Edmond Walters, the widely admired founder of eMoneyAdvisor has joined the newly formed board of Cetera Financial Group's parent, Aretec.
"I see it as a real positive," says industry consultant Jeff Nash of Nash Consulting Group. At eMoney, Walters "was part of a company driving the future of the industry." Now, he will have the chance to do more of the same at Cetera, Nash says.
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The appointment is the latest move by Aretec, formerly RCS Capital, as it restructures its business after emerging from bankruptcy this summer. Cetera is a network of broker dealers serving about 9,000 advisers nationwide.
Walters quit eMoney in a surprise move last year, not long after Fidelity acquired the firm he founded. EMoney provides a web-based wealth planning system to more than 55,000 advisers.
Walters joins the board along with two other industry veterans. Bob Dineen is a former vice chairman of independent broker-dealer Lincoln Financial Group, for which he still serves on the senior management committee. Mary Cranston is a retired senior partner of the international law firm Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman. Cranston serves on the board of Visa, and Dineen serves on the board of Dutch life insurance, pension and asset management firm Aegon N.V.
"It is a major vote of confidence for [Cetera CEO] Larry [Roth] and for the entire team at Cetera, as well as the advisers and clients they serve, that these individuals would choose to serve on this board," Aretec's non-executive Chairman Robert Moore said in an interview.
With regards to Walters, Moore said, "In addition to being the founder of eMoneyAdvisor and bringing a very sophisticated level of technology expertise to our new board, Edmond can literally say that he understands advisers’ needs and perspectives because he was one for 20 years. It’s that kind of expertise and perspective that is going to make our new board a tremendous asset for every adviser we work with, and for the company as a whole.”
Prior to founding eMoneyAdvisor, Walters founded the Wharton Business Group, a financial advisory firm based in Malvern, Penn.
Aretec is stacking its board with the right kind of leadership, Nash says.
"It seems there is a big focus on legal and holistic planning," he said. "Cetera is attempting to be a BD that does more holistic planning. That's part of their goal. [By] bringing [experts] in like that to the board, I think that just furthers that conversation."
The other three members on the seven-member board include, Roth, Michael Kaufman, a principal at hedge fund manager Redwood Capital Management, and David King, a managing director at the investment management firm Fortress Investment Group.