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New Sanctuary CEO Adam Malamed (left) and Sanctuary founder and former CEO Jim Dickson

Sanctuary's CEO Jim Dickson Suddenly Departs the Firm

Sanctuary’s board has named former Ladenburg Thalmann executive, and Sanctuary board member, Adam Malamed to lead the firm. Dickson has no further role at the company, according to executives.

Sanctuary Wealth Group, the Indianapolis-based partnership of independent registered investment advisors, named Adam Malamed as CEO Thursday, replacing founder Jim Dickson in a surprise move that was “effective immediately.” 

Malamed, who sits on Sanctuary's Board of Directors, has been tapped to “spearhead the next stage of the firm's growth,” according to the announcement.

Malamed previously served as executive vice president, chief operating officer and board director at Ladenburg Thalmann, a publicly traded network of wealth management firms acquired by Advisor Group in 2019. He helped grow that firm to 4,500 financial advisors, approximately $200 billion in client assets and an enterprise value of $1.3 billion. In 2020, Malamed founded Ajax Investment Partners, a fintech incubator and strategic consultancy focused on growth planning and M&A for financial services firms.

Launched in 2018 by Dickson, a former Merrill Lynch executive, Sanctuary has quickly become a national network of independent wealth managers, with around $25 billion in client assets. On Tuesday, the firm opened its flagship New York City office, with Dickson cutting the ribbon at the Madison Avenue location. As of Thursday, he's no longer with the firm in any capacity.

Under Dickson’s leadership, Sanctuary secured a majority investment from Milan, Italy-based Azimut Group in early 2021, as well as additional backing from New York City-based Kennedy Lewis in 2022. 

“We’ve reached a very natural point of evolution for Sanctuary Wealth, as the firm continues to grow and develop,” Azimut CEO Massimo Guiati said in a statement. “Adam Malamed possesses an unparalleled track record of building high growth private and public wealth management enterprises and he knows Sanctuary’s business thoroughly. We look forward to providing Adam and the Sanctuary team our enthusiastic support as they accelerate the firm’s forward momentum. I will personally be involved in helping Adam to coordinate and manage the development of the business going forward.”

Malamed declined to comment on Dickson's departure but said he's excited about the new role and that he's "going to be the CEO of this company for a very, very long time."

"There's a significant foundation here to continue to lead growth and provide advisors what they expect of us," he said. "And that's the support and success to help them grow and operate their business in a sustainable way."

In his time serving on the firm's board of directors, Malamed said he's come to a thorough understanding of Sanctuary's culture and value proposition. "We felt it was the right time to make this change," he said, "and the board asked me to take on the role to drive and lead this company into its next stage of growth." 

Asked whether he plans to make any big changes or take the company public at any point, Malamed said he is currently focused on the present and continuing to build on the success that Sanctuary has already had. 

"The company's been a leader in the breakaway space, attracting some of the largest and most successful partner firms that are out there," he said. "I want to see that continue. I want to see the company continue to be a leader in the entire wealth management space from a growth perspective."

“We are confident that [Malamed] is the right person, at the right time, to build on the very robust business in place at Sanctuary and to catapult the firm into the ranks of the top wealth management enterprises in the country,” said Kennedy Lewis co-founder and Sanctuary Board Member David Chene. “Going forward, we know that Sanctuary is in excellent hands under Adam’s leadership.”


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