A Conversation With Sanctuary’s President

Vince Fertitta, President Of Sanctuary Wealth, Speaks With WSR About The Recent Sanctuary Wealth/tru Independence Combination
Vince Fertitta, President, Sanctuary Wealth
Vince Fertitta, President, Sanctuary Wealth

This past May, Sanctuary Wealth acquired tru Independence, creating a combined firm that supports approximately 120 independent wealth management firms managing over $42 billion of client assets across 30 states.

We had a recent discussion with Sanctuary’s President, Vince Fertitta, where we talked about how the new enterprise is being received in the marketplace and the outlook for growth of the combined business.

WSR: What do you see as the most important competitive advantage of bringing these two firms together?

Fertitta: Competition for elite advisors is strong and there are some great options out there. The combination of Sanctuary and tru creates objectivity and choice unavailable from our traditional competitors. It is an absolute gamechanger. Sanctuary has been successful with a partnered independence approach using a shared ADV model built specifically for top quintile wirehouse practices seeking independence but preferring not to take on regulatory liability when establishing their own firm.

However, some wirehouse advisors have a vision of their new business that requires that they set up their own RIA with their own ADV. tru pioneered that space and has done a tremendous job catering to those advisors. Together, we can be objective about the advantages and disadvantages for advisors considering either model. We are able to guide them by focusing exclusively on what’s best for them and their clients and then provide them with a robust pro-growth platform and community regardless of their choice.

WSR: As former competitors, what do you each bring to this joint effort in terms of recruiting top talent?

Fertitta: While we have been competitors for years, talking with some of the same high-quality practices, we’ve also been respected professional colleagues. Of course, while there is crossover between the teams, we have two different backgrounds and two different approaches.

Sanctuary “speaks” fluent wirehouse and runs a multi-custodian, hybrid model that has dominated the breakaway space for those wanting to ensure that their new firm enjoys the benefits that go along with independence without the regulatory liability associated with owning their own RIA.

While there is crossover between the teams, we have two different backgrounds and two different approaches.

tru “speaks” independence and works particularly well with those who have already established their own RIA or wirehouse advisors who may need their own ADV for one reason or another.

Both firms are selective in who we choose to partner with to help them scale, grow and build equity in their businesses. From time to time, We’ve run into opportunities that just don’t fit best on Sanctuary’s shared ADV model. If their vision requires them to have their own ADV, we refer them to tru. tru’s values, transparency and authenticity align with Sanctuary’s, and we know those referred are in good hands. Now we work together for the benefit of the advisor to help them choose which structure is best for them and their clients.

WSR: Are you working together or separately and then sharing appropriate leads?

Fertitta: While we maintain separate teams, all the business development has been consolidated in my area to ensure that we work closely together to do what’s best for the prospect. Sanctuary had over $80 million of revenue in our existing pipeline that we felt might be a better fit for tru. We made the introductions and are working with the advisors to help them get the best from both companies. It’s a better outcome for the partner firm, which can still take advantage of the larger Sanctuary ecosystem that impressed these advisors in the first place but can access it through a model that is best for their business. It’s a win all around.

Sanctuary had over $80 million of revenue in our existing pipeline that we felt might be a better fit for tru.

Before the acquisition, there were maybe five or six teams in both of our pipelines. They were talking to both of us separately, and now, in the new reality, we are going through all their options, pointing out the benefits of each model and letting them decide which one makes sense for their futures. These are refreshing conversations to have and ones they aren’t having anywhere else.

WSR: Have you seen increased interest from advisors and teams due to this deal?

Fertitta: Both firms have seen an uptick in interest since we announced the deal two months ago. Recruiters and consultants are often engaged by advisors to educate them regarding the different models available, ultimately recommending different partners they trust with different manners of supporting independent wealth management firms. Now, the combination of Sanctuary and tru checks two of the most popular boxes out there.

In a similar fashion, custodians are sometimes selected by advisors prior to the advisor really knowing how they want to set up their independent firm. It’s easier now for the custodians to show the advisor two different ways to go about it with one trusted partner. We can then offer objective guidance valuable to both the advisor and the custodian. Of course, it takes time for advisors to conduct their due diligence and weigh their options, but our enhanced value proposition of freedom, flexibility, control, and now choice is really resonating.

One interesting case we are currently working on brings home the benefits of affiliating with our newly combined firm. We have a new partner firm that will be affiliating with Sanctuary soon. Their short-term priorities dictate Sanctuary’s traditional shared ADV model but, their long-term vision might very well require them to establish their own RIA.

By partnering with our firm, we can provide them with a glide path should their business model evolve the way they are thinking it might. If it’s the right thing for the partner firm, we will be happy to facilitate a smooth transition to the tru model when they are ready. In a similar case, we are exploring two partner firms coming together with common ownership. One operating on their own ADV and the other on our shared ADV. No other firm in the space would be able to provide that forward-looking solution.

WSR: What is the impact of your greater scale on partner firms?

Fertitta: Scale matters in this business and growing our network will benefit our partner firms in the near and long term. Like all our growth initiatives, this acquisition is about empowering the advisors we serve. The increased scale we achieve will allow us to invest more in the systems, tools and value-added resources they expect and deserve to help them better support clients, enhance profitability and build enterprise value.

Sanctuary is tapping into tru’s innovative platform, RIA industry knowledge and experience with a broad array of custodians. tru partner firms will gain access to Sanctuary’s full suite of services built to match and then surpass those found in the industry’s top wirehouses.

Growth is essential to compete in our evolving industry, but culture is even more critical.

However, scale cannot come at the expense of our shared and individual corporate cultures. We work with the industry’s top advisors, and they improve each other. We strengthen the advisor community through various opportunities to build cross-network relationships, including at our national Oasis conference. Growth is essential to compete in our evolving industry, but culture is even more critical. We will never forget that.

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

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