HighTower, a Chicago-based advisor-owned financial services firm, announces it added a $600 million team of advisors from Morgan Stanley Smith Barney.

The addition of The Lerner Group is the seventh advisor team to join HighTower in 2012, and the 32nd team to join the partnership since it launched.

The Lerner Group includes Eugene M. Lerner, Walter Gondeck Jr. and Mingdong Tan, who collectively have over 60 years of experience. The team will lead HighTower’s expansion into Chicago’s North Shore.

All three join HighTower as managing directors and partners.

“We decided to join HighTower because of their open-source model and their platform, both of which are completely unique to the industry,” Lerner said. “We surveyed the marketplace and HighTower has the only platform that supports our access to multiple custodians and clearing firms, along with a wide array of best-in-class investments.”

Before joining Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, where he was a director of wealth management, Lerner, 83, was on the Chicago Stock Exchange’s board of governors, spent more than 20 years as president of his own investment advisory firm, Disciplined Investment Advisors, and was a senior vice president at Morgan Stanley.  He is professor emeritus of finance at Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management.  Lerner also taught at the graduate business schools at New York University, City College of New York and University of California-Los Angeles.  He holds a PhD in Economics from the University of Chicago and a BA and MA in Economics from the University of Wisconsin.

Gondeck, 31, was previously a first vice president of wealth management at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, where he worked from 2003 to 2008.  Tan, 38, was a vice president of wealth management at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, having worked at Morgan Stanley from 2002 to 2008.  He is responsible for executing all of The Lerner Group’s equity trades.  He worked at Disciplined Investment Advisors from 2000 to 2002.

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