Cetera Financial Group’s executive in charge of wealth management, Barnaby Grist, is stepping down, saying that he needs to put family obligations first right now.
“It’s really personal, it’s about my family, my wife’s family,” Grist told WealthManagement.com Tuesday. He has continually told colleagues in the past that family needs to be a top priority, so “I’m trying to practice what I preach,” he says. News of Grist's departure was first reported by InvestmentNews.com.
“I’m trying to put family first,” he says. “I feel I can’t be 120 percent committed to two different things at the same time.”
Grist—who joined Cetera in February 2010 from Charles Schwab Advisor Services—helped build out Cetera’s wealth management services, including the firm’s fee-based platform, investment research, brand development, as well as strategic relationships with investment companies. Grist also put in place a strong management team at the firm, saying as a result, advisors probably will not even notice the transition. “There’s no change at Cetera,” Grist says.
Cetera started to search for his replacement a few weeks ago, Grist says, noting there has already been some “great talent” interested in the role. But these things take time, he added, saying that he expected to be with the company at least through June. As for where the successor will come from, Grist says they’re not ruling anything out. “We welcome candidates from within as well as from the outside,” he says.
But just because Grist is taking time off, don’t expect Cetera to stop. “There’s always more to be done,” he says. The company will continue to roll out new products, some within the next 60 days, although Grist remained mum about the details. “I’m not willing to scoop my successor,” he says.
Looking ahead, Grist says that this pause won’t stop him from returning to the financial services industry—perhaps in as little as a year. And if given the chance, Grist says he’d be happy to return to Cetera. “This is my baby,” he says.