High Tower CEO Elliot Weissbluth has put the firm on a new growth path.
High Tower has gotten a big boost
by working with independents. Can
it keep up the momentum?
By Donald Jay Korn
An extraordinarily fast- growing financial services company is trying a new approach to encourage
further expansion: It’s reaching out to
independents in hopes of convincing
top advisors that they can have wirehouse efficiency with an independent’s freedom of choice.
Chicago-based High Tower Advisors
was ranked No. 13 on this year’s Inc. list
of the nation’s 500 fastest-growing private companies. The firm, founded in
2008, had $43.9million of revenues in
2011, an 89-fold increase in three years.
A high growth rate from a startup’s small base might be somewhat
expected. That’s especially true for
High Tower: The company’s business
model is to offer partnership stakes to
breakaway wirehouse brokers managing hundreds of millions or even billions of dollars in assets.
“We give them cash up front and
equity in the firm,” says High Tower’s
CEO, Elliot Weissbluth. According to
Michael LaMena, the company’s chief
operating officer, High Tower’s partner-
ship now includes 36 teams, with more
than 70 advisors.
Adding successful advisors is one
way High Tower has boosted revenue
growth. Washington-based Pagnato-
Karp Group joined last year from Merrill
Lynch’s private banking and investment
division. “We left for our clients,” says
Paul Pagnato, now a High Tower man-
aging director and partner. “We were
looking for a better solution regarding
the advice and service we can bring.”
Why High Tower, when other firms