Continuing its strategic investment growth — six firms so far this year — Hightower Advisors has bought a stake of $1.3 billion wealth manager Stearns Financial Group. The new team is the 111th advisory business for the Chicago-based RIA.
North Carolina-based Stearns has 32 employees, including 12 advisors. It specializes in advisor business owners, executives, multi-generational families and the emerging affluent.
“Stearns Financial Group is exactly the kind of business that Hightower looks for in a strategic investment: a high-performing firm that uses an in-depth, multi-scenario approach to wealth management to help their clients live purposeful lives and make confident financial decisions,” said Hightower CEO Bob Oros in a statement.
As of June 30, Hightower’s assets under advisement were close to $76 billion, while assets under management were nearly $57 billion.
The new advisory firm will use Hightower’s operational infrastructure, business owner planning, marketing support, family office and investment management services.
“This is a natural strategic evolution for Stearns Financial Group,” according to Dennis Stearns, founder and president. “Being a part of Hightower’s powerful community of advisors will allow us to leverage the benefits of a national RIA while maintaining our well-established brand, culture and business structure.”