(Dow Jones) HighTower Advisors, a hybrid investment advisory and broker-dealer that launched late in 2008 with backing from a consortium of high-profile investors and a mandate to pull in top wirehouse producers as co-owners, says it has received a $100 million cash infusion from a consortium of incumbent institutional investors and a new backer, Asset Management Finance.

"There is a powerful trend for pre-eminent advisors to seek platforms that provide open access to the best investment products from which they can offer clients uncompromised financial advice," New York-based AMF's president John McAvoy said in a press release. "HighTower has that innovative business model, as well as an executive management team skilled in the level of execution required for building a comprehensive nationwide platform."

AMF's investment in HighTower marks its first traditional private-equity deal. AMF usually swaps cash for a limited-term, expiring interest in a wealth- and investment-management firm's future revenue. In other words, it takes a chunk of the firm's free cash flow for a fixed period, and then it goes away. Here though, it's taking a more traditional approach of exchanging cash for a stake in HighTower.

An investment of $100 million is a big one for a fledgling wealth-management firm. Focus Financial Partners, a wealth-firm aggregator with 18 affiliates, launched early in 2006 with $35 million from Summit Partners. Late last year, Summit put another $15 million into Focus and Polaris Venture Partners came in with another $35 million.

Among HighTower's other backers are San Francisco-based Red Eagle Ventures, a private-equity firm owned by former Charles Schwab CEO David Pottruck; DLB Capital, a Wilton, Conn.-based private-equity firm run by former Morgan Stanley investment-banking chief Douglas Brown; New York-based M.D. Sass-Macquarie; San Mateo, Calif.-based fund manager Franklin Templeton; Chicago-based third-party investment-platform provider Envestnet; and New York-based investment advisory Offit Capital Advisors. Chicago-based HighTower's executives also have ownership positions in the firm.

HighTower won't say how much each of its 10 individual advisor groups manage, but the firm-wide total comes to about $15 billion. ?

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