Less than six months after completing the largest sale ever of an independent broker-dealer, Robert "RJ" Moore is resigning as Cetera Financial Group’s chief executive officer due to health reasons. His abrupt resignation comes at a time of consolidation and restructuring in the IBD industry, a trend that Genstar, which acquired Cetera for $1.75 billion last October, was looking to capitalize upon.

The sudden change in leadership was almost certainly not what Genstar expected when it invested $700 million in equity and borrowed more than $1 billion to finance the acquisition. Shortly after the deal was completed, Moore was speaking in aspirational terms about reforming some of the more questionable practices of the IBD industry to make it a more appealing profession for younger advisors and millennial clients alike.

In a prepared statement, Genstar said Cetera has retained search firm Heidrick & Struggles to begin a search for a new CEO. Ben Brigeman, chairman of the board, will expand his role to include Interim CEO while a formal search for a permanent CEO is conducted.  A former executive vice president at Charles Schwab & Co., Brigeman will be supported by the Office of the President, which includes Adam Antoniades, president; Jeff Buchheister, chief financial officer; and Jeannie Finkel, chief human resources officer. Moore will continue to serve as an advisor to the board and the executive management team.

Since completing the acquisition, sources close to Genstar say its team had become frustrated with the progress of Cetera’s management to deliver on certain goals, particularly in the area of technology and operational efficiencies. However, none of these problems were believed to be related to Moore’s resignation in any way.

The $1.75 billion price that Genstar paid for Cetera was at least $250 million more than the two other primary bidders, LPL Financial and Lightyear Capital, were willing to pay. Lightyear had owned Cetera and sold it to Nicholas Schorsch’s Reality Capital for $1.4 billion in 2014. Genstar's realization that it paid a steep premium no doubt factored into their willingness to discuss acquiring a majority stake in Advisor Group from Lightyear in a deal that would have valued Advisor Group at more than $2.0 billion.

That contemplated transaction might have eliminated $100 million in operating costs. However, it was terminated last month after Genstar and Lightyear were unable to agree on specifics.

Lightyear reportedly then asked its investment banker, Barclays, to explore other strategic options for Advisor Group, including a sale of that IBD network to another private equity firm. Two investment banking sources said Barclays had mentioned a staggering potential price of $2.7 billion for Advisor Group.

Cetera reps are growing accustomed to their IBD’s ownership merry-go-round. After Schorsch bought Cetera, he used it as a vehicle to go on a leveraged acquisition spree which ended up throwing Cetera into bankruptcy in 2015.

Very few broker-dealers have emerged from bankruptcy, but under the leadership of then-CEO Larry Roth, Cetera escaped from its debt woes largely intact. Many believe Roth never got the credit he deserved from managing the bankruptcy negotations in a manner allowing Cetera to seamlessly remain a going concern.

As it was emerging from bankruptcy, Roth was replaced by Moore in the summer of 2016. Moore would then consolidate Cetera’s 11 broker-dealers into six units over the next 12 months.

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