Hightower exec Stephanie Link's headshot Stephanie Link of Hightower Advisors

Hightower Advisors has hired Stephanie Link as its chief investment strategist and portfolio manager.

Link, a CNBC contributor, recently was head of global equities research at TIAA-CREF Nuveen and co-managed the CREF Stock Variable Annuity Portfolio with $170 billion in assets. 

She also managed the US Core portfolio with $3.7 billion in assets and oversaw 33 professionals collectively managing $40 billion. (TIAA-CREF bought Nuveen in 2014.) 

“It’s truly an honor to be joining Hightower,” Link said in a statement. “I look forward to getting to know each advisory practice and finding new ways to help them drive assets and profitability, grow their businesses and offer differentiated services to clients.”

The executive’s main task is to expand Hightower’s Investment Solutions group, which provides outsourced chief investment officer (OCIO) services, model portfolios, separately management accounts, investment research and due diligence to Hightower advisors.

Hightower includes over 100 advisory firms in 33 states. Its assets under management were about $57 billion, and its assets under administration totaled nearly $77 billion, as of Dec. 31, 2019.

Before Nuveen, Link served as chief investment officer at The Street and was a co-portfolio manager of Jim Cramer’s Charitable Trust. She also worked as the managing director of institutional sales and director of research at Prudential Equity Group.

“Stephanie’s …  history of leadership in growth environments and deep knowledge of investment management make her a perfect fit for this new role,” according to Hightower CEO Bob Oros.