Hightower To Make Strategic Investment In $1.8B Kansas Firm – Financial Advisor Magazine

Hightower announced that it will make a strategic investment in 6 Meridian, a $1.8 billion wealth management firm based in Wichita, Kan.

The transaction, which is expected to close in the fourth quarter, marks the 13th this year for Chicago-based Hightower.

Co-founded in 2015 by Margaret Dechant, Thomas H. Kirk, Andrew Mies, Bryan Green, Pam Smith and Sarah Hampton, 6 Meridian “delivers independent, fiduciary-based wealth management to corporate executives, entrepreneurs and other high-net-worth individuals and families,” according to the announcement. The firm has 24 employees, including 11 advisors.

Bob Oros, Hightower’s chairman and CEO, said that when the company chooses its partners, it looks for great leadership teams with a proven ability to run their business and focus on growth. “And we think we can be a catalyst to help those businesses grow bigger and faster.”

 

He called 6 Meridian “a highly successful firm with a strong bench of next-generation talent, an impressive roster of clients and a robust organic growth rate.”

Oros noted that next-generation advisors and leadership are key focuses when his team is assessing the fit of a partner firm. “We want these underlying businesses to run into perpetuity, and we also think the next-generation advisors can attract next-generation clients. So we think it makes for a healthy business.”

Oros said Hightower has had a good year and will continue with its strategy of helping its underlying businesses grow faster organically. “We see an opportunity in the industry where you have a very fragmented business like the registered investment advisors where you have a lot of small and midsized businesses at a point where they are looking strategically at how do they move forward. Do they continue to go it alone and try to build scale themselves or do they partner with someone like a Hightower that can give them access to scale and also capabilities?”

He said the company expects to make a similar number of acquisitions next year. “We think 2022 will get off to a good start, and we are already in those conversations now,” he said.

Dechant, who serves as CEO and partner of 6 Meridian, said her firm welcomes Hightower’s support on its journey to long-term growth. She said 6 Meridian has grown rapidly because of its collaborative structure and outstanding team of dedicated professionals. “We have built a firm we are very proud of, and we are dedicated to our clients and to this business,” she said in a statement.

Kirk, another of the six partners, added that, “Hightower’s culture, supportive environment, focus on multigenerational talent and entrepreneurship is precisely on target with what we need to nurture and develop our advisors and staff.”

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. The firm has 121 businesses across 34 states and the District of Columbia. As of September 30, the firm’s assets under administration (AUA) were approximately $132.2 billion, and its assets under management (AUM) were $104.1 billion.