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Cetera’s Chairman Insists PE Owner Fully Confident in Firm’s Management and Strategy

By Alex Padalka March 4, 2019

Ben Brigeman, who will become Cetera Financial Group’s interim CEO at the end of next month, tells FA-IQ in a statement that Genstar Capital, Cetera’s private-equity owner, is fully confident in Cetera’s prospects, contrary to some reports in the media.

Brigeman, who currently chairs Cetera’s board, is taking over as interim CEO of Cetera March 31, when Robert Moore steps down from his position at the helm for unspecified health reasons, the company said earlier this month.

Following the sudden announcement about Moore’s departure, FA magazine reported that Genstar was looking for someone with solid operational and expense-control skills.

Investment banking sources also told the publication that the firm thought it had paid too much when it acquired Cetera for $1.75 billion in October. Furthermore, Genstar was reportedly unhappy with how much Cetera had spent on yet-unrealized technology projects, FA magazine wrote.

But Brigeman tells FA-IQ in an emailed statement that Genstar and he are “extremely pleased with the performance results we’ve seen” at Cetera in the five months of ownership.

Robert Moore

“Cetera has exceeded its financial projections for 2018, and in the first 60 days of 2019 the organization has experienced record recruiting,” he tells FA-IQ. “These results, combined with the underlying macrotrends that support the business model, affirm Genstar’s full confidence in Cetera’s strategy and the strength of its management team.

“Genstar is steadfast in supporting Cetera’s world-class technology development, commitments to advisors and goals for growth and operational excellence,” Brigeman says.