HighTower Advisors has hired Bob Oros, the former chief executive of independent broker/dealer HD Vest Financial Services, to replace Elliot Weissbluth as CEO of the registered investment advisory.
AdvisorHub first reported the news, which WealthManagement.com independently verified. HighTower spokeswoman Patricia Buchanan said no decision had yet been made.
“The search for a new CEO is underway as HighTower works to identify the right leader for the company’s next phase of growth,” Buchanan said, in a statement. “Under the present leadership of Elliot Weissbluth, HighTower continues to accelerate the firm’s M&A effort and reinforce its position as the premier player in the fast-growing independent advisory space.”
Prior to joining HD Vest, a tax-oriented wealth management firm owned by Blucora, in January 2017, Oros worked at Fidelity, where he served as executive vice president. He was also head of the company’s RIA custody platform, brokerage services, trading capabilities and practice management of nearly 3,000 RIAs across the United States. He worked at Fidelity for five years and previously held leadership roles at LPL Financial and Charles Schwab Corp. Oros did not return a call seeking comment.
In August, Weissbluth announced he would step down from HighTower, one of the largest RIAs in the country, once a successor was named. He will become chairman of the Chicago-based firm’s board. He founded the firm during the global financial crisis, and had early success stealing advisors from the wirehouses.
Weissbluth said the decision was part of an existing long-term leadership plan at the firm to support its growth and capture market share. To best capitalize on the consolidation in the RIA channel, he said the firm needed to expand the leadership team and “in order to do that, we need to bring in a CEO.”
Gurinder Ahluwalia, an executive with private equity firm Thomas H. Lee Partners, who was named “lead director” at the time Weissbluth announced his departure, told Wealthmanagement.com that the new HighTower CEO would be focused on growth, rather than preparing it for an IPO or the private equity investor’s eventual exit. Thomas H. Lee Partners last year bought a significant stake in HighTower and invested an additional $100 million in capital in the firm.
In his new role, Weissbluth will focus on mergers and acquisitions and recruiting new advisors to the firm.
Blucora announced Oros’ departure late last month, citing personal reasons for his decision to step down. The company named Todd Mackay, executive vice president and general manager of TaxAct, as interim CEO of HD Vest, and indicated that Oros would stay on until March 2019 as a consultant. He is currently still registered with the firm, according to BrokerCheck.