Sanctuary Wealth has partnered with Mike Barry and Kelly Milligan to launch Quorum Private Wealth, an independent firm based in Walnut Creek, Calif., the companies said in a recent news release.

The eight-member Quorum team, which also includes partners Sue Mazzetti and Melissa Yue, was formerly with Merrill Lynch, where the practice, operating as the Barry & Milligan Group, managed more than $1.5 billion in client assets for corporate executives, business owners, entrepreneurs, and professionals, the release said.

Before deciding to launch an independent practice, Barry said that he and his team performed extensive research into the options available to them.

“Early in our internal discussions we considered signing with another employee model, but realized that would have just been a lateral, or even a downward step,” Barry said in the release. “It became very obvious that the right decision was not only to go independent, but to do it alongside Sanctuary. We can look every client in the eye and say, ‘we think it’s going to be a better place for you, and for us.’”

Both Barry and Milligan said in the news release that their number one concern in launching an independent practice was maintaining the high level of client service they had established as Merrill employees. 

“As an independent firm, we can spend all of our time focused on our clients’ interests and nothing else,” Milligan said in the release. “We have access to Sanctuary’s completely open architecture, which means using the best that Wall Street can offer to find the most competitive, most compelling solutions for our clients.”

Prior to joining Merrill Lynch, where he met and teamed up with Barry, Milligan had been a corporate attorney and partner in a litigation consulting firm. 

Mazzetti joined the team’s Merrill practice 10 years ago, after spending more than a decade with Ernst & Young, where she was a partner and CPA. Yue has been with the team for seven years.

Together, the four partners and their team attracted widespread industry interest upon deciding to leave Merrill, according to Jim Dickson, Sanctuary founder and CEO, and Vince Fertitta, president, Wealth Management, Sanctuary Wealth.

“Quorum Private Wealth is truly an outstanding team,” Dickson said in the news release. “I know there were a lot of firms attempting to recruit them, not just because of their clients’ assets, but because of who they are as advisors.”

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