Recruiting in early 2017 is on a tear.

HighTower says it recruited a group formerly affiliated with LPL Financial in St. Louis: Rogers & Company Wealth Management.

The team, led by Carol Rogers, has merged with HighTower St. Louis (acquired in 2016 and formerly known as Archer Wealth Management). The acquisition means HighTower’s operations in the Gateway to the West include $600 million in client assets.

“HighTower attracts exceptional financial advisors from every segment of the industry,” said CEO Elliot Weissbluth, in a statement. “We proudly welcome Carol, Omar [Qureshi] and their team to our St. Louis office and the greater HighTower community.”

The wealth firm also says Rogers & Co. is the fifth new team it has added this year, after bringing on Fortress Wealth Planning in Jacksonville, Cognetic Capital Advisors in New York, the Kelly & Wohlner Group in Denver, and Ewing/Cona Wealth Management in Marlton, New Jersey.

These groups have a combined $2.5 billion of client assets, and HighTower now has an asset level that tops $39 billion.

Raymond James Adds UBS Team

Raymond James says a group of UBS advisors has broken away from the wirehouse to form and RIA and affiliate with its Investment Advisors Division in Lexington, Kentucky, with about $113 million in client assets: Jeremy Wallace, CFP, co-founder and chief investment officer; Andrew Hart, CFP, co-founder and chief planning strategist; and Jessica Bedell, wealth management specialist.

“We selected Raymond James for custody and clearing of our client assets, because of their strength, stability and reputation as one of the most highly regarded investment firms in the industry,” Wallace said in a statement. “We wanted to become true fiduciaries – and we felt we could grow and market ourselves better as independents.”

Wallace began his financial services career in 1999 at Merrill Lynch and moved to UBS in 2008. Hart has worked in the financial industry for over a decade; he joined UBS in 2012. Bedell started her career at UBS in 2008.

The firm is part of Pledge 1%, a philanthropy group dedicated to improving communities. Some of the charities supported by Wallace Hart through the organization are the Alzheimer’s Association, the Lexington chapter of the Dream Factory and the Kentucky Equine Humane Center.

“We are delighted that Jeremy, Andrew and Jessica selected Raymond James to be their custodial partner,” said Bill Van Law, head of the Raymond James business unit, in a statement.

“They put a lot of thought and due diligence into making this decision, and concentrated on finding a true partner that provided the type of resources, platform, technology and service to enable them to deliver an extraordinary experience for their clients,” Van Law explained.

Securities Service Network Adds CIO

Independent broker-dealer and RIA Securities Service Network has tapped Joe Simpson to the newly created position of chief information officer.

SSN has more than 400 independent financial advisory practices and about $13 billion of advisory and brokerage client assets; it is owned by Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services.

Formerly head of technology for SSN, Simpson will continue to lead the firm’s technology efforts and will represent SSN on Ladenburg Thalmann and industry technology-related committees. He joined SSN’s technology department in 1999.

“Joe’s thorough understanding of the independent retail financial advice industry, combined with his in-depth knowledge of the diverse and growing technological needs of our organization, has been invaluable to us and the financial advisors we serve,” said Wade Wilkinson, president and CEO of SSN, in a statement.

Honorable Mention 

Eileen McDonnell, chairman and CEO of The Penn Mutual Life Insurance Co. has been recognized with the 2017 Taoiseach Award presented by Anne Anderson, the ambassador of Ireland to the United States.

McDonnell was honored by the Irish American Business Chamber & Network (IABCN) for being an individual of Irish descent who has exemplified leadership and compassion in her work.

“It is an honor to be recognized by the chamber and Ambassador Anderson. I feel privileged to be connected to the IABCN, which strengthens business and educational ties between the United States and Ireland. This award is a testament to the courage of my four grandparents who immigrated to America from Ireland,” McDonnell said in a statement.

Penn Mutual says it supports its field representatives with brokerage services through Hornor, Townsend & Kent, an RIA.

— Check out United Capital’s FinLife Partners Reaches $3B in Less Than a Year on ThinkAdvisor.