Voya Financial, Inc., announced today that it has entered into a definitive agreement with Cetera Financial Group, Inc. (Cetera), one of the nation’s largest networks of independently managed broker-dealers, for Cetera to acquire the independent financial planning channel of Voya Financial Advisors (VFA), Voya’s registered investment advisor and broker-dealer. Through the transaction, approximately 900 independent financial professionals serving retail customers with approximately $40 billion in assets will become part of Cetera.
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The VFA legal entity and approximately 600 field and phone-based financial professionals who support Voya’s Retirement business and clients will remain with Voya. These individuals provide guidance, advice and financial wellness solutions to Voya’s plan sponsor clients and their plan participants and are core to Voya’s workplace strategy. Specifically, Voya’s field and phone-based financial professionals help Voya’s customers meet their evolving needs with both in-person financial planning as well as Voya’s award-winning digital financial wellness tools to offer more personalized planning for employers and their employees.
The transaction reflects Voya’s increased focus on institutional clients and financial planning support that is closely aligned with the worksite, from large to small employers across all market segments and their millions of employees across the U.S.
“At Voya, we are committed to helping millions of Americans improve their financial well-being by supporting their health and wealth programs through the workplace,” said Rodney O. Martin, Jr., chairman and CEO, Voya Financial, Inc. “This transaction is an opportunity to position our financial advisory teams for continued success, with our field and phone-based financial professionals being an important and strategic part of Voya and enabling us to meet the growing financial wellness needs of employers, employees and their households. These 600 field and phone-based financial professionals provide guidance to our workplace clients through a multi-channel, personalized, flexible service model in order to serve customers when, where and how they need.”
Voya expects that the transaction will provide the company with over $300 million in deployable proceeds at closing.
“The proceeds generated by the transaction will add to our strong excess capital position and reinforces the significant progress we have made in focusing our operations on workplace solutions and institutional clients. In addition to returning excess capital to shareholders, we also will continue to reinvest in our Retirement, Investment Management and Employee Benefits businesses to support our growth plans. We believe that we are well positioned to continue our positive momentum and achieve strong outcomes for all of our stakeholders,” added Martin.
Voya noted that it intends to provide more details on the transaction during its fourth-quarter and full-year 2020 earnings call on Feb. 10, 2021.
The transaction is expected to close in the second or third quarter of 2021, subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals.
Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC is serving as financial advisor, and Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP is serving as legal counsel to Voya in connection with this transaction.