Industry trailblazer Elliot Weissbluth co-founded HighTower Advisors in 2008 and pioneered recruiting and aggregating big-ticket wirehouse advisors into the independent space. As the RIA expanded, Weissbluth added outsourcing platform services and began acquiring other independent advisory firms. Earlier this year HighTower received a $100 million capital investment from the private equity firm Thomas H. Lee Partners and is aiming to become a nationally recognized brand.
Weissbluth is also known for being a straight-shooter. For Financial Planning’s Lightning Round, he fielded rapid-fire questions on subjects ranging from Amazon's interest in financial services to the SEC, tech, millennials and private equity as well as what's ahead for the industry — and HighTower.
SCREENTITLE: Lightning Round. 1 minute with Elliot Weissbluth.
QUESTION: Tech innovations you want to see?
WEISSBLUTH: The advisor and client talking through a handheld with full video and data connectivity.
QUESTION: Biggest change coming?
WEISSBLUTH: We bought a trust company and we’ll be adding assets that have capabilities with them.
QUESTION: Biggest challenge?
WEISSBLUTH: Keeping our culture intact. We’ve been on a 10-year growth trajectory and we have to make sure that we maintain connective tissue to the folks that joined us at the beginning and the folks that are joining us tomorrow.
QUESTION: Will PE investment in RIAs continue?
WEISSBLUTH: Absolutely, we are at the very beginning of a consolidation and all the folks that are looking at that from the private equity perspective find that attractive.
QUESTION: How to attract millennials?
WEISSBLUTH: Fundamentally change the way it communicates. We have to stop talking about BPS and asset-based pricing and trajectories and Sortino ratios and Sharpe ratios, and start talking about happiness and
health, and what money does for your life.
QUESTION: Will Amazon enter financial services?
WEISSBLUTH: I’m surprised they haven’t done it sooner.
QUESTION: Will the SEC resolve the fiduciary issue?
QUESTION: What do clients want?
WEISSBLUTH: Peace of mind.
QUESTION: Industry’s biggest problem?
WEISSBLUTH: They have failed to deliver peace of mind.