Spurred by the brisk stream of breakaway brokers, HighTower has doubled the size of its business development team.

The fast-growing company has also announced the addition of two new partnership teams in the last week: the Andriole Group, a Merrill Lynch breakaway team in Madison, Conn., and Klein Wealth Management, a former UBS team from Long Island, N.Y.

A steady supply of breakaway brokers spurred HighTower to double its business development team from two to four, says executive vice president Mike Papedis.

“We were so encouraged based on what we see in the breakaway broker market that we decided to expand our business development team to be able to service our robust pipeline,” Papedis says. “There is increasing evidence that wealth teams are becoming more sophisticated than wirehouses can handle and are voting with their feet.”

The expansion is also aimed at building up HighTower’s multiple affiliation models -- including not only its partnerships but also the HighTower Network, which offers advisors an independent contractor affiliation under the HighTower brand and ADV, and the HighTower Alliance, which offers a platform for firms who want to remain independent RIAs, Papedis adds.

BRANDING & RESOURCES

At the newest HighTower affiliate, founder Charles Andriole says he liked HighTower’s national brand, advisor-owned business model, “deep” operational resources and “culturally and philosophically recognizing early on a significant change in client expectations.”

The team’s clients wanted to be with an objective, independent firm that operated with transparency and a fiduciary model and wasn’t captive to one custodian, he says -- which meant staying with a large wirehouse was no longer an option.

After vetting the options, including “complete independence,” Andriole says his team decided to go with HighTower for being able to help them meet those criteria.

The Andriole Group manages $700 million in client assets and specializes in high-net-worth individuals and families, their related businesses and select nonprofit organizations. Andriole and the firm’s other principals -- Geoffrey Gregory, Robert DeLucca and Matthew J. Montana -- join HighTower as partners and managing directors.

TRANSITION CONCERNS

The biggest concern of potential breakaways is how to “de-risk their transition,” Papedis says.

“The most important element for them is to be able to import and replicate their revenue,” Papedis. “They need help and want a guided path to independence. They want to spend their time doing what they do best, serving their clients, and not running the business.”

Klein Wealth Management, a $210 million team based in Melville, N.Y., specializes in developing tax-efficient, philanthropy-oriented strategies for high-net-worth individuals and families, corporations and private foundations.

The new firm’s principal, Peter Klein, will become a HighTower partner and managing director.

Klein’s practices for managing charitable foundations are included in A Passion for Giving: Tools and Inspiration for Creating a Charitable Foundation, published by Wiley in 2012. He was previously a senior vice president of investments at UBS, and joined UBS predecessor firm Paine Webber in 1994.

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