Cetera Financial Group said Thursday that its parent company, which just recently emerged from bankruptcy and reorganization and was renamed Aretec (Cetera spelled backwards), has selected Edmond Walters, former CEO of financial planning software company eMoney Advisor, as a board member.
The broker/dealer’s parent added two other members to round out the formation of its board, including Bob Dineen, former vice chairman at Lincoln Financial Network, and Mary Cranston, retired senior partner and past chair of Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, an international law firm.
The broker/dealer, which now has about 9,000 advisors, announced last month that its parent company emerged from bankruptcy and now stands as a private company with $150 million in fresh capital, a healthy balance sheet and a sole focus on Cetera as its only operating entity.
At the time, the firm also confirmed that former LPL Financial President Robert Moore would be non-executive chairman of the board of Cetera Financial. Other board members previously announced include Michael Kaufman, principal at Redwood Capital Management; David King, managing director at Fortress Investment Group; and Larry Roth, CEO of Cetera.
The three new board members were chosen by a steering committee.
In February 2015, Fidelity purchased eMoney, and Michael Durbin, the president of Fidelity Wealth Technologies, became Walters’ boss. Seven months later, Walters resigned. Fidelity has since named Edward O’Brien, formerly a senior vice president and head of platform technology at Fidelity Institutional, as eMoney’s new CEO.
Moore says the board will benefit from Walters’ technology background.
“The tools and capabilities that advisors expect as part of them running a truly efficient practice, a truly relevant practice to their clients that enables them to grow, enables them to manage through the complexities of the regulatory environment, etc. is extremely important,” Moore said in an interview with WealthManagement.com.
Walters also brings his experience as a former financial advisor.
“I’ve seen him with advisors, and we all know that when you have that personal connection with that person that you’re talking to in terms of, ‘I have literally walked in your shoes,’ that’s powerful,” Moore said.
While it’s common practice for public companies to have the chief executive also serve as chairman, Moore said the board made a conscious decision to separate the two roles. Roth will focus on the operational matters of the company, while Moore will concentrate on governance and the strategic direction of the firm.
“If [Roth] were fulfilling both the chairman and the CEO role, he would need to have a portion of his time and efforts expended on managing the board meetings themselves, the agenda, all the elements that go with providing that governance,” Moore said. “That would come at some price relative to focusing on the actual running of the business itself and conducting the operating matters that are involved, which are extensive for a business of this size and complexity.”