RBC said that it has "ambitious" plans for growth here as it tries to capture business from rich individuals.
Mr McLaughlin has been tasked by RBC Wealth Management to "develop, manage and enhance relationships" with intermediaries and advisers in Ireland, as well as working with client-facing staff in London and in offshore locations.
"David's appointment is recognition there are excellent opportunities to support our ambitious growth objectives through partnerships in the Irish market,' said Mike Moodie, head of RBC Wealth Management's UK division.
Mr McLaughlin, a UCD graduate, worked with HSBC from 1995 to 1998 and subsequently with Dresdner Bank until 2001. He then spent four years in corporate development with educational software publisher Riverdeep, which had been established by Barry O'Callaghan.
Between 2005 and 2011 he worked as a personal wealth advisor to the O'Callaghans.
But Mr O'Callaghan's Riverdeep successor – Houghton Mifflin Harcourt – got into severe financial difficulty in 2011 and was effectively seized by bondholders. Mr O'Callaghan lost a fortune in the process.
In November 2011, Mr McLaughlin was engaged as an investor relations consultant by Irish pharmaceutical group Elan for an initial six-month period. Kyran McLaughlin was chairman of Elan between 2005 and early 2011. He remains a director of the company and is also a director of Ryanair.
The Elan annual report reveals that for just less than two months of his six-month appointment as a consultant, Mr McLaughlin was paid €11,800 by the pharma firm.
"David's personal and professional understanding of the market makes him a great asset, and his role will be crucial in promoting our global integrated wealth management services to local specialists," added RBC's Mr Moodie.