Cetera Financial Group Launches Transformative Business Development Strategy to Support Advice-Centric Experience Model; Appoints Michael Murray Head of Business Development
Cetera’s Business Development Function Leverages Big Data and Seamlessly Integrates Data-Driven Marketing, Demand Generation and Advisor Recruiting
Builds on Creation of Traditional and Specialty Channels to Enhance Network’s Organization, and Hire of Michael Zuna as Chief Marketing Officer to Lead Integration of Marketing and Business Development
Los Angeles, CA – Cetera Financial Group® (“Cetera”)*, a leading network of independent firms supporting the delivery of professional financial advice, today announced the launch of its transformative new business development strategy, which leverages big data and analytics, while seamlessly integrating digital and traditional marketing, lead generation, lead capture and advisor recruiting. This new approach to business development is geared at driving advisor growth, enhancing the advisor experience, and supporting the acceleration of targeted recruiting efforts across the company’s network, including in-branch recruiting among the company’s larger affiliated enterprises and institutions.
The formulation of this innovative approach to business development was first announced in September last year, with the appointment of Michael Zuna, previously Chief Marketing & Digital Officer of Petco Animal Supplies, and Chief Marketing & Sales Officer of AFLAC, Inc., as Cetera’s CMO.
As part of the company’s launch of this new strategy, Cetera has announced the appointment of Michael Murray to the role of Head of Business Development. Mr. Murray, who brings 20 years of experience in the financial advice space, most recently served as Senior Vice President of Business Development at LPL Financial, where he led a team of professionals supporting the recruiting and ramp-up of assets under management (AUM) for financial advisors across the country. In his new role, Mr. Murray will report directly to Cetera CMO Michael Zuna.
Robert Moore, Chief Executive Officer of Cetera, said, “The addition of Michael Murray as Cetera’s new Head of Business Development brings aboard one of the most talented leaders in our profession, at a time when our company is ready to take the next step in our vision of transforming the future of financial advice. We are deeply passionate about the Advice-Centric Experience™, which envisions a profession built on high quality, plan-based advice that is highly tailored to individual needs and expectations. Michael Murray not only shares our vision, but brings the insights, commitment and experience that align with all of the key strategic elements we have put in place thus far. This includes the hiring of Michael Zuna as our CMO, and Mike Ragunas as our CIO, as well as the organization of our firms into Traditional and Specialty Channels. As such, Michael Murray’s decision to join our leadership team is an affirmation of deep confidence in Cetera’s future and strategy.”
In his new role, Michael Murray will assume the day-to-day leadership and management of Cetera’s network level business development function, while overseeing a planned expansion of the business development team over the coming months, to include the hiring of new professional recruiters across the country. Additionally, Mr. Murray will spearhead the execution of the company’s new approach to business development, while supporting in-branch recruiting among the company’s larger affiliated enterprises and institutions by helping to provide them with the expertise, resources and tools to accelerate the growth and success of their advisor recruiting efforts.
Cetera expects its new business development process will enable the company to approach advisors who are pre-screened for receptivity to its unique value proposition, logistically able to transition their businesses in relatively short order, and who already approach their profession in a way that is highly consistent with Cetera’s Advice-Centric Experience model. As part of this new business development approach, Cetera is also significantly streamlining its advisor transition structure, to deliver a faster and more simplified experience for newly recruited advisors.
Michael Zuna, Chief Marketing Officer of Cetera, said, “Our excitement about Michael’s proven track record for recruiting successful, high-growth advisors has been exceeded only by our enthusiasm for his immediate grasp of our unique approach to business development, and the passion he shares with the rest of our team for being a pioneering force in this area. Michael’s natural penchant for focusing on data-driven business development will enable him to collaborate very effectively with our broader team to mobilize the latest strategies and tools to break down traditional barriers that separate marketing, business development and advisor support. I look forward to partnering closely with Michael in this new stage of growth for Cetera.”
Michael Murray said, “I’m very excited to hit the ground running with my new colleagues at Cetera, in support of a truly unique business development strategy. From the outset of our discussions, it was clear to me that Cetera has achieved an enormously successful turnaround since 2016, and is moving forward with a distinctive vision for the future, together with a highly energized leadership team that is passionate about the company’s mission of effecting transformative change for the financial advice profession.”
Mr. Murray worked at LPL Financial since 2002 in a variety of business development executive roles. Prior to joining LPL Financial, Mr. Murray served in a number of sales executive and project management roles at Nationwide and Towers Perrin. He has a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations from the University of Pennsylvania, and holds Series 6 and 63 securities registrations.
About Cetera Financial Group®
Cetera Financial Group ("Cetera") is a leading network of independent firms empowering the delivery of professional financial advice to individuals, families and company retirement plans across the country through trusted financial advisors and financial institutions. Cetera is the second-largest independent financial advisor network in the nation by number of advisors, as well as a leading service provider to the investment programs of banks and credit unions.
Through its multiple distinct firms, Cetera offers independent and institutions-based advisors the benefits of a large, established broker-dealer and registered investment adviser, while serving advisors and institutions in a way that is customized to their needs and aspirations. Advisor support resources offered through Cetera include award-winning wealth management and advisory platforms, comprehensive broker-dealer and registered investment adviser services, practice management support and innovative technology. For more information, visit cetera.com.
*"Cetera Financial Group" refers to the network of independent retail firms encompassing, among others, Cetera Advisors, Cetera Advisor Networks, Cetera Investment Services (marketed as Cetera Financial Institutions), Cetera Financial Specialists, First Allied Securities and Summit Brokerage Services. All firms are members FINRA / SIPC.
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