Bel Air – Hightower’s largest acquisition ever – is an $8 billion advisory business based in Los Angeles, serving high net worth individuals, families and foundations
CHICAGO – January 4, 2021 – Hightower today announced that it has acquired Bel Air Investment Advisors LLC from Fiera Capital Corporation (TSX: FSZ). Bel Air, with US$8 billion in assets under management (AUM), is based in Los Angeles and provides customized wealth management services and investment solutions exclusively to ultra-high net worth individuals, families, trusts and foundations with $20 million or more in investable assets. This is Hightower’s largest acquisition in its 12-year history.
Bel Air has 43 employees, including ten advisors who focus on bringing objectivity, comprehensive knowledge, and integrated experience to protect and preserve client wealth. Founded in 1997, Bel Air was acquired by Montreal-based Fiera Capital, a public company in 2013. Bel Air’s move to Hightower, a privately held company, returns the firm to private ownership, with Bel Air’s founders and leaders in key roles with equity in the company.
Bel Air Chairman Todd Morgan began his career at Goldman, Sachs & Co. in Los Angeles. After co-founding Bel Air, he oversaw the growth of the firm, now recognized as one of the nation’s largest independent advisory businesses for the ultra-high net worth segment of the private wealth market.
“Bel Air is a successful, multi-generational wealth management business led by a group of highly talented and experienced advisors,” said Bob Oros, CEO of Hightower. “We are honored to be welcoming Bel Air to Hightower and look forward to collaborating with the team and providing access to our strategic consulting services, which focus on organic growth and talent development, as well as offering additional scale through our middle- and back-office capabilities.”
“As pioneers of the independent wealth management model, we are excited to have Hightower as our strategic partner as we continue to innovate and serve the needs and interests of wealthy individuals, families and foundations,” said David Sadkin, President of Bel Air Investment Advisors. “Joining Hightower will enable us to continue to operate and build our platform while leveraging the firm’s strategic advice, scale, technology, and infrastructure. This will allow Bel Air advisors to fully focus on providing distinctive investment advice and services to our clients.”
Including Bel Air Investment Advisors, Hightower’s M&A team has completed 14 M&A transactions since early 2019. As of Sept. 30, 2020, Hightower’s assets under administration (AUA) were approximately $81.4 billion and its AUM was $61.6 billion. Hightower has 114 advisory businesses in 33 states.
“Hightower shares our philosophy of placing clients’ interests first and providing them with comprehensive, transparent advice,” said Bel Air’s Morgan. “As we grow Bel Air, we will look to share our culture and vision and continue to grow our presence in California and across the country, and welcome Hightower’s commitment to invest the resources needed to expand the Bel Air platform.”
In the transaction, RBC Capital Markets and Stifel GMP served as financial advisors to Fiera Capital while also assisting Bel Air management in structuring the Hightower partnership.
Hightower is a wealth management firm that provides investment, financial and retirement planning services to individuals, foundations and family offices, as well as 401(k) consulting and cash management services to corporations. Hightower’s capital solutions, operational support services, size and scale empower its vibrant community of independent-minded wealth advisors to grow their businesses and help their clients achieve their vision of “well-th. rebalanced.” Based in Chicago with advisors across the U.S., the firm operates as a registered investment advisor (RIA). Learn more about Hightower’s collaborative business model at www.hightoweradvisors.com.
About Bel Air Investment Advisors
Established in 1997, Bel Air Investment Advisors LLC is a prominent wealth management advisory firm, providing financial advisory, asset and investment management services to exclusively high net worth individuals, families, trusts and foundations with $20 million or more in investable assets. Headquartered in Los Angeles, Calif., Bel Air services over 300 families across the United States and oversees more than $8 billion in assets, including private foundation relationships. Known for its philanthropic leadership in the community, Bel Air’s professionals serve on a variety of charitable boards. For more information, visit www.belair-llc.com.
Securities offered through Hightower Securities, LLC member FINRA/SIPC. Hightower Advisors, LLC is a SEC registered investment advisor.
For Bel Air Investment Advisors
The Pollack Group