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sanctuary-nyc-conference-room.png Photo by Ali Hibbs
The conference room at Sanctuary's office in New York City.

Sanctuary Wealth Acquires Tru Independence

Tru will operate as a separate entity from Sanctuary, maintaining its brand and leadership team.

Sanctuary Wealth, the Indianapolis-based partnership of independent registered investment advisors, will acquire tru Independence, a Portland, Ore.-based RIA support platform that works with 30 firms managing $12.5 billion in client assets.

Once the deal closes, tru will operate as a separate entity from Sanctuary, maintaining its brand and leadership team. The combined entity will serve 120 wealth management firms representing $42 billion of client assets across 30 states.

Tru Independence was founded in 2014 by CEO Craig Stuvland with the goal of creating a new service platform aimed at investment advisors and wealth managers with assets ranging from $300 million to $1 billion. In this model, advisors keep 100% equity in their firm while relying on Tru for financing, consulting, branding, real estate, vendors, public relations, compliance, etc. Stuvland was previously president and chief operating officer of Common Sense Investment Management, a fund of hedge funds.

Since launching five years ago, Sanctuary has grown into one of the nation’s largest pure RIA platforms, primarily through the recruitment of wirehouse breakaways. It’s a multi-custodial, hybrid model that has attracted wirehouse advisors who want to go independent without having the regulatory responsibilities of running an RIA. Prior to the tru acquisition, the firm oversaw around $30 billion in clients’ assets through partner firms in 27 states.

“Sanctuary’s business model historically has been to service advisors predominantly in the breakaway space—wirehouse advisors going independent—but that came under our corporate RIA and utilized our broker/dealer,” said Sanctuary CEO Adam Malamed. “Tru Independence is a firm that supports independent advisors that want to have their own corporate-regulated entity.”

“That goes to why this is so much about choice—choice of business model, choice of a multi-custodial platform, where in both instances, advisors own 100% of their businesses,” Malamed said.

“Separately, both firms have successfully attracted top-tier advisors and practices, albeit using slightly different approaches,” Stuvland said in a statement. “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.”

Sanctuary uses Pershing, Fidelity and Schwab for custody, while tru uses those three in addition to Goldman Sachs Advisors Solutions and Raymond James.

Last February, Sanctuary founder Jim Dickson was suddenly terminated, with the board of directors naming Malamed, a member of the board, to replace him as CEO. At the MarketCounsel Summit in December, Dickson spoke out for the first time since his departure about his time at Sanctuary and lessons learned at the helm of the company.

Sanctuary is majority-owned by Azimut Group, a European-based asset management firm. Last July, Sanctuary announced it closed on a deal with New York–based Kennedy Lewis Investment Management, a credit manager, to receive $175 million in financing in the form of a convertible note.

CityWire first reported that Sanctuary was in talks to acquire tru in early March. reported in October that Malamed was actively looking to acquire companies that compete with Sanctuary.

Echelon Partners advised tru on the deal, while Winthrop & Weinstine served as tru's legal counsel. KPMG served as Sanctuary's due diligence advisor, with Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP as legal advisor.

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