Praise the news gods

Jan 19, 2014 @ 12:01 am

By Frederick P. Gabriel Jr.

You gotta love a newsroom. On Wednesday evening, Bob Hordt, one of my deputy editors, and I were lamenting the fact that we did not have a strong news story to put on Page 1 this week. “Don't worry,” I said. “The news gods will deliver.”

Did they ever.

Actually, quite a few news gods delivered — not the least of whom was Nicholas Schorsch, the so-called REIT czar who since June has turned the independent-broker-dealer world on its head by announcing a spate of B-D acquisitions that would put him at the helm of a network with 9,200 registered reps and $1.73 billion in revenue.

On Thursday morning, Mr. Schorsch's RCS Capital Corp. announced a $1.15 billion cash deal to buy Cetera Financial Group Inc. from Lightyear Capital. Twenty-four hours later, RCS said it is also buying J.P. Turner & Co. to the tune of $27 million in cash and stock.

Stupid me. I was proud of myself for splurging on six pairs of socks last week.

The good news is that between reporter Mark Schoeff Jr.'s continuing coverage of the SEC's plans to step up adviser examinations this year and senior columnist Bruce Kelly's story about the Schorsch deals, as well as his overview of deal making in the IBD arena last year, our news cup runneth over.

It remains to be seen how all this deal making will turn out for Mr. Schorsch. Will he succeed in building a broker-dealer network that gives such long-established players as Raymond James Financial Inc. and LPL Financial a real run for their money? Or will he go down in the annals of B-D history as just another deal maker who is long on ambition and short on stamina?

The news gods will let us know.

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