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Creative Planning Strikes Its Biggest RIA Deal Ever

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RIA Creative Planning says it has bought TrueWealth Management, a $1.6 billion wealth firm based in Atlanta. This will be the eighth purchase of the year for Creative Planning, which has more than $50 billion in assets.

The move more than doubles the Overland Park, Kansas firm’s footprint in the greater Atlanta region, which already has a $1 billion team there, said CEO Peter Mallouk in a statement.

“This is our largest and most significant acquisition to date,” according to Mallouk. “TrueWealth has a substantive, positive impact on our talent pool, with a large team of experienced, credentialed advisors.

With its latest addition, Creative Planning is “in a good position to quickly emerge as the No. 1 independent wealth management choice in the region,” he added. “We are just getting started in Atlanta and have the talent in place to make great things happen.”

Creative Planning has been on a buying spree since it sold a minority stake to General Atlantic in February. The firm, which includes 13 wealth firms with a combined $6 billion of assets, manages a total of $56 billion of assets nationwide.

Terms of its latest deal were not disclosed.

TrueWealth is led by CEO Jim Heard, who co-founded the group in 2003. The firm specializes in comprehensive planning and investment management for clients.

“This is the best of all worlds for us and our clients …. ,” Heard said in a press release. “Our clients will still have the same personal relationship they have always enjoyed with their advisor, and with Creative Planning, we now have a complete suite of financial resources to serve them even better.”

Earlier Deals

In mid-August, Creative Planning acquired its smallest RIA this year, Miller Financial Management, based in Muncie, Indiana. The firm has $150 million in assets under management.

Earlier in the month, it said it was buying RIA Lenox Wealth Management of Cincinnati, Ohio, which has some $600 million of assets under management.

The news came about a month after it bought Thun Financial Advisors, a $600 million RIA in Madison, Wisconsin, focused on U.S. investors who live overseas.

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