HighTower Advisors has hired a three-member Morgan Stanley Smith Barney team to its Palm Desert, Calif. office.

The team, which operates under the name Blanke Schein Group, includes William F. Blanke, Robert L. Schein and J. Michael Shields. All three will serve as partners and managing directors. They have been registered with HighTower since May 26, according to records from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.

Blanke previously served at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney for 20 years, including 17 years he spent as a branch manager.

Schein served for 10 years at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, and has also held posts at American Express Financial Advisors, Dean Witter and Merrill Lynch.

Shields served at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney for three years. Before that, he also served at A.G. Edwards and Wadell & Reed, according to FINRA records.

“This is the second large advisory team to join us in Palm Desert and we expect to expand our California presence over the next year,” HighTower Managing Director of Business Development Mike Papedis said in a statement.

HighTower, with headquarters in Chicago and offices in New York and San Francisco, provides both advisory and transactional services. The firm’s advisors have part ownership in the firm, with clients including high net worth individuals and institutions.


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