Two Merrill Teams Managing More than $1B Unite to Create Independent Firm Auric Capital Partners with Sanctuary Wealth
As an independent firm, we will now sit on the same side of the table with our clients and have the ability to provide truly objective advice, as our only goal is adding value to each client’s financial future. With Auric Capital Partners, we have assembled a team that has the scalability and expertise through the wealth management spectrum. Our firm has the ability to serve clients whether they have several hundred thousand dollars or several hundred million.
Partner, Managing Director, Advisory
Auric Capital Partners
It’s unusual for two teams to break away from a wirehouse and join forces to launch an independent firm—and even more so when the teams are located in different states! But in the case of two stellar Merrill teams – Mittman and Associates, and McKelvy, Schellenberg & Associates – it was a true 1+1=3 opportunity and the chance to join forces to launch a truly exceptional firm with a combined $1B in managed assets.
Michael Mittman led a successful practice at Merrill Private Wealth (formerly PBIG) in Denver, CO, for 14 of 24 years of his professional life. Luke R. McKelvy and William A. Schellenberg built a wealth management advisory team at Merrill over the past 25 years with offices in Orange County, CA, and Denver, CO.
Yet it was work that Michael and Luke did together in the past that left a lasting mark, as the two teams ultimately united in their effort to create a single firm designed to maximize the freedom and control they had over how they serviced their clients and grew their business—which was becoming more difficult to manage at the wirehouse.
But the decision to make the leap together wasn’t solidified at the outset of the due diligence process. When the team contacted us to get a sense of what their options were, they acknowledged that the process could uncover and illuminate core differences between the two groups.
Yet instead, the process confirmed that the key stakeholders shared the same vision and priorities for the future and that independence was the direction they were headed.
In the end, they opted for Sanctuary Wealth’s supported independence model because, while they wanted to be independent, they also valued support from a larger entity.
In a statement released by Sanctuary, Luke McKelvy said, “We made the decision to partner with Sanctuary Wealth rather than set up our own RIA because after decades in the wirehouse environment, we had a tremendous experience in serving clients, but did not want to have to take on the responsibility of things like compliance and technology that were outside of our comfort zones.”
The transition from employees to owners of an independent firm allows the team to gain control over their business and to expand the service model plus provide a more holistic offering to clients – focusing not only on investments but on the client’s full financial picture – which was not possible at Merrill.
Plus, in Sanctuary the team found a strong partner to “assist on the aspects of the business that never touch the client. It’s really the best of both worlds,” Luke shared.
The newly combined 11-person firm, Auric Capital Partners, also includes Jeffrey Dewees, Arman Melikian, Jay Tamkoc, Anna Walters, Kristen Freeman, Meghan Ide, John Kincannon, and Francine England.
Diamond Consultants is pleased to have represented the Auric Capital Partners team and looks forward to hearing more about their journey in the future.