Bob Oros, the former CEO of the Blucora-owned broker/dealer HD Vest, officially took the helm of HighTower Advisors on Monday morning. 

The $60 billion registered investment advisory firm reportedly hired him to be its new CEO in November of last year, but Oros told WealthManagement.com an agreement was not reached until after that.

Oros replaces the RIA’s founder, Elliot Weissbluth, who said in August he would step down as chief executive once a replacement was found. Weissbluth will now be the chairman of the Chicago-based firm’s board.

The change was part of an existing long-term plan for leadership at the firm to support its growth and capture market share, Weissbluth said. To best capitalize on the consolidation in the RIA channel, the firm needed to expand the leadership team and “in order to do that, we need to bring in a CEO.”

Oros joined HD Vest, a Texas-based, tax-oriented wealth management firm, in January 2017 but announced last fall he intended to leave the company to be closer to his family in Michigan. At the time, he was commuting between Boston and Texas. Shortly after he announced his resignation, an executive search firm approached him about the position at HighTower, a job with a far more manageable commute to Chicago, he said.

In addition to personal reasons, Oros described the top position at HighTower Advisors as a desirable one, with a firm supported by industry tailwinds of which he was already familiar. “There aren’t many $60 billion RIAs in the market and it’s really kind of rare firm,” he said. 

Since its founding in 2007 as a turnkey landing place for so-called wirehouse brokers interested in starting their own independent RIA, HighTower Advisors has accumulated about $60 billion in assets under management. It’s one of the fastest-growing consolidators of advisory firms and sold a $100 million stake in itself to private equity firm Thomas H. Lee Partners in 2017.

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