Just a couple of months ago, RCS Capital Holdings chief Nicholas Schorsch was saying that senior management would stay in place at the five different independent broker-dealers that he's recently acquired.
But it looks like he's already making changes.
RCS announced one shuffle this week, bringing in Kevin Keefe -- executive vice president of Advisor Group, and head of its corporate RIA -- as president of First Allied, running broker-dealer operations. Keefe replaces Adam Antoniades, who will remain at the firm as CEO of First Allied Holdings, the IBD's parent company.
Although Schorsch pledged specifically at the time of the First Allied deal that there would be no management changes -- "It's a company that is not broken and doesn't need to be fixed," he said then -- his competitors have been predicting this kind of move.
"You have a lot of different presidents. You are bound to have some strong egos and tensions," Erica McGinnis, CEO of Keefe's former employer, Advisor Group, said in an interview last week. "They all have their own team. They all are going to think that their business is the right way to do business."
'WHO WILL STAY?'
Although Keefe will report to Antoniades, one industry expert says it remains to be seen if both changes prove to be promotions. "The big guess here is who is going to stay on top," says Alois Pirker, director of research for Aité Group.
In a statement, Antoniades said, "We are fortunate to have Kevin, with his extensive experience in this area, to fill this important new position. ... His diverse skill set and deep knowledge and understanding of the independent broker-dealer channel will enhance our current offering to our advisors, and his strong commitment to relationship management will enhance the work experience both of our advisors and our employees."
And Pirker expects more changes ahead, as RCS starts closing its IBD acquisitions and making choices about how to consolidate across all of its IBDs -- a list that now includes Cetera Financial Group, J.P. Turner, Investors Capital Holdings and Summit Financial Services, along with First Allied.
"I wouldn't be surprised if the Cetera folks have a stronger position in this deal because they just have a stronger unit," he says. "It would be easier to merge First Allied into Cetera's organization. I would assume this is a first step in a [broader] reshuffle."
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