Cetera Financial Group

Cetera Financial Group is the second-largest network of independent brokerage firms in the United States. Also referred to as Cetera, its broker-dealers include Cetera Advisors, Cetera Investment Services, Cetera Financial Specialists, Summit Brokerage Services, First Allied Securities, and Voya Financial. All of them are registered with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and are members of the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC).

Cetera Financial Group was officially established in 2010, but its brokerage firms have a much longer history. Headquartered in El Segundo, CA, Cetera has many branches and over 8,000 independent financial professionals all over the country. In 2018, private equity firm Genstar Capital took over as the majority owner.

Shepherd Smith Edwards and Kantas (SSEK Law Firm at investorlawyers.com) represents clients in their broker fraud claims against all Cetera firms and their registered representatives. We help investors recover the financial damages they are owed for losses suffered because of broker-dealer negligence or fraud. Call (800) 259-9010 and ask for your free, no-obligation consultation.

The Cetera Broker-Dealers

Below is a list of the broker-dealers that operate under Cetera Financial Group:

  • Cetera Advisors: Both an independent broker-dealer and investment advisor, Cetera Advisors is headquartered in Denver, Colorado. It used to be named Multi-Financial Securities Corp. until ING Group sold the firm to private equity group, Lightyear Capital, to become part of Cetera Financial Group.
  • Cetera Investment Services: Founded in 1984 and previously named Primevest Financial Services, Cetera Investment Services is a self-clearing, registered brokerage firm, and investment advisor. Also marketed as Cetera Investors and Cetera Financial Institutions, the broker-dealer works with credit unions, banks, and investment clients.
  • Cetera Financial Specialists: Established in 1981, this firm works with tax professionals that offer wealth management services.
  • Summit Brokerage Services: With its main office in Boca Raton, Florida, this independent broker-dealer has 350 financial advisors in its network.
  • First Allied Securities: Headquartered in San Diego, CA, and founded in 1994, this independent brokerage firm has over 350 financial advisors.
  • Voya Financial Advisors: In early 2021, a deal was struck for this broker-dealer to be acquired by Cetera. The firm has nearly $40B in client assets, approximately 900 independent brokers, and works with retail customers. Under the agreement, Voya Financial will fall under the Cetera Advisors Network.
Examples of Recent Securities Violations Involving Cetera Financial Group and its Broker-Dealers December 2020

Cetera Financial Group paid $1M to resolve FINRA charges accusing some of its affiliates of not properly supervising private securities transactions that its brokers, who are also dually registered with external registered investment advisors, conducted. These alleged supervisory deficiencies occurred despite warnings from the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC).

November 2020

Summit Financial Networks was one of five brokerage firms that the SEC collectively charged $3M for unsuitably selling complex exchange-traded products to retail investors.

August 2019

The SEC charged Cetera Advisors for fraud and breach of fiduciary duty related to its mutual fund sales to retail clients. The Commission later added Cetera Advisors Network to the complaint contending that both Cetera brokerage firms were collectively paid $21M in unlawful gains. In 2021 filings with the Commission, the two Cetera broker-dealers said that the charges will have resulted in the firms paying back investors $4.2M of disgorgement.

November 2016

FINRA fined five Cetera brokerage firms and three other broker-dealers $6.2M for not supervising annuity sales. The broker-dealers were ordered to pay $6.3M in restitution.

Even when regulators bring charges for wrongdoing, if you suffered related losses it is important that you file your own FINRA arbitration case to obtain damages. An individual investor claim brought by your own team of seasoned broker fraud attorneys will only increase your chances of maximizing your financial recovery.

Veteran Broker-Dealer Fraud Law Firm Not Afraid To Go Up Against Wall Street Firms

Independent broker-dealers are known for providing their registered representatives with a lot of autonomy when it comes to how the latter conduct their businesses. However, like all brokerage firms, they still have a duty to properly supervise their registered representatives, ensure that they follow SEC and FINRA regulations, and refrain from misconduct, negligence, or fraud involving customers’ accounts.

SSEK Law Firm has filed FINRA arbitration claims against independent broker-dealers, wirehouse brokerage firms, and the largest financial firms on Wall Street. We've recovered many millions of dollars for our clients. Call (800) 259-9010 today or contact us online.

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