Highline Wealth Management today announced it has recently added two financial advisors to the fold—one from a wirehouse firm and the other from an RIA—as it continues its careful, calculated approach to expansion.
Rockville, Md.-based Highline, which caters to high-net-worth individuals, trusts, corporations, and pension and profit sharing plans, manages $1.3 billion in assets for about 200 clients. Roughly 80 percent of its practice serves private wealth clients; the rest are institutional. Its average client has investable assets of about $6.5 million.
The firm’s two new advisors are Aviva Pinto, who comes over from OpenArc, a Manhattan-based RIA. She has more than 25 years of experience as a financial advisor, and will work in Highline’s New York City office. Michael Moriarty, who will work out of the Rockville office, has been a financial advisor for more than 20 years, most recently with Morgan Stanley. The company has a third office in the Philadelphia suburb of Plymouth Meeting, Pa.
Highline CEO Neal Simon says he’s known both Pinto and Moriarty through the industry for several years, and that they came to Highline through the efforts of Aisling Carroll, Highline’s director of corporate development.
“Her full-time job is to help us find and bring on other financial advisors, whether it’s tuck-ins like these or acquisitions of RIAs or lift-outs of wirehouse advisors,” says Simon. “We’re one of only a few firms other than aggregators with someone dedicated to this.”
Simon notes Highline’s expansion plans are mostly focused on the Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Philadelphia and New York City areas. “We might consider someone in Boston and South Florida because we have clients in both areas.
“The geography is important because we’re trying to be one firm with one investment philosophy and one client experience,” he continues. “We’re not an aggregator who’s buying companies in different areas and letting them operate independently and different from us. Most mergers in the business world fail, and the chances of success are greater if you’re in front of each other and develop a common culture. We see each other a lot, and it’s important.”
Highline previously had recruited three other financial advisors, and Simon says they’ve all been successful additions to the firm. “It’s about finding the individuals who fit well,” he notes. “It’s hard doing that. We’ve talked to hundreds of people, and we’ve done five deals. When we find the right ones, we get excited.”