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Cetera Grabs LPL Exec to Fill CFO Slot

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Cetera Financial Group is on a recruiting roll, at least in its C suite.

On Wednesday, the group of independent broker-dealers said Jeffrey Buchheister would become its CFO on Aug. 2. Previously Buchheister was LPL Financial’s (LPLA) chief accounting officer.

“We are excited to have a senior corporate finance and accounting professional of Jeff’s caliber and proven industry experience join us to serve on our leadership team,” said Cetera CEO Larry Roth. “His many years in the retail independent financial advice space in operational and corporate executive roles, combined with his high-level financial skills, made him an ideal choice for this pivotal position.

According to Cetera, the CFO role is a newly created position.

In response to Buchheister’s decision, LPL Financial said in a regulatory filing on Wednesday that CFO Matthew J. Audette will assume the departing executive’s duties as its principal accounting officer.

Buchheister’s hiring as CFO comes two months after Robert Moore was tapped as the nonexecutive chairman of the board of Cetera’s parent firm. Moore, who served as president of LPL Financial from May 2012 to March 2015, is now CEO of Legal & General Investment Management America, an asset manager.

Several weeks after the Moore news, Cetera name three more members also joined board: Mary Cranston, Robert “Bob” Dineen and Edmond Walters. Along with Moore, the remaining board members are Cetera CEO Larry Roth; Michael Kaufman, principal of Redwood Capital Management; and David King, managing director at Fortress Investment Group.

Walters used to serve as CEO of eMoney Advisor, a web-based planning system used by some 55,000 advisors that was sold to Fidelity last year. Dineen most recently was vice chairman of Lincoln Financial Network and a member of Lincoln Financial Group’s senior management committee, and he also is a board member of life insurer Aegon. Cranston is a retired senior partner and past chair of the law firm Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman who is now on the boards of Visa, the Chemours Company and Myokardia.

As for the latest Cetera hire, Buchheister says he is “thrilled to join” the IBD group’s executive team at a “watershed moment” for the firm, which comes several months after its parent company, formerly RCS Capital and recently renamed Aretec (or Cetera spelled backward), wrapped up its bankruptcy proceedings; Aretec now serves as a non-operating holding company, and Cetera is its sole operating business.

“There are tremendous opportunities ahead for Cetera as a newly independent, private entity, especially during a time when the industry environment is so competitive, fast-moving, and complex. I look forward to working with the Cetera team for the benefit of our advisors and their clients, and for our new shareholders who have placed their confidence in us,” he explained in a statement.

Cetera’s CFO has been in the financial-services industry for 22 years, 13 of which he spent at LPL, the largest independent broker-dealer in the U.S. Before serving as LPL’s accounting chief for the past two years, Buchheister was senior vice president of business management from November 2012 to July 2014, senior vice president of client support services from May 2009 to October 2012, chief accounting officer from January 2006 to May 2009 and corporate controller from September 2003 to December 2005.

Prior to joining LPL, Buchheister was a senior manager at Deloitte, where he managed audit and audit-related consulting engagements for financial services companies including E-Trade, American Funds, Pacific Life and TCW.

“With our strategic transformation into a well-capitalized and privately held Cetera-only organization successfully completed, our focus has been on enhancing our executive team and board structure to best position our company to capitalize on the many opportunities we see ahead,” Roth added. “In this fast-evolving industry, we will undoubtedly benefit from Jeff’s expertise and counsel. I look forward to working with him, in the service of all our member firms, the financial advisors and institutions we support across the country, and their clients.”

Cetera Financial includes the IBDs Cetera Advisors, Cetera Advisor Networks, Cetera Investment Services (marketed as Cetera Financial Institutions), Cetera Financial Specialists, First Allied Securities, Girard Securities, Legend Equities Corp. and Summit Brokerage Services. 

– Related on ThinkAdvisor: Cetera, Freed From RCAP Bankruptcy, Set to Charge Ahead


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