Hightower, a registered investment advisor backed by private equity firm Thomas H. Lee Partners, has secured an investment in Stearns Financial Group, a $1.3 billion wealth management firm based in North Carolina. The transaction is Hightower’s sixth this year and is expected to close by the fourth quarter of 2020. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Stearns Financial Group indicated that it will utilize Hightower’s operational infrastructure, business owner planning, marketing support, family office and investment management resources. The company has 32 employees, including 12 advisors.
“Stearns Financial Group is exactly the kind of business that Hightower looks for in a strategic investment: a high-performing firm that uses an in-depth, multi-scenario approach to wealth management to help their clients live purposeful lives and make confident financial decisions,” said Bob Oros, Hightower chief executive officer.
Including this transaction, Hightower now has 111 advisory businesses in 33 states.
Hightower 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. As of June 30, 2020, assets under administration were approximately $75.7 billion and assets under management were $56.7 billion.
The firm is backed by Boston-based private equity firm Thomas H. Lee Partners, which is providing funding for the company to make investments and acquisitions in the RIA space, expand the firm’s services to advisors and advance growth.