Feb 27 HighTower Advisors LLC, an independent
adviser-owned firm that has grown by hiring away from top U.S.
brokerages, said on Wednesday it added a veteran branch manager
from Morgan Stanley Wealth Management to join one of its
existing practices in the Baltimore region.
Thomas New, who had been at Morgan Stanley for more
than a decade, joined HighTower as an executive director with
its Kelly Wealth Management practice - an independent advisory
team formed last year by two former Merrill Lynch brokers.
New had been a senior vice president at Morgan Stanley and
branch manager based out of the firm's office in Hunt Valley, a
wealthy community in the Baltimore region. He oversaw roughly 50
financial advisers and helped during the consolidation of Morgan
Stanley's Hunt Valley office with its Smith Barney location in
Morgan Stanley Wealth Management, the largest U.S. brokerage
by adviser headcount and client assets, was formed out of the
merger of Morgan Stanley's wealth business and Citigroup's
Smith Barney in 2009.
New began his career as a financial adviser at Morgan
Stanley in 1998. The company declined to comment on his
Chicago-based HighTower, formed in 2008, has attracted many
breakaway broker teams that want to become independent and free
from attachment to big banks.
Kelly Wealth Management was formed in February 2012 when
former Merrill veterans Leo Kelly and Brian Grumbach left the
Bank of America Corp-owned brokerage to join HighTower
as independent advisers. The group added former Merrill adviser
Matt Moore in January.
The HighTower model allows groups to work with several
independent securities brokers, or custodians, such as Charles
Schwab, Fidelity and Bank of New York Mellon's
Pershing unit, instead of keeping all of their clients' assets
with one custodian - a common practice at the brokerage arms of
big banks. This relieves advisers from the pressure of pushing
proprietary products on their clients.