Cetera Holdings, the parent of broker/dealer network Cetera Financial Group, named former Fidelity Investment executive Mike Durbin to the new position of CEO on Wednesday. Durbin will also take a seat on Cetera’s board, while Cetera Financial Group CEO Adam Antoniades will remain in his role and maintain his board seat.
The Los Angeles-based holding company is bringing in Durbin to expand into “new markets and adjacencies to fuel continued growth and provide more options for advisors,” according to the firm’s announcement. Durbin had previously been president of Fidelity Institutional, which provided advisers and institutions with third-party product and asset management services.
“We are extremely excited to welcome Mike to the team and look forward to working together to achieve long-term success for Cetera and our advisors,” Antoniades said in a statement. “Mike’s deep expertise and background in the RIA, retirement and custody and clearing space, as well as his proven track record of leadership and innovation, will help Cetera further solidify its position as the ultimate destination for financial advisors and institutions.”
In an interview with The Wall Street Journal Wednesday, Durbin said the firm may be “wading into the business of managing employee retirement plans and other benefits for companies.” Cetera did not respond to a request for comment on the potential shift into workplace retirement plans.
In March 2022, Cetera Financial Group began offering a retirement income option to its network of advisers in order to help clients “generate sustainable, lifetime income,” the firm said at the time. In January, the firm acquired Securian Financial Group Inc.’s retail wealth business, bringing on 1,000 financial professionals working across 30 independent firms. The agreement also included a strategic partnership agreement in which Securian Financial will distribute its individual life and annuity products through Cetera’s affiliated financial professionals, according to the statement.
In recent years, Cetera has been steadily growing, in part through acquisitions, its core business of providing financial advisers and institutions with a support platform and services to invest, grow or scale. As of March 31, the firm supports more than 8,000 financial professionals and their teams, $330 billion in assets under administration and $116 billion in assets under management. The firm is majority owned by private equity firm Genstar Capital.
The workplace retirement plan and wealth management spaces have grown closer in recent years as insurance and benefit aggregators, often driven by private equity funding, have brought wealth management and plan sponsor advisement together to serve the massive pool of wealth in defined contribution retirement plans.
Durbin had been replaced as president of Fidelity Institutional in December 2022 by Vadim Zlotnikov, as the Boston-based recordkeeper announced it was shifting its adviser services and technology closer to brokerage and technology operations to meet client demand. Durbin had moved into a senior adviser role, the company said at the time.
Prior to joining Fidelity, Durbin held various leadership positions at Morgan Stanley, including chief operating officer of the national sales division of global wealth management, head of international private wealth management and chief strategic and risk officer for the global individual investor group.
“I am honored to join a thriving industry leader at a pivotal time in the financial advice industry,” Durbin said in a statement. “Cetera is well positioned for exponential growth by continuing to deliver new and innovative capabilities to advisors through its Wealth Hub, and truly meet the changing needs of today’s top advisors.”