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Cetera CEO Valerie Brown Steps Down; Larry Roth to Run RCAP’s IBD Group


Cetera CEO Valerie Brown Steps Down; Larry Roth to Run RCAP’s IBD Group

16:46 13 May in In the News

May 13, 2014
by Janet Levaux, ThinkAdvisor

The moves come less than a year after Roth left the AIG-owned Advisor Group to join RCS Capital, which recently acquired Cetera

Nicholas Schorsch and RCS Capital Corp. (RCAP) have reshuffled the leadership of the group’s advice platform and its roughly 9,000 independent reps.

Larry Roth, who moved to RCS from the AIG-owned Advisor Group less than a year ago, will now be CEO of its independent broker-dealer operations, RCAP said early Tuesday. The IBD business incudes First Allied Securities and the four Cetera Financial Group broker/dealers, which have already been bought, in addition to Investors Capital, Summit Brokerage Services and J.P. Turner & Co., which are in the process of being acquired by RCAP.

CEO Valerie Brown of Cetera Financial is leaving the company, RCAP says. “Over the years, Cetera has grown into the thriving business it is today, and Ms. Brown has expressed to me that she feels privileged to have played a role in its development,” explained RCAP President Michael Weill, in a press release. “With Cetera operating as a unit of RCAP, Ms. Brown believes now is the right time for her to transition from her role as CEO of Cetera into a consulting role with Cetera and on to other pursuits.”

At least one industry veteran, recruiter Jon Henschen, says he “is kind of sad” to see Brown depart.

“She is very well regarded and known for her analytical skills,” Henschen said in an interview. “When I was placing female reps [at Cetera], I could say ‘Here’s a selling point.’”

While Roth is CEO of the RCS-owned IBDs, Adam Antoniades — CEO of First Allied Holdings — will now serve as president of Cetera Financial. Last week, First Allied Securities tapped Kevin Keefe as its president; Keefe previously was head of wealth management for the AIG-owned Advisor Group.

Roth, a 30-year industry veteran, was the CEO of the predecessor company to Cetera Financial, ING’s U.S. Retail Group.

“My concern is that these changes [at RCS Capital] could this reflect a move toward ‘good ole boy management,’ which can make it a struggle for women in upper management to gain ground,” Henschen said.

RCAP says that Roth will make “a number of additional appointments to senior leadership positions … in the coming weeks, at which point the complete management team for the retail platform will have been assembled.”

“When we hired Mr. Roth last summer, we knew he could contribute significantly to our future success across the breadth of our enterprise,” said Schorsch, RCAP’s executive chairman, in a statement. “Our announcement today represents the tremendous confidence we have placed in both his leadership abilities and his strategic vision.”

Advisors, Henschen says, may not be jumping up and down about more changes.

“They want consistency,” he said. “Sweeping changes of the next few months would not bode well. It raises questions and can breed insecurity.”