Cetera Taps Ex-AFLAC Marketer as CMO

It also brings back a large financial-institutions client with $507 million in brokerage assets

Cetera Financial Group CMO Michael Zuna Cetera Financial Group CMO Michael Zuna

Ceter Financial Group said Monday that it has appointed Michael Zuna to serve as its chief marketing officer. Zuna most recently was CMO of Petco, while before that he had a similar role at AFLAC from 2009 to 2015.

“The marketing [work] has been shared by different people, who have had more traditional roles within the organization and within … the broker-dealer groups. This is a new appointment,” said President Adam Antoniades, in an interview. “We really decided to pursue it as our advice-centric vision evolved.”

At AFLAC, for instance, Zuna supported marketing efforts that encompassed 70,000-plus independent insurance agents and brokers. He also worked for advertiser Saatchi & Saatchi, which served clients like Ameriprise Financial, according to his LinkedIn profile.

“Cetera and its leadership team are passionate and have the desire to completely redefine the financial-advice space,” Zuna explained in an interview. “I’m excited and energized to work with those inspired by a greater mission in serving customers. Thus, Cetera has a unique appeal to me. Plus, the connections between my past and present [professional] life will help me ramp up quickly.”

Cetera includes Cetera Advisors, Cetera Advisor Networks, Cetera Financial Institutions, Cetera Financial Specialists, First Allied Securities, Girard Securities and Summit Brokerage Services. It hired a new chief information officer in August. 

“Given where we are going, we feel very fortunate that we attracted someone of this type of caliber …,” Antoniades said. “This is the next logical step in our long-term strategy and our transformative approach.”

Other Cetera News

Cetera also says that former client Cathay Bank will be working with its Cetera Financial Institutions platform again.

Cathay Bank has more than $14.5 billion in assets and 58 branches across the United States and one in Hong Kong. It offers wealth management services in the U.S., which have about $507 million in brokerage assets and include some 53 financial professionals.

“Cathay historically has been in the top 10 of our financial institution programs, in which we serve about 400 across the country. They are a highly valued client due to this longevity, and we are so honored to have them rejoin our firm,” said CEO Catherine Bonneau, in an interview.

Cathay Bank started its investment services program in 2006 with PrimeVest Financial Services, which became Cetera Financial Institutions in 2012.

“We have strong pool of resources to help them in terms of training and with tools like Fi360..., our ecosystem and the technology we are putting into the hands of our advisors to [give them] the bandwidth for powerful conversations with clients,” Bonneau said.

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