Cetera names Robert Moore CEO, replacing Larry Roth

Mr. Moore, Cetera's non-executive chairman, will take over the reins Sept. 12

Sep 1, 2016 @ 2:00 pm

By Christine Idzelis

Cetera Financial Group Inc. has named Robert Moore chief executive officer, replacing Larry Roth.

Mr. Moore, the brokerage firm's non-executive chairman, will take over from Mr. Roth on Sept. 12. Board member Robert Dineen will fill Mr. Moore's current position.

Mr. Roth oversaw Cetera, which has about 9,000 financial advisers, as its parent RCS Capital Corp. headed toward a Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing at the end of January. The change in leadership follows the completion of its restructuring process in late May.

Thursday's announcement caps nearly a week of speculation that Cetera was considering a change in leadership. In a memo to advisers on Monday, Mr. Roth said changes to the broker-dealer network's top leadership were being considered and may be settled "within a matter of days."

(Related read: Cetera advisers in the dark after report that CEO Larry Roth will be replaced by chairman Robert Moore)

"Cetera today has clarity on its ownership structure, a healthy balance sheet, additional capital to continue investing in adviser support resources and a renewed sense of enthusiasm for the future,” Mr. Moore said in a company statement Thursday.

He said the firm expects to have “a number of important positive announcements in the coming weeks, from new tools and resources for our advisers and institutions, to significant progress in previously disclosed orderly wind-down and divestiture activities with respect to non-core firms in our network.”

(Related read: Big broker-dealer shakeups)

Cetera is focused on implementing the Department of Labor's new fiduciary rule, according to Mr. Moore. Firms must begin complying with the DOL's new regulation, which requires financial advisers to put their clients' interests ahead of their own when making recommendations for their retirement accounts, in April, with full implementation required by January 2018.

“We have been working very, very diligently on DOL preparedness,” Mr. Moore said by phone, adding that specifics surrounding those efforts will be unveiled later this month.

More broadly, his primary task will be to “unlock and reach the potential” of Cetera, Mr. Moore said, while working to position the El Segundo, Calif.-based company as a leader impacting the future of financial advice. Mr. Moore said he was asked to consider becoming CEO as the board was assessing ways to reach its “full capabilities.”

Adam Antoniades will continue to serve as Cetera's president, reporting directly to Mr. Moore.

(Related read: Cetera, plan sponsor sued for excessive fees in $25 million 401(k))

Mr. Roth joined Cetera's former parent, RCS Capital, from AIG Advisor Group in 2013. He led the parent's wholesaling broker-dealer, Realty Capital Securities, before replacing Valerie Brown as CEO of Cetera Financial in May 2014.

“We thank Larry Roth for his many contributions to our company, and welcome his assistance through the transition," Mr. Dineen said in Thursday's statement.

Mr. Roth will serve as a consultant to Mr. Moore, providing strategic counsel and guidance. Mr. Moore is replacing him as CEO about three months after Cetera appointed him chairman.

Mr. Moore was previously the chief executive of institutional asset manager Legal & General Investment Management America Inc. Before that, he was president of LPL Financial, an independent broker-dealer based in Boston, until resigning in March 2015.

Robert Moore discusses why robos will never replace advisers

Larry Roth on how retirement saving has changed

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