RIA aggregator Hightower Advisors has acquired Bel Air Investment Advisors, a Los Angeles-based wealth management firm with $8 billion of assets under management and 43 employees, including 10 financial advisors.
The purchase, which represents the largest acquisition in Hightower’s 12-year history, follows nine transactions by the company in 2020.
The deal “is a heck of a way to start off the new year,” Hightower CEO Bob Oros said in a interview Monday.
Hightower now has 114 advisory businesses in 33 states. As of Sept. 30, it had $61.6 billion of assets under management and $81.4 billion of assets under administration.
The deal to acquire Bel Air, announced Monday, was signed Dec. 31 and is expected to close in the first quarter of 2021, according to a Hightower spokesperson. Terms were not disclosed.
Bel Air’s Background
Founded in 1997, Bel Air provides customized wealth management services and investment solutions exclusively to ultra-high net worth individuals, families, trusts and foundations with $20 million or more in investable assets.
Of Bel Air’s 10 advisors, eight are based in Los Angeles and two are based in its San Francisco office, which Bel Air is looking to expand, according to Todd Morgan, its chairman and co-founder. Prior to Bel Air, he started his career at Goldman Sachs in Los Angeles.
“We’re delighted with this new partnership” and “my whole team is looking forward to the growth prospects that we have ahead of us — both on a local level” because Hightower’s resources will help it expand the San Francisco office and also “on a nationwide level,” Morgan told ThinkAdvisor.
“It’s always been our dream to expand meaningfully outside of California with the model that we have and with” the help of Oros and HighTower, “we can achieve this over the years to come,” Morgan explained.