Cetera Financial Group, the second-largest independent financial advisor network in the nation by number of advisors, has formed its new board of directors, after selling a majority stake of its business to private equity firm Genstar Capital in July.
The new board members include Ben Brigeman, Gary Michel and Hal Strong, as well as Genstar executives Sid Ramakrishnan and Tony Salewski, and Cetera’s chief executive officer Robert Moore.
“With the war for talented and experienced leadership continuing to intensify throughout the financial services space, the addition of these five exceptional executives to our team immediately brings Cetera a deeper level of operational insight and strategic guidance than we have ever had before,” said Moore. “We look forward to continuing to expand our board with additional professionals of the highest caliber of skills and expertise in the future.”
Brigeman, who serves as chairman of the Cetera board, is a former executive vice president for Charles Schwab & Co., as well as former head of Schwab’s individual investor (retail) business. He serves on Genstar Capital’s non-employee strategic advisory board and is a member of the board for Ascensus, Apex Group, and Institutional Shareholder Services. He is also president and CEO of Brigeman Enterprises; board member of Surgical Theater LLC; and chairman of the advisory board for Stratos Wealth Partners.
Michel is the former chief financial officer of TravelClick, a former Genstar portfolio company. He also served as CFO of Register.com, a provider of web services to small and mid-sized businesses. Michel is a member of Genstar’s strategic advisory board.
Strong is the former vice chairman of Russell Investments, and also served as its chief operating officer, CFO, head of alternative investments and head of investment banking during his 18-year career at the company. He serves on Genstar’s strategic advisory board and is a member of the board of directors of Altegris, Apex Group, ISS, Mercer Advisors, and Strategic Insight.
Salewski, managing director of Genstar Capital, was the former chief of staff for Barclays Global Investors, where he executed strategic initiatives for that firm’s executive committee. He was an associate at Hellman & Friedman LLC before joining Barclay’s.
Ramakrishnan, vice president of Genstar Capital, previously served as chief of staff to the CEO at former Genstar portfolio company AssetMark and led corporate strategy for the company. He previously worked in the investment banking division of Morgan Stanley.
Cetera’s network of six independent broker-dealer firms includes Cetera Advisors, Cetera Advisor Networks, Cetera Investment Services (marketed as Cetera Financial Institutions), Cetera Financial Specialists, First Allied Securities and Summit Brokerage Services.
Cetera is the nation’s second-largest independent financial advisor network with nearly 8,000 advisors, as well as a retail service provider to the investment programs of banks and credit unions.