HighTower Advisors’ latest $1 billion recruit is noteworthy for not being drawn from the ranks of wirehouses. The Chicago-based hybrid registered investment advisor said today that Margaret M. Towle (right), formerly managing director and head of research at Greycourt, a Pittsburgh RIA, signed on Tuesday. Towle’s client expertise is endowments and wealthy families, her specialty after 28 years in the business. She’s based in Seattle, Wash. and Minneapolis, Minn., two new regions for HighTower. Greycourt’s website says it advises on $9 billion in assets, so Towle’s departure is no small loss. She had been at Greycourt for three years, according to her LinkedIn profile.
In addition to being an advisor, Towle brings formidable academic credentials as well. She has done post-graduate work in quantitative methods at the University of Michigan, and holds a doctorate from the University of Washington-Seattle. HighTower has tapped her to sit on its Group Investment Solutions steering committee, a group of about a half-dozen advisors who oversee the firm’s investment capabilities. Towle, who has studied alternatives strategies and tactical asset allocation, will be contributing in that area.
“She’s an advisor, first and foremost,” said Michael Papedis, the firm’s managing director of business development. Towle also was the former chief investment officer for Northern Trust Global Advisors, and formerly served as a director on the board of the Investment Management Consultants Association.
Towle is HighTower’s first recruit this year who doesn’t hail from a wirehouse. The firm, with about $20 billion in assets, has announced it has taken on six new teams from big Wall Street firms so far this year, most recently Pagnato-Karp Group of Reston, Va., a former Merrill Lynch team with $1.2 billion in assets that joined up earlier this month. Papedis says the firm has hired non-wirehouse teams in the past.