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Cetera Broadens Help Desk Service

Have a complicated wealth transfer question? Now top advisors across all of RCS Capital broker/dealers will have access to a help desk-like service staffed with experts on legal, taxation, accounting and insurance matters to help with complex situations.

In keeping with the firms’ previously announced strategy to cherrypick the best existing services at its broker/dealers and share them, Cetera Financial Group is rolling out its legacy Advanced Planning Group’s services to top-tier financial advisors throughout the RCS Capital network.

“This is one of the easier things for us to deploy because this group is a knowledge resource, so there’s not a lot of operational or technology development that needs to be done to deploy this,” said Steve Dunlap, executive vice president of wealth management at Cetera Financial Group.

Led by Stanley R. Smiley, the eight-person team helps advisors who call in with questions regarding legal issues, tax matters and complex estate planning questions. Under the new rollout, which Dunlap says has already started, the top-tier of advisors in each firm’s award level throughout the Cetera Financial Group Network will have access to the service.

“It allows the advisors to go back to their client and say ‘here’s a very complete, thoughtful thorough answer to your question’ and it helps them be an expert,” Dunlap said. 

In addition, the Advanced Planning Group already provides in-depth whitepapers and other proactive educational resources to Cetera Financial advisors. Plans are in place to roll out the support portion of the service to all advisors by the end of 2015, Dunlap says.

“The reason why we’re starting this way is because one of the most important parts of making this available is not decreasing the level of service to the folks who had it already,” he said, noting the firm plans to hire more lawyers and tax professionals to staff the Advanced Planning Group as the service expands.

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