This is John Taft’s first appearance on the IA 25. Click here to view the complete list and Special Report schedule for extended profiles for each of the 2013 IA 25 honorees.
For John Taft, head of wealth management at RBC Wealth Management, managing clients’ wealth is part of a higher calling.
“As a newspaper reporter right out of college I covered the rebuilding of the city of Lowell, Mass., and was very excited about getting involved in community development. As it turned out, I thought public finance was a way to do that.”
While RBC will focus on its expansion in U.S. capital and wealth management markets, Taft noted that his main focus is on the quality of the wealth management group.
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“Our focus is entirely on quality and excellence, not on scale,” he said, adding that the firm has about 2,000 advisors. “We think that’s large enough to be relevant and meaningful, but small enough to be intimate. We’re happy with the scale. We’re just committed to being better in every way: hiring the best advisors, putting the best products and services on our shelf, and continuing to build out our technology and operational platform.”
Among the biggest challenges for advisors, of course, is the regulatory storm coming from policymakers.
“Advisors and the wealth management industry generally, of which they are a critical part, are experiencing a tsunami of new regulation, some of which has already hit our shores, but a lot of which is on the way,” Taft said.