HighTower confirms HD Vest's Oros as new CEO

The broker-dealer executive replaces Elliot Weissbluth, the firm's founder.

RIA roll-up HighTower Advisor has hired former HD Vest chief executive Bob Oros as its next CEO.

Oros replaces Elliot Weissbluth, who founded the $60 billion firm in 2007. Weissbluth announced in August, 2018 that he would step down as CEO and move into a chairman role.

In November 2018, AdvisorHub first reported that Oros was to replace Weissbluth.

At the time HighTower declined to confirm the appointment. 

Oros said in October 2018 that he would step down from HD Vest – an independent broker-dealer managing around $45 billion – on November 15 that year to deal with a relative’s health difficulties. A former head of Fidelity Clearing & Custody Solutions’ RIA business, Oros had said that he would remain with HD Vest in a consulting role until March of 2019 as the company looked for a permanent replacement.

‘Bob’s strong leadership abilities and track record of growing companies make him an ideal fit to lead HighTower in its second decade,’ Weissbluth said.

As for Weissbluth, the industry veteran has said that his new role as chairman of the board would allow him to focus on one of his main passions: mergers and acquisitions. Weissbluth has denied that HighTower’s private equity backer, Thomas H. Lee Partners, is forcing him out of his role.

Thomas H. Lee bought an undisclosed stake in HighTower in October 2017 after the company delayed plans to float on the public markets and amid speculation that some of its original backers wanted to exit. 

A Form ADV for HighTower, dated June 26, 2018, said Thomas H. Lee had a 50% stake in the business. 

Weissbluth will replace Gurinder Ahluwalia as chairman of the board. Ahluwalia, an executive advisor to Thomas H. Lee, will serve in a lead director position on the board. The composition of HighTower's board will not change, since Weissbluth already serves as a director.


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