Lucia Capital has appointed Tiy O’Neal as president of its broker-dealer arm, Lucia Securities. O’Neal had formerly served as chief operating officer of First Allied Securities, an independent broker-dealer that is part of the Cetera family of brokerages.

In her new post, O’Neal will report directly to Lucia Capital Group CEO Derek Bruton. Lucia Capital has about $2.3 billion in assets under advisement and operates wealth advice, asset management and insurance services in addition to its broker-dealer unit.

O’Neal had spent 20 years at First Allied, where she rose to the post of chief operating officer. She has worked extensively with Ray Lucia Jr. since his firm was one of the leading advisor groups within the First Allied network.

Bruton joined Lucia Capital as CEO last July, several months after resigning as managing director, advisor services, at LPL Financial in March 2013. With the addition of high-profile executives such as Bruton and O’Neal, Lucia Capital is clearly moving into a new phase of rapid growth and professional management.

In addition to her position as broker-dealer chief, Bruton says O’Neal will play a major role in building out the client service platform to support organic growth and leading the transition team in future acquisitions. Since Bruton joined the firm, it has completed two acquisitions of Validus Investors, an asset management firm, and West Coast Asset Managers, a high-net-worth RIA.

Bruton acknowledges the firm is looking at several acquisition opportunities. He says that while the first two acquisitions were financed with internally generated funds, Lucia Capital remains open to partnering with an outside investor for future transactions.

In 2010, Ray Lucia Jr. bought the business from his father, Ray Lucia Sr. Two years later, the senior Lucia, a longtime radio personality, received a lifetime ban from the securities industry by the SEC after being charged with marketing misleading back-testing results.

Ray Lucia Jr. serves as chairman of the firm and runs its Multi-Strategy Growth & Income Fund. The various Lucia Capital companies have 23 employee-advisors and 73 employees.