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Financial Planning > Charitable Giving

Cetera Acquires 900 Voya Reps

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Cetera Financial Group said early Monday that it is acquiring the independent financial planning channel of insurer Voya Financial, confirming reports that circulated over the weekend about the deal.  

The deal should bring about 900 financial professionals with $40 billion in client assets to Cetera, giving it a total of roughly $300 billion in assets, the broker-dealer network said. 

Voya expects that the sale will provide the company with over $300 million in deployable proceeds at closing. The transaction is expected to close in the second or third quarter.

Cetera now has about 8,000 financial professionals. Some 600 professionals with Voya Financial Advisors focused on its retirement business are excluded from the transaction. 

“We have always respected VFA’s commitment to their business owners, independent operating model and strong community of financial professionals,” said Cetera CEO Adam Antoniades in a statement.

The advisors and staff moving to Cetera will become part of Cetera Advisor Networks. The Voya group will continue to be led by VFA President Tom Halloran. Key leadership and service teams will also move to Cetera as part of the transaction.  

“Our team at VFA and our independent financial professionals are excited to be joining Cetera as we build on the legacy and progress we’ve made over the last seven years,” Halloran said in a statement. 

“Cetera’s commitment to the independent model is the right fit for our business owners, giving them increased flexibility and scale.” 

ING Connections

Cetera is owned by the private equity group Genstar Capital, which bought a majority stake in the firm in 2018; Voya is a publicly traded firm that was spun off from ING in 2013. 

What makes the reported deal “super interesting,” said one industry insider close to firms involved in the talks who asked to go unnamed, is the ING connections between the different players.

Before the financial crisis, the Cetera broker-dealers were owned by ING. 

In 2013, Cetera struck a deal to buy Tower Square Securities and Walnut Street Securities, two BDs owned by the insurer MetLife. That came on the heels of Cetera acquiring Genworth Financial Investment Services, which focused on tax and accounting professionals.

In 2019, Cetera bought some broker-dealer and advisory-business assets from insurer Foresters Financial, which included 500 independent advisors at the time.

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