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Hightower Cleared To Create National Chartered Trust Company

Tom Burroughes

16 June 2021

Chicago-based wealth management group has received conditional regulatory approval to transform its Texas-based trust company into a nationally chartered trust company.

The approval for the new structure was granted by the US Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. The new entity will be called Hightower Trust Company, National Association, based in Houston with an office in Chicago.

The new business will provide Hightower advisors nationwide with corporate and administrative personal trust services. It will offer a mix of personal trust investment management and custody and safekeeping products. This includes discretionary investment management services for managed accounts and non-managed accounts, custody and escrow services, and agency services such as administrative support to other fiduciaries, principals of partnerships, limited liability companies and other legal entities. 

The president of Hightower Trust Company will be Tanya Simpson, who was formerly managing director at Charles Schwab Trust Company and Charles Schwab Trust Company of Delaware. 

“Hightower Trust Company is a key part of our strategy to leverage our size and scale to provide our current advisory businesses, and those who join us in future, with a broad range of holistic services for their clients and their families," Bob Oros, Hightower chairman and CEO, said. "As Hightower continues to expand beyond the 33 states in which we currently operate, the trust services will give our advisors the opportunity to serve clients in a more intimate and efficient way, while expanding their ability to attract and retain business."

The trust company will be led by a board of directors chaired by Stephen Strake, senior MD of Hightower Texas. Internal board members are Cat Davies, Hightower chief solutions officer; Scot Kees, Hightower chief administrative and legal officer; and Tanya Simpson, president of Hightower Trust Company. Independent board members are Cathy Lemieux, former head of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago's Department of Regulation and Supervision; Dawn Causey, retired general counsel of the American Bankers Association; and Tim Divis, retired regional counsel for the FDIC's Chicago Regional Office.  

Last October, wealth manager Glenmede set up a Delaware-based trust company, run separately from the existing business.