Leadership Shakeup for Cetera Financial Group

Larry Roth will take over the senior management team of Cetera Financial Group, replacing Valerie Brown, longstanding head of Cetera and its predecessor broker/dealer firms.

The shakeup comes about two weeks after the final closing of Cetera’s acquisition by the RCS Capital Corporation, led by its well-known executive chairman, Nicholas Schorsch (see “RCS Capital to Acquire Cetera for $1.15B”). RCS is engaged in several pending acquisitions that could push Cetera and its related enterprises to become the second- or third-largest financial advisory network in the market by number of advisers and reps.

Investor presentations circulated earlier this year show that, if all pending deals come to fruition, the RCS Capital network would feature nearly 9,200 registered representatives and financial advisers producing about $1.7 billion in annual revenues (see “RCS to Acquire J.P. Turner”). As the next CEO of Cetera, Roth takes over leadership of this expansive adviser network and all of its related operations, including First Allied Securities and the four existing Cetera Financial Group broker/dealers sub-firms.

Roth will report to Michael Weil, president of RCS Capital, according to a statement from the firm.

RCS Capital also announced the following appointments to the Cetera Financial Group senior leadership team:

  • Adam Antoniades – President, Cetera Financial Group
  • Catherine Bonnea – President and CEO, Cetera Financial Institutions
  • Jon Frojen – Chief Financial Officer, Cetera Financial Group
  • Doug King – President and CEO, Cetera Advisor Networks
  • Brett Harrison – EVP, Head of Firms, and CEO of Cetera Advisors
  • Nina McKenna – General Counsel, Cetera Financial Group
  • Mukesh Mehta – Chief Information Officer, Cetera Financial Group
  • Jason Mullens – Chief Human Resources Officer, Cetera Financial
  • Enrique Vasquez – President and CEO, Cetera Financial Specialists
  • Kevin Keefe – President, First Allied Securities

Several other appointments to senior leadership positions will be announced by Roth in the coming weeks, the firm says, at which point the complete management team for the Cetera platforms will have been assembled. This management team, working in concert with the RCS Capital senior management group, will eventually serve the interests of 2 million financial service clients.

The combination of the retail platform leadership team with the existing RCS Capital leadership staff will “create a tremendous force in the industry," Schorsch says in a related statement.

“When we hired Mr. Roth last summer, we knew he could contribute significantly to our future success across the breadth of our enterprise,” Schorsch says. “Our announcement today represents the tremendous confidence we have placed in both his leadership abilities and his strategic vision."

Roth has been involved in the retail financial services industry in a variety of executive positions for over 30 years. He was previously the CEO of the predecessor company to Cetera Financial, ING's U.S. Retail Group.  Before joining RCS Capital last year as CEO of wholesale businesses, he was the CEO of Advisor Group, an AIG Company, which itself features some 6,000 independent financial advisers.

Roth has also served as chairman of the boards of directors of The Insured Retirement Institute and the Financial Services Institute.

Weil says that Valerie Brown has chosen to leave the company.

“Ms. Brown has expressed to me that she feels privileged to have played a role in Cetera’s development,” Weil says. “With Cetera operating as a unit of RCAP, Ms. Brown believes now is the right time for her to transition from her role as CEO of Cetera into a consulting role with Cetera and on to other pursuits. Ms. Brown has said that she looks forward to witnessing the continued achievements of Cetera and RCAP.”

More information on staffing changes at Cetera is available here.