HighTower Chief Executive Elliot Weissbluth said Rieder is one of four top administrators who will serve as “branch managers” of a sort with the 50 advisor partners at the company. The company hopes to hire two more by next year, one to work with West Coast advisors and the other to work with advisors in the Southwest. Weissbluth said the directors would help advisors with fiduciary issues and marketing and public relations planning, among other things. “A lot of this is old-fashioned business development,” Weissbluth said. Unlike at wirehouses, where branch manager loyalty is divided between the firm and the advisor, he said, the directors' interests will dovetail with those of the advisors. (Compliance issues will continue to be handled by a separate office, he added.)
Rieder also has joined HighTower’s Diversity Council, a group aimed at broadening the demographic makeup of the firm. One task is to increase the number of American military veterans, Weissbluth said. The company currently employs about 200. Also on the Diversity Council is Margaret M. Towle, formerly managing director and head of research at Greycourt, a Pittsburgh; she joined HighTower in August.
Diversity is one of the topics on HighTower's agenda at next week's partners' meeting in Los Angeles, a twice-a-year event at which the company discusses budgeting and strategic planning.