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Industry Spotlight > Mergers and Acquisitions

Hightower to Take a Stake in $700M Georgia RIA

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What You Need to Know

  • Alpharetta, Georgia-based Bluerock Wealth Management is the latest RIA that Hightower has decided to invest in.
  • The RIA aggregator didn't say how much it's investing in Bluerock.
  • Hightower says it's looking to continue its double-digit organic growth.

Hightower is making a strategic investment in Bluerock Wealth Management, an Alpharetta, Georgia-based RIA that manages $700 million in assets, the Chicago-based RIA aggregator said Thursday.

The move comes shortly after several recent similar moves by Hightower, including stakes it took in Landsberg Bennett Private Wealth Management, a $1 billion wealth management firm in Punta Gorda, Florida, announced Oct. 5, and Investment Security Group, a Denver wealth management firm with $800 million in assets, announced in August.

Hightower didn’t say how much it was investing in Bluerock but noted the transaction was being made in cash and equity. The deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter.

Bluerock provides individuals and families with personalized financial planning, strategic investing and proactive tax consulting, and will “leverage Hightower for its operational, business consulting and value-added advisor services,” Hightower said.

Bluerock mainly serves the “fast-growing community of affluent clients in Southeastern U.S., with a particular focus on mid-career technology and medical professionals and their families,” Hightower said. Bluerock has 11 employees, including five advisors.

Bluerock was founded in 2019 by advisors Raj Chokshi and Rachael Neil. Chokshi first became registered as an advisor through the Securities and Exchange Commission when he joined Triad Advisors in 2003. Neil entered the industry as an SEC-registered advisor in 2004, when she joined Bingham, Osborn & Scarborough.

Calling Bluerock a “high-performance business with mid to high double-digit organic growth and an exciting future,” Bob Oros, Hightower CEO and chairman, said: “Raj and Rachael have built an impressive roster of clients in the accumulation phase of their careers, in a region that is experiencing significant wealth creation.”

To gain the “exponential growth they seek, Raj, Rachael and the team will rely on Hightower to support their middle and back-office needs so they can spend more time with clients and prospecting for new business,” Oros said in a statement.

Bluerock underwent “two years of rapid growth and expansion,” according to Chokshi. After that, “we could see that to maintain and accelerate our momentum we needed a partner that could give us the size, scale and institutional-class support necessary to amplify our efforts,” he explained in the announcement.

“We chose Hightower because of the immense investment the firm has made across its entire platform, from technology, HR, trust and estate capabilities to marketing and business development support,” Chokshi said. “These services will allow us to focus on serving clients, nurturing prospects and attracting new assets.”

Pointing to the growth being seen in the Greater Atlanta area and the Southeast, Neil said: “We are particularly excited about Hightower’s vast digital marketing and business development resources. Utilizing these services will be critical in helping us communicate our value, message and story, and ultimately turn prospects into clients.”

Bluerock also intends to “leverage Hightower’s experienced recruitment team to ensure we have the right talent in place as we grow,” she added.

Hightower now has 119 advisory businesses in 34 states and the District of Columbia. As of June 30, its assets under administration were about $125.2 billion, while its assets under management were $101 billion, according to the company.

(Pictured: Bob Oros, CEO of Hightower)