Houston Switcheroo: Top Wealth Managers Bolt Sanders Morris Harris for U.S. Capital

Houston Switcheroo: Top Wealth Managers Bolt Sanders Morris Harris for U.S. Capital

The fastest-growing wealth management market in the nation got a jolt yesterday as two top advisors bolted the well-established Houston firm Sanders Morris Harris Inc. to join upstart cross-town rival U.S. Capital Advisors.

Bill Hurt and Titus Harris are both native Houstonians who jointly manage approximately $350 million in client assets and will be joining U.S. Capital as managing directors. Harris’ father, Titus Harris, Jr., was a co-founder of Sanders Morris Harris.

Houston was named the country’s fastest-growing wealth management market in Capgemini’s 2011 U.S. Metro Wealth Index, released earlier this summer. The city’s population of individuals with over $1 million in investable assets rose by nearly 10 percent, from 88,200 in 2009 to 96,700 last year.

Year-old U.S. Capital has exemplified that growth, amassing nearly $2 billion in assets by focusing on the city’s energy industry and wealthy individuals with more than $2 million in investable assets. Pat Mendenhall, a 19-year veteran of UBS in Houston and the firm’s founder and chief executive, said “We are pleased to have Bill and Titus join our team and see it as an endorsement of our focus on the higher net worth client segments in Houston.”

Sanders Morris Harris is the broker-dealer subsidiary of The Edelman Financial Group. Radio talk show host Ric Edelman, currently co- chief executive of the firm, takes over as CEO in January.

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