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Industry Spotlight > RIAs

Hightower Scoops Up $2B RIA

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What You Need to Know

  • Hightower Advisors has acquired Farr, Miller & Washington in its latest transaction.
  • Farr, Miller & Washington CEO Michael Farr will become the chief market strategist at Hightower.
  • Hightower, a Chicago-based RIA aggregator, completed nine transactions last year alone.

Hightower Advisors has acquired Farr, Miller & Washington, an RIA with $2 billion in assets under management, as well as offices in Washington, D.C., Florida and Pennsylvania.

Farr, Miller & Washington President and CEO Michael Farr is set to become Hightower’s chief market strategist as part of the transaction. The firm has 20 employees, including 13 investment professionals.

“Michael Farr and his team at Farr, Miller & Washington are highly respected both inside the beltway and throughout the U.S. … ,” said Hightower Chairman and CEO Bob Oros in a statement. “[W]e couldn’t be more thrilled that they have chosen to join Hightower for the next chapter of their growth and are honored to be welcoming them to the firm.”

Hightower, which works with 115 advisory businesses, has assets under administration of about $125 billion and assets under management of $101 billion as of June 30.

“I have … great respect for their philosophy of empowering and equipping advisors to deliver institutional-class service,” according to Farr. “We considered several firms, and chose to join Hightower because of the culture, supportive community and broad-based business services that will help us deliver a streamlined wealth management experience to our clients now and for decades to come.”

In mid-June, Hightower said it had received “conditional approval” from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency to convert its Texas-based trust company into a nationally chartered trust company. “We expect the doors to open in the middle of the fourth quarter and for sure by year-end,” Oros said in an interview at the time.

In early January, the RIA aggregator 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 followed nine transactions by the company in 2020.

(Pictured: Hightower CEO Bob Oros.)