HighTower COO LaMena adds president to title

Former wirehouse exec replacing Kornreich, who will focus on finance, M&A

By Trevor Hunnicutt

Oct 9, 2013 @ 9:04 am (Updated 11:05 am) EST

investment advisory, hightower, weissbluth

Crowning a series of shake-ups atop one of the nation's fastest-growing associations of investment advisory firms, HighTower Securities LLC announced the appointment of an insider and former wirehouse executive as its new president Tuesday.

Michael LaMena, who has been chief operating officer at HighTower for two years, is adding the title of president, according to a statement released by the registered investment adviser partnership.

HighTower, which manages more than $20 billion in assets, has built its business in part by buying advisers' practices with upfront money and equity in the HighTower partnership.

Mr. LaMena replaces Drew Kornreich, a founding member of HighTower, in the new role. Mr. Kornreich retains an equity stake in the company and will now focus on finance and mergers and acquisitions as a strategic adviser, according to the statement.

Mr. LaMena joined HighTower in 2010. He previously was executive director of private-wealth-management operations for Morgan Stanley, overseeing the wirehouse's ultrahigh-net-worth wealth management business.

HighTower also recently appointed two new national directors to oversee business and adviser development, as well as a chief of staff.

In a statement, HighTower's chief executive, Elliot Weissbluth, said Mr. LaMena was a key figure in managing the company's growth as a home for breakaway advisers focusing on high-net-worth and institutional clients.

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