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HighTower passes up $40 million capital raise, takes a big breather from deals and implements a pacing regimen

The Chicago-based gazelle may chase capital markets next year, but expect deals to resume in early 2013

Author Brooke Southall December 17, 2012 at 4:39 PM
no description available
Elliot Weissbluth: Because we didn't need the money, we passed.

Elliot Weissbluth


John Furey

Elmer Rich III

Elmer Rich III

December 17, 2012 — 6:16 PM

“There is more money than good ideas.” A good idea is pretty simple: it is serving market demand that is growing. Good research suggest that business organization is of little consequence. There is either market demand pulling the company along — or not.

If there is no demand – smart money divests first. If there is demand – acquisitions are the optimal way to grow. There appears to be no way to create demand.

“Category of one”, while a nice marketing phrase, would be concerning to my clients. If there isn’t broad and growing demand, thus competitors, can the business be sustained?

Rather than using airport business books to guide behavior, I would sure want the best data and evidence-based research. The Granularity of Growth is a place to start. There is also other decent work but it takes time and study. Unfortunately, the b-schools and business press/books are filled with pop business opinions and platitudes — mainly telling everyone what they want to hear. Yes, even the Harvard Biz Review!

Very nice reporting.

Stephen Winks

Stephen Winks

December 17, 2012 — 6:35 PM

Whoever thinks HighTowers core business is not hitting on all 12 cyllnders and expansion of its offering is a sign of weakness—has no clue about advisory services, the inability of the brokerage model to support advice or business in general.

Leveraging its existing ownership business model with non owner users is genius and works well for both as the emphasis is on the depth and breadth of counsel supported as Wall Street can not answer in kind.

Elliot is even more unique than his firm as he understands the constancy of purpose is the key to success. Wall Street is too self absorbed to serve the best interest of the investing public. Thus, it is very easy to compet with large lumbering bureaucracies where self interests preclude the necessary innovation in the consumer’s best interest, now requitred by statute.

The next step for HighTower is authenticated prudent process that gives meaning to technology in the interests of the investing public. Hightower can not loose in competing with our industrys largest firms and ultimately everyone wins because of it.


Elmer Rich III

Elmer Rich III

December 18, 2012 — 8:45 PM

“Constancy of purpose” into a shrinking market or one that is not growing is leadership and business failure — by definition.

Everyone has self-interests – especially those who pretend they don’t.

Stephen Winks

Stephen Winks

December 18, 2012 — 9:20 PM
I am surprised that anyone believes the advisory services industry is shrinking, it is certainly not the case for Merrill, Morgan Stanley or any RIA I know.


Elmer Rich III

Elmer Rich III

December 19, 2012 — 6:02 PM

Whether the specific demand for the services of a specific business model is separate from wider industry trends or different market segments. By definition, demand for some services growing and others shrinking.

It is very easy to get led astray by media reports and the business thought leaders and books who we pay time, money and attention to always be optimistic and preach simple ideas.

Demographics assures growth of financial services, however the demand for a specific firms model may be out of synch with the market. Markets “vote with their feet. Good research suggests that if a firm is not growing it is not a result of execution and operations but lack of demand.

That is logical but debunks most of our naive beliefs and business theory, really ideology, so will not be seriously integrated for decades likely. “Progress processeds one funeral at a time.”

This may seem abstract but the immediate practical usefulness is captured in the idea of not “pushing a string.” Spending money and time into weak demand is a waste.

Stephen Winks

Stephen Winks

December 19, 2012 — 7:09 PM

Stating the onvious does not establish relevency.

Elmer Rich III

Elmer Rich III

December 19, 2012 — 7:42 PM

Missing the obvious always needs to be pointed out.

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Advisor Growth Strategies, LLC
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Top Executive: John Furey

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