Lightyear Capital has acquired three broker-dealers from the ING Advisers network: El Segundo, Calif.-based Financial Network Investment Corp.; Denver-based Multi-Financial Securities Corp.; and St. Cloud, Minn.-based PrimeVest Financial Services Inc. No financial terms were disclosed. The companies will now operate under the name Cetera Financial Group.
Lightyear Capital LLC (“Lightyear”), a New York-based private equity firm focused on financial services investing, today announced that an affiliate of Lightyear Fund II, L.P. completed its acquisition of Financial Network Investment Corporation (“Financial Network”), based in El Segundo, Calif.; Multi-Financial Securities Corporation (“Multi-Financial”), based in Denver, Colo.; and PrimeVest Financial Services Inc. (“PrimeVest”), based in St. Cloud, Minn.; including the holding company and back-office shared services supporting those broker dealers, which collectively did business as ING Advisors Network. Lightyear previously announced a definitive agreement to acquire these broker dealers on November 3, 2009. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
Lightyear also announced that the acquired broker-dealers will be rebranded with the new corporate name, Cetera Financial Group (“Cetera”). Valerie Brown will become Chief Executive Officer of Cetera. Lightyear Chairman and CEO, Donald B. Marron, will become Chairman of Cetera’s Board of Directors, and Managing Directors Mark Vassallo and Stewart Gross will also join Cetera’s Board. Cetera will be headquartered in El Segundo, California.
“We are extremely excited to add Cetera to our portfolio of high quality, market-leading companies in the financial services space,” said Mr. Marron. “We remain convinced that the independent, advisory-based model will benefit in today’s market environment and are excited about the combination of Cetera’s strong management team and Lightyear’s proven track record of success in the broker-dealer space. There is tremendous opportunity to grow and expand this business, and we look forward to working closely with Valerie Brown and her team to add additional advisors and increase our market share.”
Financial Network, Multi-Financial, and PrimeVest are three of the four broker-dealers that operated under the umbrella of ING Advisors Network. With three distinct models – Financial Network serves both independent advisors and financial institutions; Multi-Financial serves independents exclusively; and PrimeVest is dedicated to financial institutions – the broker-dealers of Cetera deliver a customized fit and substantial scale-driven benefits to approximately 4,800 advisors and over 800 financial institutions throughout the United States. Cetera has approximately $75 billion of assets under administration as of December 31, 2009. All three firms will maintain the same names.
“Lightyear is the perfect partner for Cetera,” said Valerie Brown. “Don and his team have great insights into our business. They believe in our model, and they are committed to investing in the technology, infrastructure and talent needed to expand. We’re poised for growth and we look forward to doing great things together.”
Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP represented Lightyear in the transaction.
ABOUT LIGHTYEAR CAPITAL
Lightyear is a private equity investment firm providing buyout and growth capital to companies in the financial services industry. Based in New York, Lightyear, through its affiliated funds, has managed approximately $3 billion of committed capital with investments across the financial services spectrum, including asset management, banking, brokerage, financial technology, insurance, leasing, related business services, and other sectors within financial services. Lightyear brings unique strengths and discipline to its investment process, as well as operating, transaction, and strategic management experience, along with significant contacts and resources beyond capital. The senior team of professionals each has approximately 25 years of financial services-related experience and includes Chris Casciato, David Cynn, David Glenn, Stewart Gross, Thierry Ho, Donald Marron, Richard Sterne, and Mark Vassallo.
For more information on Lightyear, please visit www.lycap.com.