Each week, Private Banker International selects a deal that highlights the biggest trends and themes in the sector. It may not always be the largest deal in value, or the highest profile, but it will tell us where the leading companies are focusing their efforts, and why. 

The deal

Hightower has invested strategically in Boston Hill Advisors, a $1bn fee-based registered investment adviser (RIA) with three locations spread out across Massachusetts and a headquarters in North Andover.

The company was established in 2006 by managing partners Joseph Trainor, CFA, and Michael Edwards, CFA, and focuses largely on serving high-net-worth individuals and institutional clients in the New England region.

At the moment, Boston Hill Advisors employs 17 people, including eight advisers who maintain ties with about 1,000 clients.

Why it matters

“Michael and I are entrepreneurs at heart, and we are extraordinarily proud of our team and of the business we have built,” said Trainor.

“This partnership with Hightower—who are client-focused, growth oriented, and looking for true partners—allows us to continue to deliver a high-end experience by putting our clients front and center, all while providing behind-the-scenes support to help grow and scale our business to the next level.”

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“Boston Hill Advisors is a firm that has built a reputation in the Boston region—both a big city and a small town—as a trusted adviser to individuals, families, and institutions,” added Hightower chairman and CEO Bob Oros.

“We are excited to provide our value-added services to support their long-lasting relationships with multiple generations of clients.”

This is also the latest in a number of developments for Hightower.

Most recently, Hightower purchased Vigilant Wealth Management, a full-service wealth management firm with offices in Portland, Maine, and Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

The three co-founding principals of Vigilant, Scott D. Sorensen, CFA, ChFC, and Daniel M. Mulkern, MBA, are in charge of the company, which was founded in 2002 and today employs 31 people, including 11 financial advisers.

Earlier this year, Hightower made a strategic investment in registered investment advisor (RIA) Bickling Financial Services (BFS).

Based in Massachusetts, BFS is a family-owned business with around $625m in assets under management.

The firm, which was established in 1984 by Dorothy Bickling, currently runs three offices across Massachusetts.

Nandita Shukla, senior wealth management analyst at GlobalData, explained: “Hightower has been acquiring and partnering with multiple wealth management firms in United States this year. They have been following this strategic investment pattern from last few years. These acquired firms are integrating into Hightower but maintaining an economic interest in, as well as strategic and management control of, the business. This has helped the acquired firms to scale up with the help of resources offered by Hightower and have allowed Hightower to expand strategically in U.S at the same time. The investment in the Boston Hill Advisors is the part the same strategic investment streak.”

The detail

Boston Hill Advisors chose Hightower so that it could take use of the company’s infrastructure, middle and back-office operations, and growth consulting services to improve the services it offers to both potential and current clients.

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