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Cetera Strikes IPO Investment Deal With JMP, Expands Tech Ties With Broadridge

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RCS Capital (RCAP) said Thursday that it reached an agreement with JMP Group (JMP) so the 9,700-plus financial advisors affiliated with its Cetera Financial Group and their 2 million retail clients can participate in initial public offerings (IPOs) and other securities offerings underwritten by the underwriter.

Cetera Financial Group also announced that one of its business units is expanding its relationship with Broadridge Financial Solutions (BR) to improve the self-clearing processes it offers to nearly 500 financial institutions. The unit, Cetera Financial Institutions, provides wealth management, brokerage and investment solutions to bank and credit union-based investment programs and financial advisors.

“Our relationship with JMP demonstrates our continuing commitment to capitalize on external opportunities in order to provide our retail investors with an excellent series of choices from among a diverse portfolio of investment solutions,” said Cetera Financial Group CEO Larry Roth, in a statement. “We look forward to delivering previously inaccessible offerings to our customers and further strengthening RCAP’s industry leading platform in the retail advisory space.”

(In September, RCS tapped former-LPL Financial executive Bill Dwyer as the CEO of its Realty Capital Securities unit. That news came on the heels of RCS Capital’s July announcement that it was setting up a crowdfunding investment platform with assets — and management — being acquired from Trupoly, an investor-relations portal.)

Cetera Financial Group’s retail-advice platform includes Cetera Advisors, Cetera Advisor Networks, Cetera Financial Specialists, Cetera Investment Services (marketed as Cetera Financial Institutions), First Allied Securities, Investors Capital, J.P. Turner and Co., the Legend Group and Summit Brokerage Services, along with VSR Financial and Girard Securities following the close of their acquisitions by RCAP.

“Both Cetera Financial Group and our parent company, RCS Capital, have an unwavering commitment to empowering the delivery of best-of-breed wealth management solutions among banks and credit unions through Cetera Financial Institutions,” said Roth, in a separate statement. 

“The Cetera Financial Institutions self-clearing platform is unique within our network of broker-dealers, as is the firm’s focus on financial institutions,” the executive explained. “Banks and credit unions throughout the country have enormous potential to meet the financial planning and wealth management needs of their customers, and we are excited to deliver the resources Cetera Financial Institutions needs to help these institutions and their financial advisors realize that potential.”

According to Cetera Financial Institutions President & CEO Catherine Bonneau, the business was “the first bank and credit union channel-focused independent broker-dealer to begin self-clearing, in 1990.”

The expanded relationship with Broadridge, Bonneau adds, aims “to reaffirm our commitment to self-clearing as part of a broader set of technology innovations designed to reinforce our leadership in this market.”

The platform changes include access to the Investigo tool, which lets advisors see a consolidated statement of advisory, brokerage, annuity and direct assets and share consolidated reports about asset performance; Ascendis technology, which allows for straight-through processing; the ability to launch tablet and mobile-phone enabled capabilities by 2015; and improvements to a marketing program that supports outreach when financial institutions are concerned about declining branch traffic.

“From bank investment programs, to trust departments and bank-owned registered investment advisor firms, the wealth management needs of financial institutions are increasing in terms of scope and complexity, even as their options for strategic partners are decreasing,” said Bonneau, in a press release. “With these moves, we believe we are positioning ourselves to be the service provider of choice to banks and credit unions of all sizes and structures who are seeking a forward-thinking partner who can help them grow on an accelerated basis within the wealth-management space.”

Other RCAP News

Last week, First Allied Securities hosted its eighth-annual First Allied University educational event in Atlanta for 180 First Allied reps, as well as advisors from Cetera Advisors and the Legend Group. The workshop focused on practice management and “the tools and dedicated support to help financial advisors take immediate action to enhance their practices.”

In 2014, advisors who had participated in earlier educational events had an average annual revenue growth rate of nearly 19%, according to First Allied.

“This year, First Allied was delighted to welcome financial advisors from multiple fellow Cetera Financial Group broker-dealer firms to First Allied University, and we look forward to showcasing more of this exceptional educational platform to the broader Cetera network,” said First Allied President Kevin Keefe,” in a statement.

“Being part of an industry-leading network of firms with unparalleled resources clearly empowers First Allied University to continue to explore innovative ideas with our advisors, with the aim of introducing them to our larger Cetera advisor universe when we have proven the success of those ideas. All of this, in turn, provides an excellent example of the advantages we provide to First Allied advisors through our relationship with Cetera Financial Group.”

After finishing the First Allied University program, advisors can work on becoming designated as certified wealth strategists (CWS). This year, First Allied says it also introduced a master’s program for “a select group of advanced advisors who want to learn advanced wealth management and business growth strategies.”

Experts who worked with advisors at the conferenced included Philip Palaveev, CEO of the Ensemble Practice; Phil Buchanan, chairman of the Cannon Financial Institute; Frank Maselli of the Maselli Group; and Mitch Anthony, president of Advisory Insight Inc.

Check out RCAP’s Crowdfunding Site: A Smart Move? on ThinkAdvisor.


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