Cetera CEO Robert Moore

Cetera Financial Group says it recruited more than 800 advisors with roughly $5.3 billion in assets under administration in 2018. The firm, which declined to give its exact advisor headcount for the past two years, states that it now has over 8,000 affiliated advisors.

“We are excited to be moving forward in 2019 propelled by the solid recruiting momentum we achieved last year, which really picked up in the fourth quarter with record results,” according to Cetera CEO Robert “RJ” Moore.

Owned by the private equity group Genstar Capital, Cetera does not have to release detailed financial information to the public, unlike some rivals like LPL Financial and Raymond James — which have 16,109 and 7,815 advisors, respectively.

Cetera says its recent results are being driven by its revamped its recruiting team, now lead by Mike Murray, the head of business development who joined the firm about nine months ago from LPL. “Advisor response to our new pricing model and revamped business development team has been exceptional,” Murray said in a statement.

The firm’s advisor-alignment strategy includes partnerships with AdvisorNet, BAR Financial, Horizon Wealth Management, Carson Group and other affiliated firms and is focused on marketing and sales. The programs include training and performance marketing.

As Carson Group founder and CEO Ron Carson explained: “2019 will present a number of opportunities and challenges for advisors. … Our relationship is centered around a shared mission to provide guidance, support and an incredible experience so advisors are empowered to deliver unmistakable value to their clients.”

“Cetera has been helping us put in place a number of growth initiatives for our existing advisors over the last six months, [and] we seem to be working on a new one every week!” said Dan May, president and CEO of AdvisorNet and regional director with Cetera Advisor Networks, in a statement.

As for technology, Cetera’s focus in 2019 is its new digital portal for advisors and clients, AdviceWorks. Also, the firm says it will roll out an emotion recognition and behavior analysis platform, Decipher, which it showcased at the recent T3 Advisor Conference.

“Cetera is leveraging advances in technology to enable a more human experience in the provision of financial advice and to amplify the value of human advice,” according to Cetera President Adam Antoniades.

“As the profession grapples with disruption, our technology helps advisors accomplish three things: It allows the advisor to offer value beyond the planning and implementation of investment management … while delivering a personalized experience for clients,” he explained.

— Check out Top Tech Rollouts, Trends From T3 on ThinkAdvisor.