to gush at having landed the big player and his team.
“Mr. Buck has a long history in this industry and solid reputation of providing excellent client service," RBC spokeswoman Nicole Garrison said in a statement published by industry newsletter On Wall Street. "We are pleased to welcome him and his team to RBC Wealth Management-U.S."
Earlier this week RBC Wealth Management issued a public statement that they were “greatly disappointed to learn” of Buck’s actions.
Interestingly, Buck’s two daughters continue to work for RBC Wealth Management, with Ann Buck taking over her father’s practice.