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Schorsch Buys Cetera in $1.15B Surprise Deal

Nicholas Schorsch’s RCS Capital Corp. purchased Cetera Financial Group from private equity firm Lightyear Capital on Thursday in a $1.15 billion cash deal. Cetera's purchase marks the fourth broker/dealer acquisition Schorsch has accomplished in the past year, starting with First Allied in June. RCS Capital bought Summit Brokerage Services and Investors Capital Holdings later in 2013.

“We intend for RCAP to be the most important full-service financial services and securities distribution company in the industry by joining our financial advice practice, wholesale distribution and capital markets expertise, and continuously executing on these strategies through our transaction management group,” Schorsch said in a statement Thursday.

Check out all of Schorsch’s acquisitions in the past year

Led by Valerie Brown, President and CEO, Cetera was formed in 2010 after the sale of three ING broker-dealers. The group has 6,660 advisors divided amongst four independent broker-dealers: Cetera Advisors, Cetera Advisor Networks, Cetera Financial Institutions and Cetera Financial Specialists. With Cetera, RCAP now includes about 8,900 independent financial advisors, serving over 2.5 million investors, with over $190 billion in assets under administration. 

Brown and the Cetera management team will continue to operate Cetera's respective brands as part RCS Capital's retail advice platform. Brown called the decision to merge an easy one. “By joining the RCS Capital family of companies, we become the cornerstone of the second largest independent financial advisor network in America and are positioned for even greater success in the future.”

The deal, which is subject to FINRA approval, is expected to close later in 2014.  And this is probably not the last broker/dealer the industry will see fall under RCS Capital’s stewardship. “It is our plan to rapidly build out our footprint across America in one seamless step with our family of independently operated retail firms, led by Cetera," Schorsch said. 

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