July 23, 2010

HighTower Expands Into Silicon Valley Via Three Bridge Wealth

Former SmithBarney advisors have $740 million in AUM from private equity, venture capital clientele

HighTower, the RIA firm based in Chicago that has been growing in leaps and bounds as breakaway wirehouse brokers join its ranks, has announced its latest partner, a California advisory firm that has deep ties to the Silicon Valley community.

Under the terms of the partnership announced July 22, Three Bridge Wealth Advisors, an advisory firm based in Menlo Park, California, has agreed to join HighTower, gaining access to the firm's technology platform, HOST, and its broad range of clearing and custodial services. In return, HighTower extends its reach into California with Three Bridge's $740 million in assets derived largely from the venture capital and private equity communities in and around Silicon Valley.

"We are very excited to extend the HighTower partnership structure to an already independent firm such as Three Bridge," said HighTower President Drew Kornreich in a Thursday, July 22, news release. "Extending their already independent structure is the best way to serve the investment needs of their high net worth and institutional clients. With HighTower's open source platform, Three Bridge can now offer a superior level of service at lower costs to clients than is available at traditional wirehouses."

Three Bridge went independent in August 2009 when the firm's principals and founders, Eric Thurber, Fred Molfino, and Brett Sharkey, left Smith Barney. They provide personal wealth management services to high net worth individuals. The strategic partnership will help them return to offering distribution management and capital market services for private equity firms, according to the news release.

"Freedom to use the products that we believe are in our clients' best interest, and having direct control over our costs, is at the heart of delivering a superior investment solution," Molfino said in the release. "HighTower's HOST platform provides the best of all worlds, with multiple custody, trading, and clearing firms competing for our clients' business."

Read a feature on the structure and strategy of HighTower from the archives of InvestmentAdvisor.co.

Read a story about HighTower's West Coast growth from the archives of InvestmentAdvisor.com.
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