In the third advisor breakaway from Merrill Lynch to HighTower in the past month, Charles Holt announced Monday that he had joined the RIA’s Pagnato-Karp Group, based in Washington, as a partner and managing director.
Holt, a former senior vice president with Merrill Lynch’s Global Wealth Management Group and 20-year veteran in the financial services industry, joined HighTower on Friday. Headquartered in Chicago, HighTower has a growing asset base that stood at more than $20 billion at last count.
A large producer of more than $1 million in annual revenues at Merrill, Holt has about $200 million in client assets under management. All of Holt’s 80 clients made the move with him to HighTower, said partner and managing director Paul Pagnato in a phone interview.
Pagnato said he worked with Holt at Merrill Lynch for 20 years, and the two formally partnered together with clients for over 10 years. When Pagnato-Karp Group broke from Merrill eight months ago, the group followed the protocol and didn’t share that information with anyone, he noted. “After we broke, Charlie reached out to us and said he wanted to be part of our group and continue the relationship,” he said.
“When advisors get into this business, one of the reasons why we do it is because we all have a streak of entrepreneurship in us,” Pagnato said. “We create our own business, bringing on our own clients and running it with a lot of autonomy. What’s happened more recently is that advisors don’t feel like they’re running their own business anymore. HighTower is a place where you feel fulfilled in that again.”
With the addition of Holt, Pagnato-Karp now numbers 14 people on its team.