Frequently Asked Questions

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About Cetera

Cetera was formally established in February 2010 when ING Group sold three broker-dealers to an investment fund managed by Lightyear Capital LLC, a private equity firm specializing in financial services. Though 2010 is the birth of Cetera, our history stretches back much further: Cetera Advisors and Cetera Financial Specialists were founded in 1981, Cetera Advisor Networks in 1983, and Cetera Investment Services in 1984. While names have changed over time, our commitment to independent financial guidance and personal connections hasn’t.

Cetera is headquartered in San Diego, CA, with other main office locations in El Segundo, CA; Denver, CO; Schaumburg, IL; and St. Cloud, MN. Our Cetera Investors division has a nationwide network of approximately 40 branches, and our independent professionals have offices in all 50 states.

The Advice-Centric Experience is a framework we use to empower financial professionals to deliver more value and better serve a rapidly changing investor. Now, more than ever, financial professionals must provide a more personalized, comprehensive level of service that proves its worth on the balance sheet. The Advice-Centric Experience defines how we demonstrate and elevate that value.

We support some 9,000 independent financial professionals, including solo practitioners, teams and ensemble organizations, institutional financial professionals, and branches.

Cetera is comprised of four broker-dealers representing five communities: Cetera Advisors, Cetera Advisor Networks, Cetera Financial Specialists, and Cetera Investment Services (comprising the communities Cetera Financial Institutions and Cetera Investors). Each community has its own unique business focus and specialized support.

All broker-dealers are members of the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC) and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), and we have a robust team of compliance professionals who, on a timely basis, will review requests, examine books and marketing materials, and keep our financial professionals informed of regulatory change to help them effectively manage risk and stay focused on clients.

Cetera uses Pershing LLC for clearing solutions to deliver an efficient experience. Additionally, in 1991, Cetera Investment Services became the first broker-dealer in the institutional space to become self-clearing.

Genstar Capital assumed majority ownership of Cetera and our network of broker-dealers in 2018. It has a long track record of helping companies accelerate success—much like how we partner with our financial professionals and institutions to help them expand their services and enhance their delivery of financial guidance. Genstar provides us with the resources to make sustainable long-term investments in the areas that matter most to those we serve.

For financial professionals

We’ll help you. When you work with our Business Development team, you’ll share more about you, your business, and your specific goals, and then your team member will guide you toward the best fit within our network. They’ll introduce you to different home office team members and currently affiliated financial professionals to help you get the best picture of what working with each broker-dealer is like.

As every business is different, our Onboarding Group will customize your experience to your needs using our Accesslink program. Your dedicated experience manager and coach will guide you every step of the way. From account movement preparation to tech setup, we’ve got you covered. We’ll also connect you with your new Cetera community, plugging you in to our vast peer network and helping you get to know your growth and business support teams.

Yes. In your conversations with the Business Development team, it may be determined you’d fit best within one of our independent financial professional’s offices, an ensemble organization, an affiliated financial institution, or as part of a Cetera Investors branch. We’ll connect you with the leaders of those offices so you can get to know them, their culture, and their business goals, and then help you find the right fit for you.

Yes. If your business growth strategy includes recruiting new financial professionals or growing through acquisitions, our Business Development and growth teams can work with you to define your recruitment plan, connect you with financial professionals or offices, and offer ongoing support.

Yes. Our Legacy Builder program is designed to safeguard against the unexpected and give you control over the future of your business. You’ll work with our Business Consulting Group to create your continuity and succession plans, and receive guidance on how you can maximize the value and eventual purchase price of your business. And if you’re looking to grow through acquisitions, you can become part of the Qualified Buyer portion of the program to be matched with sellers within our network.

Yes. We offer a comprehensive suite of marketing services. For more information, view our Marketing overview.

Working with a Cetera-affiliated financial professional

With offices in all 50 states and Puerto Rico, there’s likely a Cetera financial professional ready to help near you. You can search based on your location using our Find an Advisor feature.

It starts with a simple question: What are your life goals? Cetera financial professionals work with you to make a customized plan based on your unique priorities and timeline to put you on the path to reach them. Depending on their specialty, your financial professionals can help you with:

  • Asset allocation
  • Retirement preparedness
  • Cash management
  • Education funding
  • Long-term care planning
  • Trust services
  • Overall wealth management
  • Giving strategies
  • Home and education planning
  • And more

You can learn more about working with a Cetera financial professional and how to locate one near you by using our Find an Advisor app.

Cetera-affiliated financial professionals are licensed professionals who are required to sit for an examination, take ongoing continuing education courses, and have background and fingerprint checks. They are registered in any states where they do business and are subject to credit checks and regular auditing to ensure they are compliant. Our financial professionals also must attend annual compliance trainings so they are up to date on regulatory matters. All firms are members of the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC) and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), which provide greater oversight.

Working for Cetera

You can explore what a career at Cetera is like and what our employees find special about Cetera on our Careers page.

Current job postings are available on our career portal.