More than nine out of 10 advisors from Securian Financial are making the move to join Cetera Financial Group after the deal to acquire its retail wealth business, announced earlier this year, closed on Thursday.
More than 91% of financial professionals opted to join Cetera post-acquisition, which matches Cetera’ initial projections, according to the firm. The advisors joining represent about $50 billion in client assets, the largest deal in Cetera’s history.
According to Cetera, the advisors and team members from Securian’s retail wealth business will now be branded as Cetera Wealth Management Group, and about 150 team members will be joining Cetera’s home office staff from Securian. Cetera Chief Sales and Growth Officer Tom Taylor said the acquisition marked the “beginning of a new phase” for Cetera and its new advisors.
“It’s worth noting, cultural fit is everything in making unions successful, in both the near and long term,” he said. “It’s refreshing and reassuring how similar our cultures are, and how these top-caliber professionals and their leadership team feel like family.”
In January, Cetera announced it would be purchasing Securian’s retail wealth business (including its broker/dealer and RIA). As a part of the deal, Cetera also agreed to purchase the equity of Securian Trust Company, with Securian set to distribute its individual life and annuity products through Cetera-affiliated advisors.
Cetera Financial’s parent company Cetera Holdings hired a new CEO in May, with Mike Durbin stepping into the role after resigning from Fidelity Institutional late 2022. Adam Antoniades remained in place as Cetera Financial’s CEO, though sources told WealthManagement.com he was likely to step down from the top leadership position by the year’s end, as Cetera's financial backers restructure their investment. (Cetera denied Antoniades was scheduled to leave his role as CEO).
One particular sticking point in Cetera’s acquisition of Securian’s retail wealth business was that many of Securian’s reps were considered statutory employees of the insurance company, and thus had employee benefits including health, dental and vision insurance, benefits they would lose upon joining Cetera.
Many advisors were concerned about losing these benefits, leading Cetera to boost retention packages, Jonathan Henschen, the founder of the recruiting firm Henschen & Associates, told Wealthmanagement.com earlier this year. (Henschen passed away in July.) Henschen said in some cases advisors with a large percentage of fee-based business were offered 50% of trailing 12-month production to join Cetera.
In addition to the Securian deal, this year Cetera Holdings also acquired its first pure RIA with the Retirement Planning Group, a $1.5 billion firm with 14 advisors that’s headquartered in the Kansas City area, with additional offices in St. Louis and Denver. In February, Cetera Financial acquired a minority stake in Prosperity Advisors, a Kansas City-based office of supervisory jurisdiction with about $1.7 billion in client assets.