Cetera Financial Group, formerly ING Advisors Network, said it has hired Mark Palmer as the firm’s national sales manager.
Palmer will oversee Cetera’s advisory services sales and training and will report to Barnaby Grist, Cetera’s executive vice president of wealth management. Both Grist and Palmer formerly worked for Charles Schwab.
In February, private-equity firm Lightyear Capital LLC completed its acquisition of the three independent broker/dealers that formerly constituted the ING Advisors Network–Financial Network, Multi-Financial, and PrimeVest. It then renamed the holding company Cetera, though the three broker/dealers’ names remain unchanged.
Lightyear’s chairman and CEO is Donald Marron, who headed Paine Webber for 20 years and also was chairman of UBS America after the brokerage firm’s merger with PaineWebber.; he is chairman of Cetera’s board. The CEO of Cetera Financial group is Valerie Brown, who replaced John Simmers as CEO of ING Advisors Network last year after Simmers’s retirement.
Lightyear’s plans to acquire ING Advisors Network were first announced in late 2009.
Based in El Segundo, Calif. (near Los Angeles), Cetera has some 4,955 affiliated independent advisors, including registered reps, registered investment advisors and investment advisor reps. Financial Network has about 2,600 financial professionals; Multi-Financial has roughly 1,000; and PriveVest has 1,500 or so.
The advisors manage about $76 billion in client assets.
“I’m eager to contribute to what Cetera and its advisors are building,” said Palmer in a statement. “The industry reached an inflection point in 2008 and the momentum clearly favors independent financial advisors.”