Lightyear wraps up purchase of B-Ds, re-brands as Cetera

Donald Marron, ex-PaineWebber boss, finally lands indie B-D

Feb 7, 2010 @ 12:01 am

By John Goff

Private-equity firm Lightyear Capital LLC last week said that it has completed its acquisition of three ING Groep NV broker-dealers.

Financial Network Investment Corp., Multi-Financial Securities Corp. and PrimeVest Financial Services Inc., were three of the four companies that constituted the ING Advisors Network. The acquired firms will keep their names but will operate under a new group name, Cetera Financial Group.

Lightyear on Nov. 3 announced a definitive agreement to buy the ING broker-dealers.

Through its affiliated funds, the firm has managed about $3 billion of committed capital. Investments at Lightyear cut across the financial services spectrum, including asset management, banking, brokerage, financial technology, insurance and leasing.

Lightyear is run by Donald Marron, former chairman and chief executive of PaineWebber Group Inc. In explaining the thinking behind the purchase of the ING B-Ds, he said in a statement that he remains convinced “that the independent-advisory-based model will benefit in today's market environment.”

Cetera had a combined 4,841 advisers and about $75 billion in assets under administration as of the end of 2009. Valerie Brown, who was chief of the ING Advisor Network, will continue in that role at Cetera.

Terms of the deal weren't disclosed.

But Mr. Marron had been looking to buy an independent-broker-dealer operation for months before signing the deal with ING.

Lightyear was the finalist for the broker-dealers in the AIG Advisor Group. That deal eventually was pulled off the table in August by American International Group Inc. chief executive Robert Benmosche.

E-mail John Goff at


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