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Hightower Gets More Funding From Thomas H. Lee Partners

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Wealth management firm Hightower announced today that investor Thomas H. Lee Partners has closed a secondary transaction with the firm. The latest commitment provides new capital to help “optimize Hightower’s value-creation potential and growth strategy,” according to the firms.

THL, a private equity investment firm, originally invested in Hightower in 2018 with a $100 million stake. The firm will continue to be the lead investor in a new vehicle dedicated to Hightower that includes investments from funds advised by Goldman Sachs, Neuberger Berman and Coller Capital.

Hightower CEO Bob Oros, who noted that THL has “validated” Hightower’s business strategy with this latest investment, said in a statement that the firm was “honored to have so many top-tier investors bringing fresh capital to support the expansion of our wealth management service organization and advisor business for many years to come.”

THL Managing Director Ganesh Rao said in a statement that “Hightower’s innovation and leadership have changed the way advisors and clients view the financial advice industry.”

He added that the additional capital will allow the financial services firm to “expand its institutional-class services to catalyze organic growth, while at the same time fueling the firm’s RIA acquisition strategy.”

Hightower has been on a buying binge, announcing eight M&A transactions in 2020 after four in 2019. As of Sept. 30, 2020, the firm has $81.4 billion in assets under administration and $61.6 billion in assets under management.

The other fund investors were equally pleased with the THL move. Ben Perl, managing director at Neuberger Berman said in the statement that his firm views Hightower “as a market leader with a differentiated strategy and unrelenting focus on its clients. Through this transaction, we have been able to provide THL and Hightower’s management team access to additional capital and the time necessary to drive additional long-term creation.”

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