Updated on Friday, August 7, 2020
Hightower Advisors is a Chicago-based private equity-backed network of advisors, many of whom operate under individual brand names. The advisors provide discretionary advisory, wealth management and financial planning services, among others.
Currently, Hightower Advisors has 344 investment advisors working in offices across 34 states. It serves mostly individuals and high net worth individuals, as well as a selection of institutional investors. The firm oversees $57 billion in assets under management (AUM).
All information included in this profile is accurate as of August 7, 2020. For more information, please consult Hightower Advisorsâ€™ website.
|Assets under management: $57,000,000,000|
|Minimum investment: None|
|Fee structure: A percentage of AUM; hourly charges; fixed fees; retainer or service fees|
|Headquarters:||200 W. Madison St., Ste. 2500
Chicago IL 60606
Hightower Advisors is a private equity-backed registered investment advisor that offers financial advisory services through its network of over 100 advisory firms across the U.S., many of which operate under different names. The firm was founded in 2008 by Elliot Weissbluth, an attorney and financial services executive, who served as the firmâ€™s CEO until 2019 and is now chairman.
Private equity firm Thomas H. Lee Partners acquired a significant stake in the business in 2017, and is now a majority owner of the firm, although some advisors and employees also have an ownership stake. In recent years, the firm has grown via RIA acquisitions, a strategy that it plans to step up in the near term.
Hightower Advisors has 566 employees, including 344 who serve as investment advisors. The firm has a presence across 34 states, with locations in most regions.
Hightower Advisors serves both individuals and high net worth individuals, though its predominant focus is on individuals without a high net worth. For reference, the SEC defines high net worth individuals as those with at least $750,000 under management or a net worth of at least $1.5 million. In addition to individual investors, Hightower Advisors also works with pension and profit-sharing plans, charitable organizations and corporations and other types of businesses.
The firm does not have a minimum account balance. However, it notes that certain services and fee structures may not benefit portfolios of less than $500,000 due to the impact of trading and transaction costs.
Hightower Advisors provides a range of financial services to clients, including financial planning and investment advisory services, offered through its individual investment practices that each have their own strategy and focus.
Most of Hightower Advisorâ€™s investment management services are offered on a discretionary basis, meaning that it does not consult the client before making every trade. Advisors may or may not regularly review and update client financial plans, depending on the terms of the client agreement.
Here is a full list of services that Hightower Advisors is capable of providing:
In early 2020, Hightower Advisors launched a new branding campaign centered around the tagline â€śwell-thy. rebalanced,â€ť aimed at conveying the firmâ€™s collective focus on holistic wellness.
The firm uses several methods of analysis when managing portfolios:
Hightower Advisors creates portfolios using a variety of investment strategies, including long- and short-term purchases, trading, options, shorts and margin transactions.
Depending on the services provided and the agreement between the client and the advisor, Hightower Advisors earns money through a percentage of assets under management, fixed fees and/or other one-time fees. Clients who receive limited-scope financial planning or wealth management may pay hourly fees, which are also determined on a case-by-case basis.
Wealth management clients can either get services through a wrap program, in which the fee will cover all transaction costs, or they can opt out of the wrap program and pay all transaction costs separately.
Hightower Advisors did not have any disciplinary events to disclose, meaning it has a clean record. All registered investment advisors are required to disclose any civil, regulatory or criminal events related to the firm, its employees or its affiliates in their Form ADV paperwork that they file with the SEC.
To get started working with the firm, find a local advisor using this online tool. If after connecting with an advisor you decide to move forward, youâ€™ll sign either a discretionary or a non-discretionary client agreement, which outlines the services youâ€™ll receive and the associated fees. Discretionary clients will also work with their advisor to create an investment policy statement, which the advisor will use to create and manage an appropriate portfolio.
Investment management clients will receive a review at least once per year from their advisory team, although many advisors are in touch more frequently. Communications may take place via phone calls, in-person meetings and strategy reviews. Additional reviews may take place as necessary when thereâ€™s a significant change in the financial picture of the client or economic events.
Hightower Advisors may be a good choice for investors looking for holistic financial planning and discretionary portfolio management. The firmâ€™s presence in 34 states also makes it accessible for investors in many regions. However, some of the firmâ€™s products and services may not be a good fit for investors with less than $500,000 to invest. Additionally, some advisors may earn commissions for recommending certain insurance products, which could pose a conflict of interest.
As always, when choosing financial services, itâ€™s important to understand the experience of the provider and how much youâ€™re paying for its services. Be sure to research multiple firms before selecting the one thatâ€™s best for you.