Sanctuary Wealth Shakes Up RIA Channel With Acquisition Of tru Independence

Sanctuary CEO Malamed’s Successful Deal Creates New RIA Enterprise Leader
Adam Malamed, CEO, Sanctuary Wealth, and Craig Stuvland, CEO, tru Independence
Adam Malamed, CEO, Sanctuary Wealth, and Craig Stuvland, CEO, tru Independence
Janeesa Hollingshead, Contributing Editor, Wealth Solutions Report
Janeesa Hollingshead, Contributing Editor, Wealth Solutions Report

Sanctuary Wealth is expanding its footprint in dramatic fashion with the acquisition of Portland, Oregon-based tru Independence (tru), in a transaction that has the potential to shake up the current RIA landscape.

Sanctuary, founded in 2018 and headquartered in Indianapolis, has seen success in attracting former wirehouse advisors seeking independence but not interested in managing the regulatory responsibilities of an RIA. Meanwhile, tru, with 30 RIA firms managing $12.5 billion in client assets under its umbrella, specializes in supporting advisors who wish to own their RIAs.

The transaction creates an enterprise capable of addressing the needs of both independent models, according to the combined company’s press release.

The transaction creates an enterprise capable of addressing the needs of both independent models.

Together, the combined enterprise will support approximately 120 independent wealth management firms that manage over $42 billion in client assets across 30 states.

Shared Focus On Elite Advisors

According to the announcement, Sanctuary and tru will each retain its own brand and leadership team while working together and leveraging each other’s capabilities to serve their respective advisor bases, characterized by the two firms as representing “the industry’s most elite advisors.” According to several industry recruiter sources, this is verbiage that is typically used when describing financial advisors who specialize in serving high net worth individuals and families.

“Sanctuary and tru have built their businesses on partnered independence, where being independent does not mean going it alone,” said Adam Malamed, CEO of Sanctuary Wealth. “tru is a pioneer in independent wealth management and an innovator in supporting elite advisors who wish to own their own RIAs. With a well-earned reputation for authenticity and transparency, tru’s core values align with Sanctuary’s.”

Malamed added, “Together, the firms have an unprecedented opportunity to collectively redefine what it means to be a full-service, multi-channel independent wealth management enterprise that specializes in supporting only the most successful financial advisors with sophisticated businesses and accomplished clients.”

An Industry Game Changer?

In joining forces, Sanctuary and tru offer affiliation options and capabilities that align with each financial advisor’s intended business goals while also equipping them with service and support to serve their diverse books of business.

tru Independence CEO Craig Stuvland, who founded his firm in 2014, said, “Separately, both firms have successfully attracted top-tier advisors and practices, albeit using slightly different approaches. Together, we are confident top-quintile advisors across the wealth management space will quickly appreciate everything our expanded enterprise represents and will be eager to take advantage of affiliation options that best suit their practices, staff and clients.”

Jeff Nash, Co-Founder and CEO of Bridgemark Strategies, an independent consultancy focusing on M&A and recruiting in the wealth management industry, said, “Without question, this is a deal that will make enterprises and advisors that play in the RIA channel – or are interested in doing so – sit up and take notice.”

Jeff Nash, Co-Founder & CEO, Bridgemark Strategies
Jeff Nash, Co-Founder & CEO, Bridgemark Strategies

According to Nash, “One of the biggest dilemmas that wirehouse breakaways and more sophisticated independent financial advisor businesses face is whether they should go IAR-only with an RIA that gets their business or set up their own RIA registration.”

“With this acquisition, Sanctuary has made this dilemma a non-issue. This could be a real game changer for the broader industry, making Sanctuary an even more vigorous competitor to major RIA service providers.”

In a statement shared with WSR, Malamed said, “Our industry has reached a unique inflection point where there are exponentially greater growth opportunities than ever for elite financial advisors who aspire to be independent wealth management business owners.”

Janeesa Hollingshead, Contributing Editor at Wealth Solutions Report, can be reached at editor@wealthsolutionsreport.com.

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