HighTower’s Weissbluth, IA 25 Honoree, Touted on CNBC

CNBC’s Gary Kaminsky asks Weissbluth about impact of IA 25 honor and Morgan Stanley buyout of Smith Barney

One of Investment Advisor magazine’s IA 25 honorees, HighTower Advisors Chief Executive Elliot Weissbluth, celebrated his selection in that top 25 as a featured guest on CNBC’s Squawk on the Street program on Tuesday.

Weissbluth weighed in with CNBC’s Gary Kaminsky to talk about being picked as one of IA 25’s most influential people in the world of financial advisors for the magazine’s tenth annual list.

“It’s humbling, but it’s also gratifying because it shows that the industry is recognizing that there are 300 people at HighTower who have effectively built an innovative business," Weissbluth said. "This is an honor for all of us. It shows we’ve done something that hasn’t been done before, and we’re quite proud of it.”

With Chicago-based HighTower’s reputation as the go-to registered investment advisor for breakaway wirehouse brokers, Kaminsky asked Weissbluth about the recent news that Morgan Stanley is unlikely to accelerate its buyout of Smith Barney: “If I’m a broker at Morgan Stanley or Smith Barney, what does this mean for me and my book of business?”

“It’s basically one more big integration,” Weissbluth answered. “What we see in the marketplace is the fallout that impacts the clients. There’s changing of technology systems, there’s changing of tools, there’s changing of fees. All of that creates havoc for the financial advisor and the client. We’re getting many phone calls from advisors who are not seeing this integration proceeding as planned, and they want to talk to us about joining HighTower.”

Morgan Stanley Chairman and CEO James Gorman said the securities firm has “no particular compulsion to accelerate” its purchase of Citigroup’s stake in Smith Barney, according to Dow Jones Newswires in a report on April 19. Also on that day, AdvisorOne reported that Morgan Stanley Smith Barney lost 300 advisors in the first quarter.

Read the IA 25 profile of Elliot Weissbluth at AdvisorOne.

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