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More heft for HighTower: Hybrid RIA joins platform

HighTower's hot streak is showing no sign of slowing down.

The Chicago-based firm has added an RIA managing $250 million in client assets to its platform, marking the 11th advisory firm to sign up with the aggregator this year.

IronGate Partners, a dually registered independent firm formed in 2004, was previously affiliated with Capital Investment Group. Based in Wilmington, North Carolina, the firm predominately serves high-net-worth investors with a minimum account size of $1 million. It is led by Steve Coggins, chief investment officer, David Hartness, chief client officer, and Chris Jones, chief operating officer.

Jones said IronGate has always focused on being a client-centered, advice-driven firm. As the firm grew, the team started looking for a partner that shared the same core values, which they eventually found in HighTower.

“We wanted the ability to serve our clients in the best fashion possible for the outcomes they are seeking without being restrained on how to create that outcome,” Jones said.

The team found HighTower’s platform and resources to be especially appealing, Jones added, especially its technology, manager due diligence and access to institutional investment managers.

Coggins, Hartness and Jones each have approximately 20 years of industry experience. Prior to IronGate, all three had worked at independent broker-dealers Triad Advisors and MML Investors Services for about a decade, FINRA BrokerCheck records show.

In addition to that, Coggins was also a senior vice president at First Citizens Bank, and Hartness was with American Express Financial Adviser and First Union, where he started his career, a HighTower spokeswoman said.

Aside from the three partners, the IronGate team also includes three advisers and four support staff, according to Jones.

A spokeswoman for Capital Investment Group could not immediately be reached for comment.

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