Welcome back to the 320th episode of the Financial Advisor Success Podcast!
My guest on today’s podcast is Jim Dickson. Jim is the CEO and Founder of Sanctuary Wealth, an RIA platform with 80 partner firms in 29 states that collectively oversee nearly $25 billion in assets under management.
What’s unique about Jim, though, is how he has built an RIA platform approaching $25B in AUM in just 5 years, and the way he’s managed everything from hiring and staffing to raising outside investor capital in order to make the investments necessary to achieve scale as a middle and back-office support platform for independent advisors.
In this episode, we talk in-depth about how Jim built Sanctuary’s “Partnered Independence” platform for advisors who want to run their own practices serving HNW clients while leveraging Sanctuary Wealth’s support system that offers technology, compliance, practice management and training groups, digital marketing, and even ultra-HNW family office support, how Jim created Sanctuary’s unique partnership structure where the advisor practices are their own LLCs but are also IARs under the corporate RIA of Sanctuary Wealth so that the practices can maintain their independence for ownership and tax efficiency but rely on Sanctuary for their compliance needs, and how, because many wirehouse advisors were used to having access to all their data and systems from 1 centralized workstation, Jim and Sanctuary built their own centralized data warehouse called Haven and then layered a third-party business intelligence tool called Domo on top so each advisor could get their own level of business intelligence and benchmark how their practices are doing.
We also talk about why, after 25 years, Jim left the wirehouse world and, due to a non-compete and non-solicit agreement, took a yearlong trip around the world and along the way had the realization of the Sanctuary opportunity to launch his own advisor platform to offer the independence and partnership he thought wirehouse advisors really wanted and needed, why Sanctuary owns a stake in some of the firms they partner with as Jim found there were some advisors who wanted to take at least a few chips off the table or were interested in an “equity swap” so they could grow with a small piece of a much-larger pie instead of being solely dependent on growing their own, and how, now that Sanctuary Wealth has transformed into a nationwide partnership, Jim is working through the challenges of rapid growth when an advisor platform has to hire dozens of people every year and needs to ensure the teams are not only diverse with experience but have the right people to move the company forward at its current stage of growth and evolution.
And be certain to listen to the end, where Jim shares how, despite working in the wirehouse world for over 2 decades, he was surprised by how large the demand for independence is from advisors as more and more are seeking the autonomy to control their client, investment, and platform experience, and most importantly, their own destinies, why Jim credits his highly structured daily schedule as the way he stays disciplined in conducting daily calls with partners, staying in touch with what is happening within the platform, and reaching out to advisors who potentially could join Sanctuary’s network… while still making the time to be present in his kids’ lives and never missing one of their events, and why Jim feels the key to success is the relationships he has built on the Sanctuary platform as it is one thing to build a large firm, but it is another to build it with people you like and trust who all enjoy what they do and truly care about the people the business was built to serve.
So, whether you’re interested in learning about how Sanctuary differs from other advisor platforms and creates ‘partnered independence’ for its advisors, how Jim has handled rapid growth and scaling in the past 5 years, or how Sanctuary structures platform fees and advisor compensation, then we hope you enjoy this episode of the Financial Advisor Success podcast, with Jim Dickson.