HighTower Advisors hired David Nelson as a private wealth advisor at its Washington, D.C., based Pagnato-Karp Group.

Nelson, who joins HighTower from Merrill Lynch, started with the company on Friday.

Nelson will serve as an advisor to high-net-worth individuals and their families, including entrepreneurs at Pagnato-Karp, which mainly caters to a primarily wealthy clientele, HighTower announced Tuesday.

Nelson was a member of Merrill’s Global Wealth Management Group in Washington, specializing in financial planning, portfolio design, and investment management for ultra-high-net-worth families and institutional clients. He has also represented Bank of America in its key correspondent relationships with money center and regional banks in New York and the northeastern United States.

“David’s experience and commitment to acting in the best interests of his clients makes him the ideal fit for HighTower,” said Paul A. Pagnato, Partner and Managing Director at HighTower. “Our partnership is built on restoring the fiduciary relationship between advisors and clients and leveraging the competitive power of Wall Street to ensure that it benefits our clients.”

Nelson, a chartered financial analyst and a member of the Washington Society of Investment Analysts, holds an M.B.A. in Finance and International Finance from Columbia University and a B.A. in Cellular Biology from the University of California at Berkeley. He began his financial services career at Merrill Lynch Capital Markets in 1986.