Two teams with combined assets of $550 million moved to HighTower from Morgan Stanley and SunTrust, HighTower said.

The Rand Group, which oversaw $200 million in client assets at Morgan Stanley, is based in two locations: Newport Beach, Calif., and Maui, Hawaii. The team specializes in serving small business owners. Team members include advisors Paul Rand, his brother Joel, Sarah Minakary and supporting staff Christina Wolfe and Karie Haider.

Paul Rand worked for Morgan for 15 years before he moved to HighTower, according to FINRA BrokerCheck records. His brother is an industry veteran, having started his career at Morgan in 1985. Minakary began her career in 2008 with the firm, BrokerCheck records show.

Prior to the move, HighTower also hired the Florida-based Otto Group from SunTrust. That team manages approximately $350 million in client assets at HighTower, according to a spokeswoman.

The group consists of Managing Director Matt Otto and Director of Operations Karen Rivot. Otto started his career in 1995 with A. G. Edwards.

Rivot entered the industry in 1984 as advisor at Merrill Lynch. She moved to SunTrust in 2004, FINRA BrokerCheck records show.

HighTower says it added 14 teams altogether in 2015, representing $5.1 billion in AUM. The Chicago-based firm is pursuing an "aggressive acquisition strategy," focusing on RIAs with $200 to $500 million in assets under management, a spokeswoman says.

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