Investors Bank has selected Cetera as its new third-party broker-dealer after a near seven-year relationship with INVEST Financial and Essex National, which INVEST acquired in 2015.

The Short Hills, New Jersey-based community bank launched its investment services business in 2011 and currently employs 22 financial advisors and 65 licensed bankers who collectively support about $700 million in assets under administration, according to Cetera's announcement on Wednesday.

Cetera headquarters
Cetera headquarters

The program primarily serves mass-affluent and high-net-worth retail investors as well as company retirement plans for businesses of all sizes. It provides financial planning, retirement, insurance and investment management services, Cetera said.

The bank, which has more than $24 billion in assets and more than 150 retail branches, will look to Cetera to accelerate the program's growth, according to LeAnn Rummel, president of Cetera Financial Institutions.

"We're privileged to support Investors Bank and hundreds of other growth-oriented bank and credit union programs across the country," she said.

Cetera's technology platform and its experience supporting the investment programs of financial institutions were among the factors driving the bank's choice.

Glenn Brodwater, the program's president, was impressed with Cetera's scale, resources and expertise, saying that they will help the program "keep pace with the constant flow of changes coursing through the financial services industry."

In addition, the firm's track record delivering "an exceptional service experience to advisors and their clients" made the Cetera a "natural strategic alliance for the bank," said Richard Koll, Investors Bank's senior vice president of Wealth Management & Insurance.

INVEST, the bank's former broker-dealer, was part of National Planning Holdings, which was bought by LPL in August.

The new program follows the addition of Cathay Bank's $507 million program and Flushing Bank's $225 million program to Cetera's platform in the latter part of last year. Cathay Bank moved its program from LPL in September while Flushing Bank switched its program from Infinex in October.

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