Amid intense industry speculation that he could be pushed out, the head of Cetera Financial Group is telling its 9,000 affiliated industry reps to sit tight.
“We have been exploring certain potential future options for our leadership structure as we enter the post-strategic transformation phase of development for our company. We expect to be able to provide clarity on this within a matter of days,” Larry Roth explained in a memo sent to advisors Monday, according to a copy of the memo obtained by ThinkAdvisor from an industry source.
“In the meantime, please be assured that changes to our leadership structure — if any — will be driven by the best interests of the advisors and institutions we support, with a focus on our part of ensuring seamless and uninterrupted service,” Roth explained.
News about a possible shift at Cetera and its parent company, Aretec, began circulating Friday, after RIABiz published a story on the matter.
Roth referenced the story, calling it “a speculative piece,” in his memo to advisors, which was first reported by Investment News.
Cetera said in a statement on Monday, “As a matter of policy, we do not publicly discuss speculation or rumors related to our organization.”
This prompted further head-scratching about a possible reorganization and management shuffle at the IBD group.
“It seems to be [going on], since it is not being denied. That’s a pretty good indicator,” said recruiter Jon Henschen, in an interview on Monday. “If a company doesn’t deny news reports, it speaks volumes.”
Much of the industry chatter concerns the future role of Chairman Robert Moore, a former LPL Financial executive, tapped to join the organization earlier this year.
Cetera’s current owners include Fortress Investment Group, Carlyle Investment Management and Eaton Vance Management.
The new investors “maybe see [Roth] as part of the problem and want new blood” at the top, explained Henschen.
Cetera has gone through a long list of transitions of late. Nicholas Schorsch, the founder of parent company RCS Capital (renamed Aretac after its recent bankruptcy proceedings), and some of his business partners became embroiled in an accounting scandal tied to a nontraded real estate investment trust group and related matters roughly two years ago.
Earlier this year, RCS Capital and Cetera reached a settlement with Lightyear Capital over its recruiting of executives associated with Cetera, which RCAP said had threatened its bankruptcy proceedings and Cetera’s restructuring plans.
Two former Cetera executives now with Lightyear and its affiliates have agreed not to perform work or services in ways that affect the Advisor Group’s competitive position vis-à-vis RCS Capital and Cetera through at least Sept. 4 and no later than Dec. 4.
— Check out Who’s in Charge at Cetera? on ThinkAdvisor.