HighTower Nabs Merrill Veteran, Another Manager Exits
HighTower Advisors added another wirehouse broker to its ranks, even as it winnows its business staff of coaches and recruiters.
The Chicago-based firm said Tuesday that Lebanon, Pa.-based broker Kevin R. Keith joined after 22 years at Merrill Lynch in nearby Lancaster. He and his team were managing $230 million in client assets, according to a release from the collection of registered investment advisors and brokers.
“Our clients’ best interests are our team’s top priority,” Keith said in a prepared statement that slapped at the wirehouse. “The opportunity to serve those interests, uninhibited by many of the conflicts and problems that are common to the traditional Wall Street business model, is what drew us to HighTower.”
Neither he nor the firm described his team, but Keith’s former Merrill Lynch webpage lists his associates as registered senior client associate Amy Arnold and client associate Lindsay Mills.
Keith, who started his career at First Jersey Securities in 1986 and hs also worked at Wheat, First Securities and Merrill predecessor Advest, did not return a request for additional comments.
He joins as HighTower has been slimming its administrative and managerial ranks amid rumors of a sale. Founded in 2007 by chief executive Elliot Weissbluth along with former Charles Schwab CEO David Pottruck, other wealth management veterans and private equity firms, the firm in recent months bid farewell to its former president, Michael LaMena, and at least three recruiters, Michael Parker; Michael Papedis and Thomas H. Brown.
Amit Dogra, who had been head of practice management, confirmed on Tuesday that he left HighTower in September.
“I leave HighTower with the highest respect from everyone from Elliot on down,” Dogra, who had been with the firm since February 2014, said in a brief interview. “I’m still an equity holder and wish them well.”
The firm, which says that 191 brokers in 79 offices are affiliated with it as partners or contractors using its platform, earlier this month hired Marc Schachtman from JPMorgan Chase, where he was led a private banking team for eight years that worked with about $500 million of customer assets.