Thursday, April 13, 2017

HighTower Acquisition

CHICAGO, April 13, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- HighTower announces its intent to acquire WealthTrust, which includes $6.4 billion in client assets nationwide.

"This is a transformational transaction for HighTower. Ten years ago, we founded this company upon our core belief that the fiduciary approach is the best for clients—and the best for business," said HighTower CEO Elliot Weissbluth. "We are proof that the fiduciary standard is the future of financial services."

HighTower financed the cash-only acquisition through a $75 million expansion of its credit facility to $245 million, led by BMO Harris and lenders Regions Bank, Fifth Third Bank and KeyBank.

"Our new facility will allow HighTower to fund additional acquisitions and drive greater momentum in the marketplace," said Sagar C. Kurada, Chief Financial Officer, HighTower.

"HighTower's visionary business model, rapid growth trajectory and significant financial strength make it the best buyer to service and grow WealthTrust," said Mark Gormley, Partner, Lee Equity Partners. "We proudly support HighTower in its mission to make the fiduciary standard a universal element of wealth management," he added.

Following the WealthTrust acquisition, about 40% of HighTower teams will originate from Registered Investment Advisor (RIA) backgrounds—either as previously independent teams acquired by HighTower or as independent RIAs leveraging HighTower's platform of services.

"No matter what a team's origin is, or how they elect to affiliate with HighTower, we deliver the comprehensive support they need to serve their clients who trust them for vital financial guidance," added HighTower Executive Vice President Matthias Kuhlmey. "The WealthTrust acquisition illustrates the strategic evolution of our business model and rapid growth fueled by advisor demand for the HighTower platform, brand and culture."

Kuhlmey led the WealthTrust transaction for HighTower and plays a critical role in all acquisitions. Over the past 18 months, he led 6 RIA acquisitions for the firm. He previously served as the Head of Global Investment Solutions, spearheading the development of HighTower's sophisticated investment and research platform.

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