Rumbling about whether two of the Cetera Group's broker-dealer units will push their accounts to a third for custody are as yet mostly speculation.
The corporate parent has told Financial Network Investment Corp. and Multi-Financial Services Corp. that their IRA accounts are moving from Pershing custody to their self-clearing affiliate, PrimeVest.
Financial Network currently boasts 2,400 advisors while MFS has around 1,000.
PrimeVest, which clears its own 1,600 advisors' trades as well as another 600 institutional clients, definitely has the expertise and the capacity to hold the accounts.
The change also gives Financial Network and MFS reps the "opportunity" to process trades on PrimeVest's platform.
Management at Cetera -- formed in 2010 to run the three brokerage firms that private equity firm Lightyear Capital bought from ING [and not AIG, as initially reported] -- say they aren't breaking with Pershing.
However, a few reps who love the Pershing platform are a little disgruntled, and industry experts warn that once the system is in place to clear some accounts in-house, it will not be all that hard from a technology perspective to make it universal.
The three broker-dealers together have lost about 200 reps since AIG first agreed to sell them back in 2009.