Chairman & CEO
Location: Cook County
Year Founded: 2008
Industry Group Specific: Financial Services
Working in financial services for 30+ years, and across various roles, Bob Oros has seen the industry rapidly change. In a previous role, Hightower Advisors was Oros’ client and in 2019, he embraced the opportunity to lead the organization, where he serves as the CEO & Chairman.
Hightower Advisors is a wealth management firm supporting 135 financial advisory businesses across the United States. Hightower provides investment, financial, estate, trust and retirement planning services to individuals, foundations and family offices, as well as 401(k) consulting and cash management services to corporations.
Among his first task as the CEO, Oros set out to change Hightower’s model since he was brought onboard at a pivotal time in the firm’s history. “Bob walked into a model in which many of the associated firms paid a ‘platform fee’ to use Hightower’s resources but were free to move their businesses and clients at any time, creating an uncertainty in long-term asset value,” said his colleagues. “Under his leadership, the business model changed so that firms that were already part of Hightower worked through deals to become shareholders and advisors of the firm on a permanent basis.”
While these conversations were not always easy, Oros took the time to speak with each of the legacy firms to explain the new vision of the company and get buy-in, resulting in very little attrition. The ownership model created stability and led to ownership of 98 percent revenue. In addition, the firm has almost doubled the industry’s 4.5 percent average annual rate of year-over-year growth.
“In the past, financial advice centered on investments, but Bob believes that when done right, it encompasses much more: family, community, health, experiences and generations,” said his colleagues. “Since joining Hightower, Bob has led a significant investment in resources to aid advisors’ ability to attract new clients and deepen wallet share with existing clients.”
His efforts led to the creation of the “Hightower Way” initiatives that brings employees together for discussions on how to best achieve the company’s goals.
Oros is most proud of the transformation in the company culture that he has spearheaded since taking the reigns as CEO. “For Bob, culture starts with having a mission and then staying committed to that purpose,” said his staff. “He also wanted to create a culture that supports its employees, and he wants to hear from employees themselves on what matters most to them.”
For spearheading remarkable growth, transformations and a cohesive culture, Oros has been named a titan.
My “superpower” is being a dedicated advocate for mental health awareness. I developed a passion for the cause as I sought out ways to better understand and support my daughter’s struggles with anxiety.