LOS ANGELES, Nov. 25, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Cetera Financial Group, a leading network of independent broker-dealer firms, today announced that it has selected 61 independent advisors and advisory firms from across Cetera Financial Group as winners of its Business Plan Challenge. The awarded funds total $6.7 million and will allow the winning advisors to implement their vision and proposed initiatives to grow their businesses. The funding for each business plan will come from the advisor's individual broker-dealer, with the support of RCS Capital, Cetera Financial Group's parent company.
Business Plan Challenge winners were chosen from almost 400 applicants across Cetera Advisors, Cetera Advisor Networks, Cetera Financial Specialists, First Allied Securities, Summit Brokerage Services and J.P. Turner & Company. Winners submitted a wide range of growth proposals, which were not restricted by size of request or type of activity. The grants, in the form of forgivable loans, will enable winning advisors to pursue their vision for generating additional growth within their practice. Each winning project has achievement milestones specific to its individual business plan proposal.
Michael Weil, Chief Executive Officer of RCS Capital, said, "We are excited for the tremendous response generated by Cetera Financial Group's Business Plan Challenge. This program drew a remarkable number of diverse, well-conceived projects and initiatives, ranging from client acquisition programs to practice development strategies. We believe these plans will encourage and facilitate substantial growth at our member firms while helping our financial advisors execute on their business vision. We are thrilled that so many of our affiliated independent advisors rose to the challenge and look forward to everyone benefiting from the fruits of this challenge."
The Business Plan Challenge was first announced by Mr. Weil at the annual conference of First Allied Securities, a member of the Cetera Financial Group family of firms, on June 18 and ran until August 30 of this year. The competition was focused on challenging independent advisors to present innovative ways to grow their practices and discover new market opportunities, while keeping continual focus on putting their clients first.
Each business plan submission was subjected to multiple levels of review at both the individual broker-dealer level and by the Cetera Financial Group management team. Each broker-dealer applied its own criteria for review, which covered targeted markets, business development opportunities, forecasted financial projections and past financial performance of each applicant. Additionally, each applicant was asked to include a plan to enable sustainable growth for the next 5-7 years, projected financial growth rates, a defined succession plan for their practice and a specific request for financing or resource support from Cetera Financial Group.
Larry Roth, chief executive officer of Cetera Financial Group, said, "The Business Plan Challenge is another example of Cetera Financial Group bringing best-of-breed ideas from our individual broker-dealer firms and making them available across the network. We believe the positive results will encourage all our firms to adapt the core concept of the Business Plan Challenge in the hopes of inspiring our advisors to reach for the very highest levels of success."
In a related development, Cetera Financial Group also announced that the success of this year's network-wide Business Plan Challenge provides a mechanism to extend the concept of an ongoing Growth Program across the entire Cetera Financial Group network. The program will be an extension of First Allied's existing Growth Loan Program, which has generated widespread participation and successful results. In addition to the $6.7 million in awards announced at this time, business plans submitted by independent advisors may be eligible for funding under this program at some future point.
About Cetera Financial Group
Cetera Financial Group is the retail advice platform of RCS Capital Corporation (NYSE: RCAP). Comprised of Cetera Advisors LLC, Cetera Advisor Networks LLC, Cetera Financial Specialists LLC, Cetera Investment Services LLC (marketed as Cetera Financial Institutions), First Allied Securities, Investors Capital, J.P. Turner and Company, The Legend Group, Summit Brokerage Services, along with VSR Financial and Girard Securities following the close of their acquisitions by RCAP, the platform is the second largest independent financial advisor network in the nation by number of advisors, as well as a leading provider of retail services to the investment programs of banks and credit unions. It delivers award-winning wealth management and advisory platforms, comprehensive broker-dealer and registered investment adviser services, and innovative technology to over 9,700 independent financial professionals and approximately 500 financial institutions nationwide. Through its distinct firms, Cetera offers the benefits of a large, established and well-capitalized broker-dealer and registered investment adviser, while serving independent and institutions-based financial advisors in a way that is customized to their unique needs and aspirations. Cetera is committed to helping advisors grow their businesses and strengthen their relationships with clients.
RCS Capital Corporation (NYSE: RCAP) is a full-service investment firm expressly focused on the individual retail investor. With operating subsidiaries including retail advice services, wholesale distribution, investment banking, capital markets, investment research, investment management and crowdfunding, RCAP business is designed to capitalize, support, grow and maximize value for the investment programs it distributes and the independent advisors and clients it serves. Additional information about RCAP can be found on its website at www.rcscapital.com. RCAP may disseminate information about itself, including the results of its operations and financial information, via social media platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.
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SOURCE Cetera Financial Group