ING Advisors Networks, which provides broker-dealer services to 7,000-plus financial advisors nationwide, said that Chairman and CEO John Simmers has decided to retire. Simmers will remain in an advisory role with the broker-dealer network in order to ensure a smooth transition to his successor and will complete his term on FINRA’s Board of Governors.

Mark Marr, now executive vice president and chief administrative officer of ING Advisors Network, has been named interim CEO. He has been with ING for 11 years.

According to ING, Simmers has been an influential leader in the broker-dealer industry for more than 30 years, beginning with a role as an examiner trainee at the National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD). From there, he and a group of partners launched Financial Network Investment Corp. (FNIC), which became one of the most successful and well-known independent broker-dealers in the industry.

In 1997, FNIC was sold to Aetna Financial Services, which was acquired by ING Group in 2000. Simmers assumed his current role as CEO of ING Advisors Network in 2001, where he focused on consolidating ING’s vast collection of broker-dealers into the four broker-dealers now comprising ING Advisors Network.

“It’s never easy to make a career decision of this magnitude; however, I am extremely proud of the work we have accomplished over the past eight years and believe that ING Advisors Network is well-positioned for continued success,” Simmers said.