$500M adviser team drops Merrill Lynch for Sanctuary Wealth


Sanctuary Wealth announced last Thursday an adviser team managing $500 million in client assets is leaving Merrill Lynch to join its independent adviser platform. 

The advisory firm, Muirwood Private Wealth, marks the second Merrill Lynch team to transition away from the wirehouse in favor of an independent platform. This month alone, Sanctuary brought on a total of $615 million in assets from Merrill. 

The switch is likely a result of more advisers “taking the pandemic to reflect on their businesses and what they want,” combined with advancements in technology, Sanctuary Wealth founder and CEO Jim Dickson said. Dickson spent 19 years with Merrill Lynch before launching Sanctuary Wealth in 2018. 

“We speak wirehouse,” Dickson said. “That’s a huge advantage for us because we understand that business model and we are able to take advisers into a world that they’re very curious about and translate what it means to go from the wirehouse world to the freedom and flexibility of independence.”

The process, Dickson said, takes about 90 to 120 days with the Sanctuary team to help the newly independent advisers create a transition plan, brand and business strategy. 

“We bring all the [fintech] together and offer advisers access via desktop solutions,” Dickson said. Everyday we have a team that’s adding to that tech stack so when an adviser comes on they can use the technology that fits their practice.”

Muirwood Private Wealth is led by financial advisers Chris Kenny and Edward Christiansen, who both spent the last 14 years as partners under Merrill Lynch Wealth Management. Prior to Merrill Lynch, the pair started out in 2000 with Wells Fargo’s Private Bank. 

“Before choosing Sanctuary Wealth, we looked at a variety of different models including joining other firms as employees and setting up our own totally independent entity,” Chris Kenny, co-founder of Muirwood Private Wealth said in a press release. “But the deeper our due diligence, the more obvious it became that by choosing partnered independence with Sanctuary, we would be able to control our own business and be in a much better position to help our clients work towards their goals through smart planning and sound asset management.”

Currently, the Indianapolis-based Sanctuary Wealth’s network includes more than 35 partner firms across 13 states with more than $9 billion in assets under advisement.

Written by Investors Wallets

Wealth managers: Technology, used right, is your best friend

6 Ideas To Diversify Your Income Streams To Build Wealth