March 26, 2013

Cetera’s Barnaby Grist Leaving BD to Care for Family

Executive recruiter retained to help with search for replacement

Barnaby Grist preached that health and family come first to his team at Cetera Financial, and now he’s putting the belief into practice.

Grist, the broker-dealer’s executive vice president of wealth management, announced on Tuesday that he will leave the firm to spend more time with his parents and in-laws.

“I’m kind of in a place now that if I don’t take the time, I might regret it forever,” Gist told AdvisorOne when asked about the move. “I can’t spend the time I want with loved ones and give 150% to Cetera.”

Valerie Brown, CEO, CeteraHe said CEO Valerie Brown (left), to whom he reports, has been “incredibly supportive,” as has the company’s board and the advisors with which he works.

"I’ve been speaking with our advisors all morning and that’s the sentiment that I’ve received from them, that this is absolutely the right thing to do,” Grist added. “It’s just time I prioritized differently.”

Grist joined Cetera in 2010 from Charles Schwab Advisor Services, where he was senior managing director of strategic business development. He said he’s most proud of “the team he’s built” in the three years since.

“They are all talented, creative and relationship-oriented,” he noted. “We’ve won all sorts of industry awards and increased our assets. Most importantly, our advisors are saying that we’re helping them grow their business on an average of 20%. That’s an indication we’re doing something right.”

When asked about the succession plan, Grist said he will remain with the firm for the “next couple of months to make sure they are up to speed as quickly as possible,” adding that it is working with an executive recruiter.

For cynics who might question the reasons for his departure, and whether he will turn up at Schwab again in a few months, Grist said, “absolutely not, although Schwab is also a great company. I can’t foresee a situation where that would happen. If that we’re the case we would have done this differently. My net worth is still tied up in the company, so I have a real interest in making sure it succeeds.”

Prior to employment with Schwab, Grist served as a consultant with the Boston Consulting Group's financial services practice. His experience also included a position as an equity analyst in Lehman Brothers' financial institutions group.

Grist earned a Master of Business Administration degree from Stanford University and he has an undergraduate degree from Oxford University in England. Grist will relocate from San Francisco to Cetera's headquarters in El Segundo, Calif.

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