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Industry Spotlight > Women in Wealth

$435M Team Ditches Merrill for Sanctuary Wealth

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RIA, broker-dealer and platform provider Sanctuary Wealth has added another advisor team from Merrill Lynch — this time Alluvial Private Wealth, a three-advisor team based in Marion, Ohio with about $435 million in client assets under management.

Indianapolis-based Sanctuary Wealth added the $530 million, eight-member Longo Group from Merrill Lynch last year. It now has 42 partner advisor firms with over $12 billion in assets under advisement. Its operations include RIA Sanctuary Advisors, BD Sanctuary Securities, Sanctuary Asset Management, Sanctuary Insurance Solutions, Sanctuary Capital Markets and Sanctuary Global Family Office.

Alluvial, the first Ohio team to join Sanctuary Wealth, is led by partners Lars Olson, its president and lead advisor, Manoj Sharma and Lisa Bush. The three of them worked at the Olson Vincent Sharma Group within Merrill Lynch’s Marion office.

The Alluvial team also includes wealth associates Brooke Olson, Julie Webster and David Olson, Lars’ father and a Merrill Lynch veteran who came out of retirement to work with the team.

Alluvial has broken away from Merrill in a city where the wirehouse is closing its offices and consolidating advisors in the region to one large office in Columbus, according to Sanctuary Wealth. Merrill did not immediately respond to a request for comment Monday.

Alluvial decided to leave Merrill so it could remain invested in the community of Marion — a city of about 36,000, about 50 miles north of Columbus — and continue to offer financial advice to the team’s clients there, Olson told ThinkAdvisor on Monday.

Breaking away from Merrill, a move that became official Friday, and joining Sanctuary is also “going to offer a whole lot more flexibility to my clients,” he said. Sanctuary will serve as Alluvial’s RIA and will provide it with BD services, he noted.

Alluvial has a niche in special-needs financial planning that is the result of Olson having a son with autism, which he says gives him firsthand expertise in financial strategies to address current and future concerns of those with special needs and their families.

Prior to launching Alluvial this month, Olson spent 26 years with Merrill Lynch, rising to the position of wealth management advisor and senior vice president. He knew several of the senior leaders at Sanctuary from his time with Merrill, he said. Sanctuary contacted him “a couple of years ago … and then I reached out to them when I was more serious” about joining them, he told ThinkAdvisor.

Noting that he has known Olson “for some time,” Jim Dickson, CEO and founder of Sanctuary Wealth, said Alluvial is “the first of many teams we expect to join Sanctuary this year.” Dickson was a divisional executive at Merrill from 1997 to 2017, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Sanctuary now has a presence in 18 states, Dickson noted. “Despite the pandemic, we had significant growth last year and 2021 looks even stronger with a robust recruiting pipeline. We expect to expand our footprint to 25 states this quarter alone.”

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