“Let’s be honest, New York is the hub of the financial services world,” said Sanctuary Wealth CEO Jim Dickson during the summer of 2021, shortly after hiring longtime Merrill Lynch executive Paul Sullivan to grow the RIA platform’s East Coast presence and put him in charge of establishing a flagship, brick-and-mortar location in New York City.
On Tuesday, Indianapolis-based Sanctuary celebrated the grand opening of its newest office at 510 Madison Ave. in New York’s Midtown East neighborhood. Within a short walk of the Museum of Modern Art and BlackRock headquarters, the location is a key step in Sanctuary’s plan to expedite growth in the tri-state area.
In a conversation with WealthManagement.com, Dickson said having a physical presence in New York City is essential to penetrating the local market, but the real estate is too expensive for growing firms, including many Sanctuary partners in the region. The Madison Avenue location provides a “legitimate” setting for advisors wishing to conduct business, he said, as well as a regional base of operations for Sanctuary’s top brass.
"This is something our advisors have been asking for," he said.
After four years acquiring and supporting a stable of more than 70 partner firms, some of those advisors have now grown to the point where they're looking to explore their own M&A opportunities, said Sanctuary President Vince Fertitta. The office conference room will serve as the central location where advisors, target firms, and Sanctuary’s leadership and M&A teams meet to negotiate and strike deals.
“Jim hired me 17 months ago and said … ‘We need to show the Northeast that we’re serious about growing market share,’” said Sullivan. “Here we are, 17 months later with a flagship office—and I think we’re serious.”
Sanctuary is poised to potentially have the best quarter in its history, Fertitta said. The firm expects to add its biggest partner to date and the conference room at 510 Madison has seen consistent traffic since opening two weeks ago. Several deals are expected to be announced in coming weeks and months, said Dickson, including teams based in the New York/New Jersey/Connecticut area.
“We've had a lot of recruiting success here in New York and in the metropolitan area,” Sullivan said after the ribbon was cut and the champagne was poured. “And I couldn't be more proud of what we've accomplished as a leadership team.”
In addition to Sullivan, Chief Investment Strategist Mary Ann Bartels, Managing Director and Chief Compliance Officer Miles Edwards, Head of Alternative Investments Patrick McGowan, Director of Strategic Relationships Oksana Poznak, and Compliance and Regulatory Attorney Alexandria Dolph will maintain primary offices on the 27th floor of 510 Madison.
Since launching four years ago, Sanctuary has grown into one of the nation's largest pure RIA platforms, primarily through the recruitment of wirehouse breakaways. Today, the firm oversees around $25 billion in clients assets through 76 partner firms in 28 states.