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Cetera Head of Recruiting John Pierce to Leave the Company


John Pierce, head of business development at Cetera Financial Group who led the firm’s recruiting efforts, is leaving the company.

Multiple sources close to the company said Pierce had received a garden leave package. Pierce confirmed his departure, saying he is staying on until April 1, 2024, to help the firm adjust its recruiting strategy to one he characterized as more “downstream,” a suggestion the firm will look to bring onboard more advisors from the registered investment advisory space as opposed to traditional registered reps. 

“I am consulting with the CEO of Cetera, Mike Durbin, as we implement a recruiting strategy that moves recruiting closer to the end user,” Pierce said in a statement. “I am 100% supportive of this downstream strategy for recruiting. As we entered a new Genstar fund a few weeks ago the timing was perfect for all parties.  I will be working with Mike until my 60th birthday on April 1, 2024, splitting time between Juno Beach, Fla. and Breckenridge, Colo.”

Pierce declined to comment further. 

“Anytime there is a liquidity event like Genstar’s recent reinvestment in Cetera, it is common for leaders such as John to reevaluate their personal and professional options,” said a Cetera spokesperson. “Cetera has no plans to replace John’s position but instead will align our recruiting team with our channel structure to better support advisors’ changing needs. We thank John for his many contributions to Cetera and wish him well in his future endeavors.”

Last month, Genstar Capital, Cetera’s private equity owner, closed on its deal to reinvest fresh capital into the firm from two its newest funds, Fund XI and Fund X. As an equity holder in Cetera, Pierce stands to receive a significant gain from that liquidity event.

Pierce joined Cetera in June 2020 after leaving Stifel Financial, where he served in a similar role. He replaced Michael Murray, who left Cetera a few months prior to that.

One source close to the company, who declined to be named, said the move was part of a larger reorganization going on at Cetera, with Durbin bringing in the leaders he wants.

“Mike is going to consider recruiting a little bit differently based on his RIA background, and what business development means to an organization like Cetera,” he said. “I think [Mike is] probably looking for somebody that has more experience in the RIA space, in addition to the b/d world.”

Separately, Cetera recently hired Heidrick & Struggles, the executive search and management consulting company, to conduct a search for a president of Cetera Solutions, according to a job specification obtained by WealthManagement.com.

The new role will report directly to Durbin, who was brought on last May to serve as CEO of Cetera’s holding company.

“Cetera is seeking to hire a President of Cetera Solutions to drive the end-to-end platform strategy and lead advice delivery across the organization,” the job description states. “This role will be an integral member of the executive leadership team and will play a pivotal role in setting the strategic direction for the Solutions business. The President of Cetera Solutions will steer the company’s growth across various lines of business with oversight for all products and investments.”

WealthManagement.com recently reported that Tom Halloran, who led the independent financial planning channel of Voya Financial Advisors, acquired by Cetera in 2021, will take over as the head of Cetera Advisors, the company’s traditional independent advisor broker/dealer. He replaced Brett Harrison, who will exited the company after 25 years.



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