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Genstar Makes Cetera ‘Investment’

Private equity firm Genstar Capital has agreed to acquire majority equity control of Cetera Financial Group, with Cetera’s leadership team said to be “maintaining a meaningful ownership position.”

Going forward, Cetera will continue to operate under a multi-affiliation structure, through two core channels – Traditional and Specialty – that collectively serve the full spectrum of independent advisor businesses and financial institutions. Cetera says it will continue to operate under its current brand, culture and leadership, with “significant capital” for investments in future growth.

According to a press release, Genstar has entered into a definitive agreement with Aretec Group, Inc., the holding company for Cetera, in a transaction expected to close in the late third quarter of this year.

Genstar has approximately $10 billion in assets under management and targets investments focused on targeted segments of the financial services, industrial technology, health care and software industries. Previous investments include Mercer Advisors, AssetMark, Ascensus, Apex Fund Services, Acrisure, ISS, and Strategic Insight, which includes PLANSPONSOR and PLANADVISOR.

For its Cetera investment, Genstar has assembled a Board of Directors that includes Cetera CEO RJ Moore and Genstar representatives Tony Salewski and Sid Ramakrishnan, as well as Ben Brigeman, a former Executive Vice President at Charles Schwab & Co. who led the company’s retail business, and Hal Strong, formerly Vice Chairman of Russell Investments.

The firms note that the transaction “reflects a shared commitment to Cetera’s Advice-Centric Experience™ model and provides access to significant capital for future investments in technology, customer experience, operations, data and growth platforms for the financial advisors and financial institutions served by Cetera.”

The specific terms of the agreement were not disclosed. The transaction is, of course, subject to customary regulatory and other approvals.