NEW YORK CITY—RCS Capital Corp. said Tuesday that it had closed on its all-cash, $1.15-billion acquisition of Cetera Financial Group from affiliates of Lightyear Capital. Valerie Brown, CEO of El Segundo, CA-based Cetera, has been named head of RCAP’s new retail advice platform, which will consist of Cetera and First Allied Securities along with other brands still to join the fold.
First announced in January, the deal creates the second largest independent financial advisor network in the US, adding some 6,632 financial advisors and bringing RCAP’s retail financial advisory platform to about 9,000 advisors. It gives RCAP a footprint in all 50 states along with the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, and bolsters its ability to serve some 2.5 million mass-affluent and high-net-worth investors by constructing durable investment strategies within a diversified investment portfolio.
Nicholas Schorsch, RCAP’s executive chairman, calls the deal “a watershed event for RCS Capital and the industry as a whole. Cetera will become the centerpiece of our financial services strategy to construct and operate the best independent financial retail advice platform in the industry, and act as the hub of our integrated broker-dealer strategy.”
The company’s CEO, William Kahane, says the completion of the acquisition provides RCAP with “immediate benefits and added capabilities. The substantially expanded scale of our retail advice platform will help drive revenue growth and reduce costs through operational synergies. Additionally, we acquire powerful brand awareness.”
Brown, who calls Cetera “the cornerstone” of the expanded platform, will oversee a unit that will also include Investors Capital, Summit Brokerage Services and J.P. Turner & Co. when the acquisitions of these firms reach their respective closing dates. RCAP says all of these will be operated as independent operating subsidiaries under separate brands and management, albeit with shared back-office and support systems.
RCS Capital, the investment-banking arm of RCAP, and Barclays acted as financial advisors to RCAP. Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Barclays and Luxor Capital Group provided financing to RCAP. Proskauer Rose LLP acted as legal advisor to RCAP, while Duane Morris LLP acted as counsel to the special committee of the board of directors of RCAP. BofA Merrill Lynch acted as financial advisor to Cetera. Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP acted as legal advisor to Cetera and Lightyear.