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Cetera Names Former Avantax RIA Its New Head of Corporate Development

Michael Molnar

Cetera Financial Group named Michael Molnar its head of corporate development. Molnar previously led corporate development, mergers and acquisitions, and succession planning for Avantax Inc., which was acquired by Cetera Holdings in November 2023.

During his Avantax tenure, Molnar orchestrated more than 20 acquisitions that helped nearly double the size of Avantax’s employee-based registered investment adviser. Molnar will lead corporate development for the combined Cetera-Avantax organization, overseeing the M&A team and particularly focused on acquisitions and succession solutions.

Molnar replaces Ken Bond and will now lead the combined corporate development organization while working closely with Jeffrey Buchheister, Cetera Financial Group chief financial officer, and Mike Durbin, Cetera Holdings chief executive officer.

“We’re grateful for Ken’s contributions, many of which supported Cetera’s record-setting growth in 2023. We wish him well as he rejoins the insurance industry where he spent much of his career before Cetera,” said Buchheister. “Looking ahead, we’re excited to have Michael in this important role, and view this rapid transition as an early success of our Avantax integration. He was a natural choice for Cetera leadership based on his experience and the role he played in growing Avantax.”

In his new role, Molnar will immediately engage to further Cetera’s inorganic growth strategy while helping ensure that Cetera remains an attractive option for advisers wanting a strong financial partner.

“I couldn’t be happier to build on Cetera’s momentum by blending in the success we’ve had at Avantax,” Molnar said. “Cetera has multiple opportunities for growth and I look forward to working closely with Cetera’s leadership, board, and our strategic partners at Genstar Capital to help Cetera realize its full potential.”

Molnar lives in New York where he spent most of his career, leading and consulting with a variety of financial services firms. He joined Avantax in 2020 and in his new role will also continue to lead the M&A team focused on acquisitions and succession solutions for Avantax Wealth Management.

Prior to Avantax, Molnar was a buy-side investor, investment banker, sell-side equity analyst, strategy consultant, and a CPA in public accounting. He has worked at firms such as Goldman Sachs, Accenture, and Arthur Andersen. Molnar holds an MBA in finance from The University of Chicago, an MS in decision science from The London School of Economics, and a BS in accounting from Rutgers University. He is a Chartered Financial Analyst and previously earned his CPA and CMA, though now inactive.

Cetera Financial Group serves more than 12,000 independent financial professionals and their teams, including tax professionals, banks, and credit unions in providing financial planning and wealth management services. Cetera oversees more than $475 billion in assets under administration and $190 billion in assets under management, as of Dec. 20, 2023.

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