The parent company of the Cetera Financial Group of independent broker-dealers, RCS Capital (RCAP), filed for bankruptcy protection in Delaware on Sunday as expected, and Cetera plans to spend some $50 million on programs to retain the roughly 9,000 independent advisors affiliated with its network of broker-dealers who are eligible for such funding, court filings show.
New York-based RCS Capital has close to $2 billion in assets and roughly $1.4 billion in debts, according to a Bloomberg report. The company’s unsecured creditors include Wilmington Savings Fund Society and Proskauer Rose LLP of New York.
In early January, RCS Capital said it had obtained $150 million to restructure its finances from a group of key investors. Also, private equity firms Carlyle Investment Management and Fortress Investment Group, along with asset manager Eaton Vance Management, are letting the company forgo debt payments. These entities are poised to see the money they are lending to Cetera turn into equity shares in the group of independent broker-dealers.
Cetera includes 10 broker-dealers, several of which carry the Cetera brand; others — such as First Allied and Investors Capital — do not.
“We are grateful to our lenders for their approval of a healthy retention program for eligible advisors and financial institutions, which demonstrates their strong support and commitment to invest in the long-term success of Cetera,” said CEO Larry Roth in a statement. ”We have worked closely with the leadership of each of the firms in our network to develop a methodology for advisors and investment programs of financial institutions to participate in our retention program, encompassing a range of qualitative and quantitative factors.”
The Cetera-branded broker-dealers are likely to offer retention deals only to reps who have $250,000 or more in average yearly fees & commissions, says Jon Henschen, a recruiter and head of Henschen & Associates. Advisors and others in the industry have said the deals will be roughly equivalent to 6% of an advisor’s trailing-12-month production level and will be paid in stock, Henschen said; these reps also will be eligible to receive another 2% of their yearly production in cash.
Advisors who serve as regional vice presidents and those leading offices of supervisory jurisdiction could receive an additional 2% of trailing-12-month production in cash, with a total maximum payout of 10% for OSJs and RVP otherwise 8%, according to Henschen.
“After what some reps went through purchasing RCAP stock … you have to wonder if owning stock will resonate [with them] vs. an only-cash offer. Offering stock at a time when profitability of BDs will be more difficult going forward vs. [the period of] pre-DOL fiduciary duty is unfortunately awkward timing,” the recruiter explained.
Cetera declined to comment at press time on such details.
“Each of our firms’ presidents will be communicating further details to eligible advisors on an individual basis over the next few weeks,” Roth explained. ”We appreciate the continued loyalty of our advisors and institutions, and we look forward to helping to grow their businesses under the fresh start we now have as a company.”