Adam Antoniades, chief executive of First Allied Holdings -- and since May, the new president of Cetera Financial -- has a tough job on his hands: building an integrated platform for all of the different broker-dealers now controlled by RCS Capital Corp., while maintaining enough of the unique cultures at each firm to keep producers from bolting.
“Every organization is challenged in managing their growth and in retaining its culture,” Antoniades said in a brief interview with Financial Advisor. “It’s harder to do so as you get big.”
Last month, Antoniades took on the newly created position of Cetera Financial president -- part of a management shuffle that saw RCS Capital Corp.’s Larry Roth take over for Valerie Brown as chief executive of Cetera Financial Group.
Antoniades’ new role includes building out RCS Capital’s investment advice platform.
“We anticipate having a best-in-class offering that permeates our network” of broker-dealers, Antoniades said, “while protecting … the individual cultures” of the Cetera firms.
Roth, the former chief executive of AIG’s Advisor Group, joined RCS Capital last September to head its product wholesaling unit. Last month, he was given responsibility for all of RCS Capital’s recently acquired independent broker-dealers, which, in addition to Cetera and its four legacy B-Ds, includes First Allied Securities, Investors Capital, Summit Brokerage Services and J.P. Turner & Co.
Antoniades’ comments were his first since his new role at RCS Capital was announced. He declined to discuss specific developments at RCS Capital, focusing instead on an upgraded service platform First Allied is announcing Thursday at its annual advisor conference in San Diego.
The interface, called Pentameter, is being promoted as an enhanced tool to help First Allied advisors identify where they need to improve their businesses and how to better access resources at First Allied and measure their progress.
“The suite of capabilities and tools … are probably double the size of what we’ve been able to deliver in the past,” Antoniades said. The firm has added support services to help advisors hire and train employees, and “more holistically assess their technology platform and build [it] out,” rather than simply use the third-party vendors recommended by the firm.
Antoniades wouldn’t say how much First Allied has spent on Pentameter, “but it’s a significant investment,” he said, “and just the beginning … of what we think is a continual investment” in the firm.