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Cetera Financial Group (Cetera) is a leading network of independent broker-dealers that powers deeper, more enduring relationships that go beyond the bottom line. We work to advance the profession of financial guidance by ensuring financial professionals have everything they need to deliver an Advice-Centric Experience®, where they can serve clients effectively at every stage of life. Through comprehensive growth resources, leading-edge technology, and superior service, we’re committed to delivering the capabilities to help financial professionals and their clients pursue their business goals and personal dreams.

Michael Ragunas

Chief Information and Technology Officer

Award Category
Broker-Dealers (1,000 Advisors or More): Chief Technology Officer of the Year
NOMINEE
Michael Ragunas, Chief Information and Technology Officer

As chief information officer, Michael Ragunas is responsible for all information technology for Cetera Financial Group, including direct oversight of all technology supporting the broker-dealers in the Cetera network. Mike brings extensive experience delivering high-volume critical systems including online commerce, SaaS/API-based middleware, contact center, fraud and claims platforms, store/branch technology, and data center infrastructure. He is also a member of the executive team.

Rich Whitworth, AIF®

Head of Business Consulting

Award Category
Broker-Dealers (1,000 Advisors or More): Practice Management
Initiative
Legacy Builder: Control Your Future with Succession and Continuity Planning

Legacy Builder protects an independent financial professional’s business from the potential large loss in enterprise value if a formal transition plan has not been enacted and the financial professional is unable to perform their duties. By providing contractual assurances from Cetera that clients will be properly managed and economic value transferred to their estate or beneficiaries, Legacy Builder removes the major barriers to an financial professional’s ability to control and direct their exit plan. Combining solutions for calculating firm valuations, managing unplanned and planned exits, matching buy and sell-side program participants, as well as dedicated support from Cetera’s business consulting team, Legacy Builder is a full-service offering that helps maximize an advisory firm’s long-term value.

Garrett Beam

Senior Vice President, Head of Product Management

Award Category
Broker-Dealers (1,000 Advisors or More): Technology
Initiative
Cetera’s New AdviceWorks Digital Platform

AdviceWorks unites tools, information, and people within a seamless environment, making it easier for financial professionals to manage workflows and stay in sync with clients. From smoother money movement to real-time data flow and communication, AdviceWorks’ centralized hub keeps financial professionals and their clients more connected, while keeping clients more engaged in the value their financial professionals bring to their lives. The platform allows financial professionals to see and track client objectives, financial strategies, and overall progress at any time, from any device. By linking accounts and assets, AdviceWorks helps uncover insights and hidden potential and enables financial professionals to take a more personalized approach to supporting clients’ priorities. AdviceWorks also makes it easier for financial professionals to more closely collaborate with their team and access third-party resources.

Jon Anderson

Head of Retirement Plan Solutions

Award Category
401(k) Retirement Plans Support Services: 401(k) Service
Initiative
New 401(k) Fee-for-Service Advice Program

In March 2019, Cetera was a market leader in adopting AdvicePay and launching its Fee-for-Service offering. It gives financial professionals the ability set their own prices for services and receive payments via credit cards, debit cards and automated clearing house (ACH) transfers. Payments can be on a one-time or subscription basis, without a requirement a brokerage account. In October, in an effort to continue bridging the gap between retirement plans and wealth management, Cetera merged 401(k) participant advice and financial planning services under one fee-for-service consulting agreement. The new Fee-for-Service program furthers Cetera’s goal of providing financial professionals with holistic tools to deliver world-class advice to America’s workers and savers.

Resources
WHITE PAPER
The Best Way to Ask for Referrals
A simple but profound adjustment can maximize client referral opportunities.
VIDEO
Be Part of Something More

What makes Cetera invested in more? Meet us, and see how we go beyond for financial professionals and their clients.

WHITE PAPER
3 Keys to Creating an Experience-Centric Business Model
You may provide great client service, but do you offer a great client experience? Find out three ways you can up your client experience game.
About Cetera Financial Group® Cetera Financial Group (Cetera) is a leading financial advice firm. It empowers the delivery of an Advice-Centric Experience® to individuals, families and businesses across the country through independent financial advisors as well as trusted tax professionals and banks and credit unions. It’s headquartered at 200 N. Pacific Coast Highway, Suite 1200 El Segundo, CA 90245-5670. Comprehensive services include: wealth management solutions, retirement plan solutions, advisory services, practice management support, innovative technology, marketing guidance, regulatory support, and market research. “Cetera Financial Group” refers to the network of independent retail firms encompassing, among others, Cetera Advisors LLC, Cetera Advisor Networks LLC, Cetera Investment Services LLC (marketed as Cetera Financial Institutions or Cetera Investors), Cetera Financial Specialists LLC, and First Allied Securities, Inc. All firms are members FINRA / SIPC. Individuals affiliated with Cetera firms are either Registered Representatives who offer only brokerage services and receive transaction-based compensation (commissions), Investment Adviser Representatives who offer only investment advisory services and receive fees based on assets, or both Registered Representatives and Investment Adviser Representatives, who can offer both types of services.