Cetera Financial Group says it has hired more executives and updated its platforms in order to helps its advisors sell and service retirement plans in accordance with the expected new Department of Labor fiduciary standard.

On Tuesday, the group of independent broker-dealers said it introduced Cetera Retirement Plan Specialists, an ERISA plan consulting firm and a dedicated third-party administrator. This group used to serve First Allied advisors but will now be available to the more than 9,000 registered reps affiliated with the Cetera network of IBDs.

“Cetera is very, very much on top of the DOL game,” said Brett Harrison, executive vice president for advisor growth for Cetera Financial and CEO of Cetera Advisors, in an interview with ThinkAdvisor. “This is one component of that work in the retirement plan space.”

(Cetera is owned by RCS Capital, which recently filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection; as part of its restructuring plans, the parent company plans to give lenders control of the unit and take Cetera private.)

According to Jon Anderson, director of Cetera Retirement Solutions, more than 50% of advisors have at least one retirement plan client.

“This program and solutions [being introduced by Cetera] are for all advisors who want to stay in this business and want to take on this fiduciary duty,” explained Anderson in an interview. “At the home office, we want to offer solutions that let advisors do business the way they want to. And we have more solutions in the wings, depending on how the [final] DOL rules come out.”

Cetera says it tapped Ruben Ramirez to serve as manager of the Retirement Practice Consulting Team and George Barker as manager of Retirement Plan Partner Relations. In addition, it describes the retirement plan expansion as follows: 

  • Rollout of Cetera’s Guided Retirement Solutions Web portal to all broker-dealers
  • Continued development of retirement plan data aggregation and practice management technology in partnership with Envestnet
  • Network-wide launch of Cetera’s integrated ERISA plan consulting team and third-party administrator
  • Further expansion of Cetera’s Retirement Practice Consulting team
  • Launch of industrywide program that includes several retirement plan partners.

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