Private equity firm Lightyear Capital LLC announced February 1 that it had completed its acquisition of the three independent broker/dealers that formerly constituted the ING Advisors Network--Financial Network, Multi-Financial, and PrimeVest--and that it was renaming the Advisors Network as Cetera Financial Group, though each individual B/D will retain its name. Terms of the acquisition, first announced last November, were not disclosed.
Valerie Brown, who had headed the ING Advisors Network, will become CEO of Cetera, which will be based in El Segundo, California, and will have about 4,800 advisors and $75 billion in assets under administration as of December 31, 2009. Donald Marron, Lightyear's chairman and CEO, becomes chairman of Cetera's Board. Two other Lightyear managing directors--Mark Vassallo and Stewart Gross--will be members of Cetera's board. Marron was chairman and CEO of Paine Webber Group Inc. from 1980-2000, and after PaineWebber's merger with UBS, Marron was chairman of UBS America until September 2003.
Brown was named CEO of ING Advisors Network in May 2009, replacing John Simmers, who had announced his retirement the previous month. She had served as president of the Network from 2002 through 2007 before moving to ING's annuity business.
Joining Cetera and reporting to Brown is industry veteran Barnaby Grist, who became executive VP, wealth management, February 10. Grist was most recently senior managing director, strategic development, at Schwab Advisor Services, where he specialized in matching breakaway brokers with existing Schwab RIA firms