Steve McWhorter, chairman and chief executive officer of Securities America, announced his retirement from the company on Wednesday, according to people familiar with the company.

McWhorter, 67, has been with the firm for 22 years, and announced his plan to step down in the spring via a memo that went out to the company’s employees.

The company now begins a nationwide search—internal and external—for a successor.

“Although it won’t be easy to leave, I feel very confident about the future of this company,” McWhorter said in the memo. “We have many talented people, and I am proud of what we’ve built together. You are more than colleagues—you have become friends of mine as well.”

Despite the transition, McWhorter assured Securities America’s employees that the leadership team will continue to foster an advisor-centric service culture;  provide advanced practice and wealth management and business development programs and enhance the advisor workstation, keeping it innovative and user friendly.

Based in Omaha, Nebraska, the broker-dealer has almost 2,000 financial professionals with more than $42 billion in client assets under management, and recently marked its 25th anniversary.