Advisor-owned financial services firm HighTower has snapped up a Credit Suisse advisor team with about $1 billion in assets under management, marking the eighth team to move to the firm this year.

Matt Dillig and Ted Bowen-the Dillig Bowen Group- join HighTower's Chicago headquarters from Credit Suisse, where they have served since 2008. Prior to that, they were at Merrill Lynch's Private Banking and Investment Group.

Dillig and Bowen, who focus on ultra high net worth families, join HighTower as partners and managing directors. They have been registered with the firm since Aug. 17, according to their public registration records with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.

"I think had we decided to stay in the investment banking community, as an advisor within an investment bank, Credit Suisse would have been a great place to continue to work," Dillig said in a phone interview on Monday. "But we made the decision to seek an independent platform."

That independent model has several advantages for the team's practice, Dillig said. The team serves about 30 families that include the owners of publicly traded and private businesses, as well as general partners at hedge funds and private equity funds.

Operating independently will allow the team to provide those clients with more choice, Dillig said, particularly when it comes to investment products and strategy. HighTower's model also allows clients the choice of where to custody the assets, which can include multiple locations. And the move also frees the team of any conflict that could arise from ties to an investment bank, Dillig said.

"Had we decided that we were going to stay inside of an investment bank, we would have not made a change," Dillig said. "We would have been happy to stay at our former firm."

Other teams who have recently joined HighTower include a trio of Morgan Stanley Smith Barney advisors with $600 million in assets under management; a UBS advisor duo overseeing more than $330 million in client assets; and a Merrill Lynch advisor with $200 million in assets to fill out its Washington, D.C., team.

Those moves all come as HighTower added a total of nine teams last year. HighTower Executive Vice President of Business Development Mike Papedis told On Wall Street in April that the firm planned to exceed that hiring pace this year. HighTower, which was founded in 2008, has hired a total of 33 teams.

"Matt and Ted are exactly the type of dynamic, innovative advisors who realize that HighTower is the only firm that can provide their clients the highest caliber independent advice to meet their financial goals," Papedis said in a statement on the firm's latest hires. "They share our commitment to serve as fiduciaries, free of the conflicts that limit the ability of advisors to put their clients' interests first."


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