Hays Breard Financial Group leaves LPL for Cetera

After bolstering its recruiting team last year, Cetera Financial Group has just recruited a major team from a rival that includes two 20-year veteran financial advisers.

Michael Breard and Ray Hays of Baton Rouge, Louisiana-based Hays Breard Financial Group left LPL Financial to align with Cetera Advisor Networks as a brokerage and Summit Financial Networks as a “region” or supervisory jurisdiction office , the company said on March 24. Summit, a former brokerage house, bent in the larger company into Cetera’s network of five independent wealth managers in 2019. Large companies like Summit provide advisors with support services and technology while generate significant recruiting gains for independent brokers.

Hays Breard managed $327 million in assets with his previous business. In 2021, Cetera added more than a dozen new executives and other team members to its groups of senior field recruiters and internal prospect research and engagement staff. These new recruiters came from other competitors such as Kestra Financial, Ameriprise and Raymond James, according to John Pierce, the company’s business development manager. Last year, new advisory teams brought in $11 billion in combined client assets and $650,000 in average annual production.

Even with the coronavirus receding, there’s still an “overhang” currently affecting team movements, Pierce said in an interview earlier this month.

“We talk to the same number or more finance professionals than I did last year,” he said. “People are now getting their lives back. They return to the office. They are returning to what is the new normal for them. They will move again, it just takes longer now that they are back to the new normal.

LPL representatives did not respond to a request for comment on Hays Breard’s departure after 13 years with the company. The team’s exit is a notable loss that contrasts with the substantial growth in its adviser headcount, which has set records in recent successive quarters. In 2021, the number of LPL agents registered with the firm jumped 15% year over yeari.e. a net of 2,589 advisers, to reach 19,876.

Change Agents
Even after a team has spent a significant amount of time with an independent brokerage, dissatisfaction can stem from difficulties getting a quick response to a client’s question, changes to technology systems or management personnel – or even difficulty calculating compensation each quarter, according to Samantha Sferas, vice president of business development for staffing firm Terrana Group.

“This business is relationship driven,” Sferas said. “We have advisers who may be considering selling their practice. The first thing I always hear them say is, “I want to make sure our customers are taken care of. It is an extension of their family; it’s a professional family.

Hays Breard fosters this dynamic with Baton Rouge customers and residents through its annual 1,500-pound crawfish boil. In addition to the two founding advisors, the team includes operations manager Anna Bevins, wealth advisor Patrick Cavanaugh and administrative assistant Jennifer Gosnay. Prior to the founders’ 13 years with LPL, they each had tenures at Ameriprise and were affiliated with predecessor company IDS Life Insurance.

“We have a vision of who we want to be as a group and how we want to work with our customers,” Breard and Hays said in a statement. “Our customers are looking for a high level of service, technology and knowledge and we believe that our partnership with Cetera and Summit Financial Networks puts us in the perfect place to provide that.”