HighTower announced Monday that Shaffer Wealth Management of Atlanta is the first advisor team to join the HighTower Network.

The network was launched in September to help breakaway brokers transition from the traditional wirehouse model to independence. Chicago-based HighTower has attracting large advisor teams by making them partners in the firm. The HighTower Network was designed to attract advisors who prefer to continue to own their own practices rather than joining a partnership.

HighTower provides members of the network compliance, technology, operations, accounting, facilities, institutional-grade and alternative research, business development, and communications services.

Shaffer manages $300 million in assets, focusing on comprehensive wealth management solutions, with expertise serving wealthy families with concentrated stock positions.  The team previously worked for SunTrust Investment Services. Roger Shaffer, the firm’s managing director, was a financial advisor at Merrill Lynch prior to joining SunTrust.

In an interview last year, Mike Papedis, the national director of the HighTower Network, said the network would be a key driver for growth in 2013.

"We expect to accelerate our growth in 2013,” he said. “ While we continue to attract new teams to the HighTower Partnership, we are also focused on growing the recently launched HighTower Network and HighTower Alliance channels.  These new channels allow advisors to choose the level of service and HighTower integration that best benefits their practice.”

Papedis said the network provides advisors a "speed to market advantage simply not attainable on their own."

Shaffer said his firm wanted to maintain control of its business, but wanted to align with a proven industry competitor.

“HighTower’s bench strength and deep resources put the firm in a class by itself,” he said. “ Leveraging this will turbo-charge the growth of our business.”

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