In its largest acquisition ever, Chicago-based aggregator Hightower hit the deck running in 2021 with the purchase of Bel Air Investment Advisors, an $8 billion wealth management firm based in Los Angeles.
Specific terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Hightower is buying Bel Air from Fiera Capital Corp.
Bel Air, which has 43 employees, including 10 financial advisers, works exclusively with “ultra-high-net-worth individuals, families, trusts and foundations with $20 million or more in investable assets.”
“We are honored to be welcoming Bel Air to Hightower and look forward to collaborating with the team and providing access to our strategic consulting services, which focus on organic growth and talent development, as well as offering additional scale through our middle- and back-office capabilities,” Hightower Chief Executive Bob Oros said in a prepared statement.
Bel Air was founded in 1997 and in 2013 was acquired by Montreal-based Fiera Capital, a publicly traded company. Bel Air’s move to Hightower returns the firm to private ownership, with Bel Air’s founders and leaders in key roles with equity in the company.
Including Bel Air, Hightower’s M&A team has completed 14 transactions since early 2019.
As of Sept. 30, Hightower’s assets under administration were approximately $81.4 billion and its assets under management was $61.6 billion. Hightower has 114 advisory businesses in 33 states.
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