As part of the transaction to acquire 900 reps and advisers announced Monday morning, Cetera Financial Group plans to sweeten the deal with a retention or so-called “stay” bonus to those advisers.
Cetera said Monday morning it was buying the brokerage and advisory assets of Voya Financial Advisors, or roughly $40 billion in client assets. Such bonus payments are common in broker-dealer transactions, with the goal of the acquiring firm to keep as many advisers in their seats as possible.
Details of the bonus plan have yet to be revealed. But Adam Antoniades, CEO of Cetera, said such a plan would be forthcoming. “We anticipate helping advisers through that process,” he said in response to a question about whether retention bonuses for the Voya advisers would be in the offing.
Cetera is not buying the entire brokerage operations of Voya Financial Advisors. About 800 reps and advisers at Voya will remain in two groups: one to work internally at phone and call centers and the other with certain retirement plans and clients, including 403(b)s.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed. It is scheduled to close in the second or third quarter.
“We are focused on making sure we keep this group together, and we like its culture and the relationships there,” Antoniades said. Cetera has five different broker-dealers under its umbrella and the Voya enterprise will work under the registration of Cetera Advisor Networks, which is home to large regional groups of advisers.
Tom Halloran, the president of Voya Financial Advisors will join Cetera and be in charge of the group, Antoniades said. Most of his team will join as well. “We don’t know the name of the new group yet,” he added.
And at the end of 2019, the broker-dealer’s parent, Voya Financial Inc., said it was selling its individual life insurance business, two years after it said it was selling its annuities businesses. Such company-wide evaluations can lead to the sale of broker-dealer businesses.
Insurance companies, like Voya’ former parent the Dutch ING Group, swarmed to control independent broker-dealers decades ago, seeing them as avenues to sell high-commission products like variable annuities. But since the credit crisis of 2008 and drastically lower interest rates, insurance companies have been selling off their retail brokerage assets.
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