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Sanctuary Wealth Accelerates M&A Activity with 2 More Deals

One acquisition will bolster Sanctuary's retirement plan offerings, while the other will add $150 million in assets under management in Arkansas.

Sanctuary Wealth continued growing its platform last week with two strategic investments, one of which will bolster the advisory platform’s retirement plan offerings and another that will add $150 million in assets under management in the nation’s Southeast.

Earlier in the week, Sanctuary announced that it has taken a minority stake worth $3 billion in GoalPath Solutions, a retirement plan consultant in Overland Park, Kan., that provides investment management services and technology, financial planning, and financial wellness education to sponsors and participants of workplace retirement plans.  

According to Sanctuary’s Chief Growth Officer Michael Longley, the investment is intended to increase the capabilities of all Sanctuary’s partner firms.

Noting that GoalPath has been certified by the Centre for Fiduciary Excellence, he said that while many advisors offer retirement planning for individuals, few firms on the Sanctuary platform specialize in employer-sponsored retirement plans.

“Their specialty is not a specialty that your traditional financial advisor who is working with individuals as opposed to companies would necessarily possess,” said Longley, “So by Sanctuary making an investment in this firm, we've essentially increased capabilities as far as types of services, as well as expertise, that can be offered to the partner firms. The financial advisors that we work with can, in turn, then offer it to their clients.”

In addition to investment management, planning and education services, GoalPath helps independent advisors scale their retirement plan business by providing access to back-office systems, processes, sales tools, investment solutions and a range of other products and services.

“Our primary focus is helping advisors deliver more value while supporting the fiduciary role that burdens most employers,” said GoalPath co-founder and CEO Marko Ungashick. “At the end of the day, though, our ultimate goal is helping get more employees on a path to long term retirement success.”

“We look forward to putting our skills in the retirement plan space at the service of our partners in the Sanctuary network to help them develop their retirement businesses, as we do for many advisors with GoalPath Solutions,” said GoalPath co-founder and CIO Vern Cushenbery.

Separately, Sanctuary also announced last week the acquisition of Marriott Wealth Advisors in Hot Springs Village, Ark., which will become a division of Sanctuary partner firm mFORCE Capital in Fort Worth, Texas. Marriott, an independent firm specializing in retirement planning, was founded in 2010 by Joseph Marriott, a 30-year veteran of the financial services industry, who will be joined by two team members.

According to Longley, the opportunity to solve for succession issues, providing long-term stability and room for growth, was the main motivation behind Marriott’s decision to sell his practice.

"Joe Marriott wanted a succession plan that would assure his clients continued to receive the care and attention that he and his team have delivered for so many years, and mFORCE Capital was looking for additional opportunities in a new market,” said Longley. “The two teams were highly compatible, and we were able to help them come together in a way that allows each team to realize its own objectives."

"We both come from a wirehouse background and share a 'client first and always do the right thing' attitude. It just seemed like a natural fit," said mForce founder and CEO Brad Bruce. "And on top of that, as a native Arkansan, I had always wanted to have a footprint in the state. Together with mFORCE's COO Joana Horton, I'll be working to integrate Marriott Wealth Advisors into the Sanctuary network and doing all we can to help them be even more successful."

The acquisition will bring an additional $150 million in AUM under the Sanctuary umbrella, which has grown to about $25 billion in client assets since it was founded just four years ago.

“We are at a major inflection point for the wealth management industry, as the founders of many advisory firms are pursuing exit strategies and others are looking for support to focus time on client service and accelerate growth,” said Sanctuary founder and CEO Jim Dickson. “This presents tremendous opportunities for firms like Sanctuary who have the knowledge, expertise, and capital to be the partner of choice.”

“With our investment in GoalPath Solutions,” he continued, “we are adding an outstanding partner to the network. This enables us to provide our partners with best-in-class resources to help them better serve business owner clients and enhance their retirement plan business.”

Since its founding as a destination for breakaway wirehouse advisors in 2018, Sanctuary has pursued an aggressive mergers and acquisitions strategy—adding six teams so far in 2022. The rapidly growing network of partner firms now crosses 20 states.

The Sanctuary Wealth Group includes the fully owned subsidiaries Sanctuary Advisors, a registered investment adviser, and the broker/dealer Sanctuary Securities, as well as Sanctuary Asset Management, Sanctuary Insurance Solutions, Sanctuary Global, and Sanctuary Global Tax and Family Office.

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