Cetera announced on Tuesday that it has appointed Michael Ragunas as chief information officer to help the organization develop and implement technology across all its lines of business.
Cetera Financial Group comprises several firms: Cetera Advisors, Cetera Advisor Networks, Cetera Financial Institutions, Cetera Financial Specialists, First Allied Securities, Girard Securities and Summit Brokerage Services.
Ragunas will take a “particular focus” on the Advice Architect Ecosystem Cetera rolled out in May, and will oversee all of the firm’s information technology, telecommunications and related systems.
Ragunas formerly was chief technology officer for Payfone Inc, and chief information officer for Fanatics Inc., an online retailer that sells officially licensed sports merchandise.
In the financial services industry, he held senior technology positions at Bank of America.
Ragunas will report directly to CEO Robert Moore from Los Angeles.
Moore cited Ragunas’ “passion for creating innovative technology strategies” in welcoming him to the company.
“Mike’s track record for technology leadership aligns perfectly with our commitment to continue to accelerate our progress in rolling out the new technology-driven platforms and tools that comprise our Advice Architect Ecosystem,” Moore said in a statement. “The expertise, entrepreneurial drive and unwavering focus on tangible results that Mike has demonstrated throughout his career will be enormously helpful for us to sustain the strong momentum we’ve built in leading the way forward with an advice-centric experience model for our industry.”
Ragunas called Cetera’s “advice-centric” focus “unique and compelling, bringing together key elements of strategy, technology and vision.”
“The significant strides the company has made in developing and integrating innovative technologies to help transform the way financial advice is delivered is only the beginning of what I’m confident will be a remarkable strategic journey,” he said in a statement.
The Advice Architect Ecosystem is part of Cetera’s effort to provide an “advice-centric experience” for advisors and clients. “When we say ‘advice-centric experience,’ it means an understanding of the level of transparency, alignment and depth that will be expected in the future amongst clients, advisors and the relevant firms that are affiliated with those relationships,” Moore told ThinkAdvisor in June.
— Read In a Shift, Cetera to Gather Its BDs at ’18 National Conference on ThinkAdvisor.