Cetera to Buy Assets of Voya’s Independent Financial Planning Channel

Cetera Financial Group, a network of independently managed broker-dealers, has agreed to purchase the independent financial planning channel of Voya Financial Advisors, Voya’s registered investment advisor and broker-dealer.

Through the transaction, Voya’s approximately 900 independent financial professionals, who serve 385,000 retail customers with approximately $40 billion in assets, will become part of Cetera.

“As part of Cetera’s community of large enterprises, [Voya’s] financial professionals will be able to retain their long-standing relationships. They also keep their independent culture, leadership and way of doing business…,” said Tom Taylor, chief sales and growth officer at Cetera.

Voya’s 600 field and phone-based financial professionals — who provide guidance, advice and financial services to Voya’s plan sponsor clients and plan participants — will remain with Voya.

Voya will form a distinct business within Cetera, as part of Cetera Advisor Networks, and will continue to be led by Voya’s president, Tom Halloran, as well as key leadership and service teams.

Voya expects that the transaction, which is slated to close in the second or third quarter of 2021, will provide the company with more than $300 million in deployable proceeds at closing. Voya noted that it intends to provide more details during its fourth-quarter and full-year 2020 earnings call on February 10, 2021.

“The proceeds generated by the transaction will add to our strong excess capital position and reinforces the significant progress we have made in focusing our operations on workplace solutions and institutional clients,” said Rodney O. Martin, Jr., chairman and chief executive officer of Voya Financial. “In addition to returning excess capital to shareholders, we also will continue to reinvest in our retirement, investment management and employee benefits businesses to support our growth plans.”

Cetera’s independent retail firms include Cetera Advisors, Cetera Advisor Networks, Cetera Investment Services (marketed as Cetera Financial Institutions or Cetera Investors), Cetera Financial Specialists, and First Allied Securities. Cetera is owned by Genstar Capital, a private equity firm.

Voya Financial (NYSE: VOYA) serves approximately 13.8 million individual and institutional customers in the United States and had $7.5 billion in revenue in 2019. The company had $657 billion in total assets under management and administration as of the third quarter of 2020.

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