Founded in 1984, Cetera Financial Institutions is a self-clearing broker-dealer, registered investment adviser and insurance agency serving the clients of more than 600 financial institutions with assets ranging from $15 million to $13 billion nationwide. Our financial soundness and strength is derived from our business model, the financial strength and liquidity of our parent company, Cetera Financial Group, and our leadership in regulatory compliance and strict adherence to our principles of risk management to protect the reputations of our financial institutions.
Our business model is simple: We focus on financial institutions, delivering high-quality investment products, wealth management solutions and premier support to help grow their investment programs. As a broker-dealer with no proprietary investment products, our advice to program managers, relationship managers, registered representatives and financial advisors is based solely on the merits of our analyses of the investment products and programs offered, and free from bias. Our self-clearing platform requires our staff to have additional layers of expertise and capabilities, making us less susceptible to the operational inconsistencies of an external partner. Additionally, our self-clearing model allows us to conduct business in a more cost-effective, efficient manner than an introducing broker-dealer while delivering rapid response, total quality control, in-house and real-time data processing, expedient execution, competitive pricing and a flexible structure. Paired with our technology and service offerings catered specifically to our distinct focus on financial institutions and dedication to helping them foster lasting relationships with their clients, we are well positioned to execute our mission to deliver comprehensive financial solutions to investing clients by building strong relationships with banks and credit unions through unparalleled service.
Cetera Financial Institutions at a Glance:
- Serves more than 600 financial institutions
- Total representatives and financial advisors: 1,400
- Assets under administration: $21.5B
- Total full-time employees: 250
- Average team tenure: 19 years in the industry; 12 years with Cetera Financial Institutions
Cetera Financial Group
Cetera Financial Institutions is one of four distinct, independently managed broker-dealers within Cetera Financial Group, a privately held company with investors including Lightyear Capital LLC, a New York–based private equity firm focused on financial services investing. Led by CEO Valerie Brown, Cetera Financial Group’s diverse management team is comprised of industry veterans averaging more than 22 years’ experience in financial services, and is governed by an executive board that brings an additional wealth of investment and technology acumen to the group.
Committed to using its collective knowledge and expertise in service to and for others, Cetera Financial Group is focused on the growth of its affiliated broker-dealers and financial professionals’ businesses by giving them the industry and market insight, technology, resources and solutions they need to better focus on helping their clients pursue their own financial goals.
Regulatory Compliance and Risk Management
Cetera Financial Institutions is registered with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) as a broker-dealer and registered investment adviser. We are also a member of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (MSRB). We are securities registered and insurance licensed in all 50 states.
As such, Cetera Financial Institutions is subject to the rules and the laws of these organizations and entities, and adheres carefully to its specific obligations to assist its employees and registered representatives in complying with these rules and regulations. We have set forth standards of conduct and procedures that comply with applicable rules and regulations and must be followed in conducting its business.
Michael Burns, chief compliance officer, guides our regulatory compliance efforts, including risk management and the establishment of policies for regulatory developments. Burns has more than 20 years of executive-level experience in the regulatory realm, including service on the FINRA District 4 Consultative Committee in addition to various FINRA hearing panels. Burns’ staff at Cetera Financial Institutions draws insight from exceptional industry tenure as well—the team averages 10 years of regulatory compliance experience—and is backed by the substantial securities industry experience of the Cetera Risk Management group, who assist Cetera Financial Institutions in monitoring the regulatory environment, examining proposed rule changes and advocating best practices.