Reshaped HighTower Buys Stake in Billion-Dollar RIA
HighTower Advisors has taken a stake in a Massachusetts registered investment advisory firm with $1 billion in assets under advisement, executing its new strategy of buying ongoing firm revenue rather than integrating firms and individual brokers into its corporate umbrella.
The Chicago-based firm on Tuesday said in a news release that it “made a strategic investment” in Lexington Wealth Management, a 19-year old RIA with 11 advisors. It did not specify the size or cost of the investment, and a spokeswoman said only that it was a “significant equity investment.”
The deal is the third made by the 11-year-old HighTower since Robert Oros took over as CEO in January 2019. He replaced Elliot Weissbluth, who founded HighTower as a refuge for experienced wirehouse veterans and subsequently bought 24 RIAs. Private equity firm Thomas H. Lee Partners recapitalized HighTower through a majority stake it bought in 2017, and Weissbluth is now chairman.
Under Oros’ tenure, HighTower has been accumulating more equity in its existing advisory franchises and buying revenue in new practices. Earlier this year it made investments in LourdMurray, an RIA with $4.8 billion of assets from clients of two California firms that merged, and in Green Square Wealth Management, a Memphis firm with $2.6 billion in client assets respectively.
Lexington Wealth Management was founded in 2000 by Michael Tucci and Kristine Porcaro, who said in a statement that they have known Oros—a former executive at Charles Schwab, LPL Financial, Fidelity Investments and H.D. Vest—“for some time.”
LWM custodies with Schwab Advisor Services, Fidelity Investments and TD Ameritrade Institutional, according to its ADV.