This Week in RIA M&A: Creative Planning Snaps Up $5 Bln-Asset RIA in Virginia
Creative Planning, an Overland Park, Kansas-based RIA, broke a streak of relatively smaller acquisitions on Tuesday with the announcement of its largest acquisition by assets under management in its history.
The deal ends a nearly five-year independent streak for SBSB. The firm, which was founded in 1991 and has around 60 employees, was acquired by BMO Harris Bank in 2003 but bought itself back from the Chicago bank in 2016.
Terms of the transaction with Creative Planning, which closed last month, were not disclosed. It was the third announced deal of the year for the RIA acquirer, which last week said it had purchased Castle Wealth Advisors, an Indianapolis, Indiana-based RIA managing $320 million in client assets.
“SBSB is, by far, our most impactful acquisition to date, in terms of bringing on a large pool of experienced talent,” Creative Planning CEO Peter Mallouk said in a prepared statement.
Creative Planning notched its previous purchase record by assets under management in September 2020, when it bought TrueWealth, a $1.7 billion-AUM shop in Atlanta. The calculation does not include assets under advisory, as in the case of Creative’s deal in late 2020 for the $6 billion ‘AUA’ retirement division of Iron Financial.
Creative Planning last year sold a minority stake to private equity firm General Atlantic and was among the most active buyers in 2020 with eight deals completed, according to a January report from advisory-firm investment bank Echelon Partners.
CI Financial, the Toronto-based asset manager that has become one of the most active acquirers of RIAs over the past year, on Monday announced it financed the acquisition of Columbia, Maryland-based RIA Pinnacle Advisory Group for one of its affiliate firms.
Boston-based Congress Wealth Management purchased $2.4 billion-AUM Pinnacle, which also has an office in Miami, in a transaction that CI said bumped Congress’ AUM size to about $5.8 billion.
Pinnacle is perhaps most widely known to the wealth management industry as the former home of financial planning guru and industry blogger Michael Kitces, now head of planning for Focus Financial Partners-backed Buckingham Wealth Partners.
Terms of the transaction, which closed on April 30, were not disclosed.
With the deal for Pinnacle, CI has directly acquired or financed acquisitions for affiliate firms of at least 17 RIAs since the end of 2019. CI took a minority stake in Congress last May.
“Given the size and complexity of the transaction, we could not have executed this without [CI Financial’s] ongoing support,” Paul Lonergan, president of Congress, said in a prepared statement.
CI’s most recent deal announcement came in March, with its acquisition of Brightworth, an Atlanta-based RIA managing about $4.7 billion in client assets.