May 18, 2022

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Hightower Invests in Business Management Firm

Hightower has made a strategic investment in Grant Tani Barash & Altman, a business management firm in Los Angeles. Unlike Hightower’s typical deals where it acquires registered investment advisor firms, this helps the firm build out a business management vertical, bringing Grant Tani Barash & Altman’s personal chief financial officer services to Hightower advisors.

“Most of our deals are RIAs adding scale, meaning advisors, assets, clients to the platform,” Hightower CEO Bob Oros said in an exclusive interview. “Our strategic investment in Grant Tani Barash & Altman is really an investment in adding new capabilities for our advisors and their clients.”

Those personal CFO services include bookkeeping and accounting, bill payment, tax preparation and other concierge financial management capabilities, Hightower said.

Grant Tani Barash & Altman will continue to operate independently and will leverage Hightower’s middle- and back-office services. Its offerings will also be integrated into Hightower’s suite of services.

“We’ll build a vertical within the firm to serve the ultra-high-net-worth clients of Hightower Advisors, so it’s really leveraging everything they already do for their niche, and offering it to a new set of clients that they can serve,” Oros said.

Forty percent of Hightower’s assets come from families with $15 million or more. As of Dec. 31, 2021, Hightower had $144 billion in assets under administration and $117.8 billion in assets under management. Oros expects the firm to continue to grow in the ultra-high-net-worth segment.

This acquisition adds to Hightower’s existing services for ultra-high-net-worth clients, including its tax and estate planning capabilities, via its April 2020 investment in Wellspring Associates. Hightower is also working on providing personal trust services and received conditional approval this summer to convert its Texas-based trust company into a nationally chartered trust company.

“This fits in very nicely with all those capabilities in terms of holistically being able to serve the needs of the ultra-high-net-worth and really bringing a true end-to-end family office type of model,” Oros said.

Grant Tani Barash & Altman, which was founded in 1992, has 80 employees bringing these services to its existing clients. The firm specializes in serving the entertainment industry, including actors, actresses, directors and producers.

The firms would not disclose the terms of the deal, except to say that it involved a mix of cash and equity.