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$800M female-led team leaves Merrill to go indie

Sanctuary Wealth recruited its second wirehouse team this month — a female-led team with over $800 million in client assets from Merrill Lynch.

The move is part of the company’s aggressive hiring spree this summer. Earlier this month, Sanctuary expanded its reach to the West Coast with a former Merrill team who managed $275 million in client assets.

With the addition of the two teams, Sanctuary’s network now manages over $10 billion in assets, an increase from $8 billion. The network of hybrid RIAs launched in 2018 as a subsidiary of 111-year-old RIA firm David A. Noyes & Co.

Sanctuary CEO and founder Jim Dickson, described Indianapolis-based Evans May Wealth as one of the top female-led teams in the country.

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Elizabeth Evans and Brooke May were named by Forbes as among the Top Women Wealth Advisors in 2019. They were also recognized as among the Top Wealth Advisor Moms by Shook Research and Working Mother.

Women make up 23% of CFPs, according to data from the CFP Board, and that percentage hasn’t changed much in the past decade.

“There is a huge opportunity for women and the next-generation advisor,” Evans says. Going independent will allow her team to grow alongside their clients, she adds. “There’s not many teams who have the credentials and who will be there for the next 20-30 years.”

Evans will be the first woman on Sanctuary’s nine-person board, a company spokeswoman confirmed.

The newly independent firm, which also includes advisor Ian Flanagan, will be located in Sanctuary’s offices in Indianapolis, just a quarter of a mile down the road from their former Merrill office.

Merrill did not respond to a request for comment.

Evans May Wealth Advisors at Sanctuary Wealth in Indianapolis, Indiana.

In Sanctuary’s pursuit to grow its headcount, the network is specifically looking for wirehouse advisors who feel too constrained to serve their clients, Dickson says. “They want to be independent but they don't want to be alone,” he explains.

Sanctuary’s business model is similar to Dynasty Financial Partners. The firm strives to help advisors transition from a “wirehouse world to an independent world,” Dickson says.

The firm is looking to hire more diverse talent in the future to match their clientele, according to Dickson.

“We’re going to have a busy summer with a lot of growth,” Dickson says.

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