LOS ANGELES, Aug. 15, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Cetera Financial Group ("Cetera" or "the Company")*, a leading network of independent firms empowering the delivery of professional financial advice to individuals, families and company retirement plans, today announced the appointment of veteran technology leader Michael J. Ragunas as Chief Information Officer for the Company. Mr. Ragunas will be based in Los Angeles and report directly to Robert J. Moore, Chief Executive Officer of Cetera.
With over 25 years of experience in financial services and retail technology roles, Mr. Ragunas will be responsible for developing and implementing technology strategy across Cetera's lines of business, with a particular focus on continuing the rollout of the Company's Advice Architect EcosystemTM of technology-driven tools and platforms to support its Advice-Centric ExperienceTM model for the future of retail financial advice. Additionally, Mr. Ragunas will have oversight of all aspects of Cetera's information technology, telecommunications and other related systems.
Robert Moore, CEO of Cetera, said, "We're delighted to welcome to our team Mike Ragunas, who combines a passion for creating innovative technology strategies with a bias for action that generates impactful outcomes. Mike's track record for technology leadership aligns perfectly with our commitment to continue to accelerate our progress in rolling out the new technology-driven platforms and tools that comprise our Advice Architect Ecosystem. The expertise, entrepreneurial drive and unwavering focus on tangible results that Mike has demonstrated throughout his career will be enormously helpful for us to sustain the strong momentum we've built in leading the way forward with an advice-centric experience model for our industry."
Most recently, Mr. Ragunas served as Chief Technology Officer for Payfone, Inc., the leading provider of mobile network-based authentication and fraud avoidance solutions, which protect mobile data sessions as well as inbound and outbound call center interactions for large financial institutions. Prior to that, Mr. Ragunas was Chief Information Officer for Fanatics, Inc., the leading online retailer of officially licensed sports merchandise, where he spearheaded the successful migration of the NFL Shop, NBA Store and NHL Shop businesses onto the Fanatics platform to drive increased revenue and sports fan engagement through a rich, scalable and seamless online customer experience. Earlier in his career, he held a number of senior technology positions with Bank of America and, before that, with Staples, Inc.
Mr. Ragunas said, "I'm very excited to join Cetera at such a pivotal time for both the Company and the broader financial advice industry. I believe Cetera's advice-centric experience model for the future of the industry is both unique and compelling, bringing together key elements of strategy, technology and vision. The significant strides the Company has made in developing and integrating innovative technologies to help transform the way financial advice is delivered is only the beginning of what I'm confident will be a remarkable strategic journey. I look forward to working closely with Robert Moore and the rest of Cetera's management team as the Company continues to reinforce its industry leadership position."
Mr. Moore concluded, "As excited as we are about the role Mike will play in the continued build-out of our Advice Architect Ecosystem platform, we're also looking forward to benefiting from his tremendous experience in so many other increasingly crucial areas of technology strategy, ranging from consumer privacy, to cyber security, to mobile enablement. I'm looking forward to working with Mike, who will play a major role as a member of our senior leadership team in driving the solutions we need to reinforce our mission of transforming what it means to deliver retail financial advice."
Mr. Ragunas graduated with honors from Harvard University in Cambridge, MA where he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in general studies.
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 provider of retail services 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, Girard Securities, and Summit Brokerage Services. All firms are members FINRA/SIPC.
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SOURCE Cetera Financial Group