Hightower Notches Sixth Deal in 2021 With Stake in $1.5 Billion-AUM RIA in VA
Hightower has purchased a stake in an Arlington, Virginia registered investment advisory firm managing $1.5 billion in client assets, according to a Tuesday announcement from the Chicago-based serial RIA acquirer.
Alexandria Capital, led by Chief Executive Augustine Hong and Chief Investment Officer Jonathan Ferguson, is a 21-employee firm with 10 advisors on its bench. The firm also has offices in New York City, Boston, Portland, Oregon, and Juneau, Alaska, and the deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter, according to a release.
The RIA acquirer paid a mix of cash and equity for its stake in Alexandria Capital, according to a Hightower spokeswoman who declined to provide details of the price or percentage of the firm Hightower would own.
Hightower has added north of $13.3 billion in client assets via six announced transactions so far in 2021. After three January announcements, the firm in July added Farr, Miller & Washington, a $2 billion-AUM practice in Washington, D.C., and last month, $800 million-AUM Investment Security Group in Denver.
Founded in 1987, Alexandria Capital grew from $108 million in client assets in 2010 to $1.5 billion over the ensuing decade, driven largely by its 2017 merger with FIC Capital to create a roughly $1 billion-AUM firm, according to an announcement at the time.
Hong and Ferguson, along with other Alexandria Capital principals Larry Waterhouse and Steven Park, were drawn to Hightower by its offering of additional support for operations, alternative investments, marketing, business development, and national trust services, according to the announcement.
“Joining Hightower will magnify our ability to deliver the services that clients value most and give us a wide range of capabilities that would be difficult to put in place on our own,” Ferguson said in a prepared statement.
Hightower, which has 117 teams and $101 billion in client assets, has been an aggressive acquirer of RIA businesses since it shifted its focus from its founding strategy of recruiting wirehouse brokers in 2019. The firm, led by Chief Executive Bob Oros, closed deals for nine practices last year.
Private equity firm Thomas H. Lee Partners took a majority stake in Hightower in 2018, and in December of 2020, Hightower announced an additional cash infusion with investments from funds advised by Goldman Sachs Asset Management, Neuberger Berman and Coller Capital.
Hightower last month announced it had doubled its AUM over two-and-a-half years, fueled in part by 17 acquisitions, which also helped the firm roughly double its employee count to 1,120 from 530 in early 2019.