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HighTower Rolls Out Mercer Portfolio Tool

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HighTower says it is the first U.S. wealth management firm to offer advisors access to the Mercer Advisor Portal.

The Chicago-based company, which is owned by its advisors, said early Monday that the portal means advisors and their clients will now benefit from institutional manager research methodology.

“The financial crisis highlighted the critical need for an evolution in investment selection and portfolio construction, and the Mercer Advisor Portal [or MAP] offers advisors an innovative alternative to traditional portfolio modeling approaches that rely primarily on quantitative analysis,” said Matthias Paul Kuhlmey, partner, managing director and head of Global Investment Solutions at HighTower, in a press release.

“Mercer’s dedication to creating tools that improve advisor performance aligns perfectly with HighTower’s commitment to deliver innovation to its advisor partners through sophisticated investment selections, technology and research,” Kuhlmey said.

According to HighTower, MAP combines historical performance analysis and forward-looking research provided by Mercer’s 100-plus researchers worldwide, who monitor more than 25,000 investment strategies. Mercer says it developed MAP as part of the ongoing growth of its wealth management consulting and solutions work last year.

“HighTower’s adoption of our platform enables them to provide their advisors with unique qualitative and forward-looking tools to choose best-in-breed investment managers and deliver on their commitment to clients,” said Cara Williams, senior partner and global head of wealth management and technology solutions at Mercer, in a statement. “Clients will benefit tremendously from their HighTower advisors having access to Mercer’s unparalleled institutional-grade research, which will help them make more informed decisions to achieve their financial goals.”

HighTower recently expanded its partnership development team. It hired Thomas Brown as an executive director and East Coast relationship manager and Frank Epinger as an executive director and relationship manager for the West Coast and Midwest. They are based in New York and Los Angeles, respectively, and report to Michael Parker, national director of HighTower partnership.

In late March, HighTower said MK Wealth Management, an advisory team on Long Island, joined its partnership, representing the 10th time in the past 12 months that a new team has joined the firm. This represented the 37th team moving to HighTower since its 2007 inception. It now includes 33 teams, with client assets totaling a reported $25 billion.

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