Cetera Financial Group is uniting its four separate broker-dealers under a common brand. The company's CEO is quick to note, however, tht the renamed broker-dealers will remain distinct and autonomous.
Cetera was created when private equity manager Lightyear Capital LLC in 2010 purchased a group of independent broker-dealers from Dutch insurer ING Groep NV. The broker-dealer network, with 6,500 reps and advisers, on Tuesday morning said it will begin changing the name of its broker-dealers in the fourth quarter of 2012. Cetera aims to finish the rebranding by the end of the first quarter next year.
“We are reinforcing the multiple faces of our independent broker-dealers,” said Cetera CEO Valerie Brown. The four firms remain “separate and distinct broker-dealers with separate management,” she said. “And we get to leverage brand recognition already being built by Cetera.”
Another advantage to its reps and advisers is that the name change “takes nervousness about consolidation off the table,” Ms. Brown said.
Financial Network Investment Corp., with more 2,100 advisers in large regional networks, will be renamed Cetera Advisor Networks.
Multi-Financial Securities Corp., with more than 1,100 advisors, will be renamed Cetera Advisors.
Cetera's self-clearing, bank broker-dealer, PrimeVest Financial Services, with more than 1,500 reps and advisers, will be renamed Cetera Financial Institutions.
And finally, Genworth Financial Investment Services, which Cetera acquired in April, will be renamed Cetera Financial Specialists. That firm has 1,800 tax and accounting professionals.
The name changes are pending regulatory approval.
A new company website, www.Cetera.com, was also launched Tuesday, the company said.
The acquisition earlier this year of the Genworth broker-dealer put the issue of rebranding — a sometimes sensitive issue for longtime advisers — front and center, Ms. Brown said.
“With Genworth, we needed to rebrand off that,” she said. “We used the acquisition as an opportunity to rebrand all four firms and unify brand structure.”
The new names will also help the firm's advisers to simply improve the conversation with clients,” she said. “We keep boutique firms and reinforce the scale of what's there to support client.”