RIA Rising

New HighTower Advisor Has Deep Academic Roots

A Morgan Stanley Smith Barney team, whose principal Eugene M. Lerner once had former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan as a student when he was a professor at New York University’s graduate business school, has joined national RIA HighTower.

Chicago-based HighTower said this morning that The Lerner Group managed more than $600 million while at MSSB. Lerner is the seventh team to sign up with HighTower this year; it’s opening an office in Chicago’s North Shore.

Among the reasons for joining HighTower that Lerner gave in a statement this morning was its open-source model and platform. “We surveyed the marketplace and HighTower has the only platform that supports our access to multiple custodians and clearing firms, along with a wide array of best-in-class investments,” he said.

Joining Lerner are teammates Walter Gondeck Jr.and Mingdong Tan. All three will be managing directors and partners at HighTower.

Lerner has deep roots in both the financial industry and academia. He joined Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management in 1966 and is currently professor emeritus of finance. He taught at NYU before joining Kellogg. He holds a doctorate in economics from the University of Chicago.

Lerner also has written eight books on financial and investment strategies and more than 60 articles for Journal of Finance, Journal of Money and Credit, and the American Economic Review, among other scholarly publications, according to his biography on MSSB’s website.

A HighTower spokesperson said Lerner taught Greenspan while at NYU. Lerner also studied under noted economist and Nobel laureate Milton Friedman while working on his doctorate at the University of Chicago.

 Before joining MSSB, Lerner was president for more than 20 years of his own investment advisory firm, Disciplined Investment Advisors. He also served on the Chicago Stock Exchange’s board of governors.

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