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Industry Spotlight > Mergers and Acquisitions

Creative Planning Strikes Its First 2021 Deal, Opens Nonprofit

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What You Need to Know

  • Creative Planning acquired Castle Wealth Advisors, a family office with $320 million in assets.
  • The firm and its CEO have founded a nonprofit organization to provide free financial education to kids and adults.
  • Pathway Financial Education is intended to address racial injustice and inequity in underserved areas, Mallouk says.

Creative Planning has announced its first acquisition for 2021, following a buying spree that swept up 13 firms over the past two years.

The Overland Park, Kansas-based RIA with over $76 billion in assets acquired Castle Wealth Advisors, a family office based in Indianapolis, Indiana, with $320 million in assets. Castle Wealth  provides comprehensive personal and business financial services, including business valuation services. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

“Castle is a well-established firm with an innovative approach that aligns perfectly with our values and vision,” said Peter Mallouk, Creative Planning CEO, in a statement.

The acquisition follows Creative Planning’s purchase of the $6 billion retirement division of Iron Financial, which was publicly reported in February but actually closed late last year.

Castle was founded in 1973 by Gary Pittsford, the first president of the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA) and is the oldest fee-only financial advisory firm in Indiana.

”We are now able to serve our clients in ways we simply couldn’t before,” said Pittsford, Castle’s president and CEO. “Creative Planning has the scale and expertise to make sure we can over-deliver to our clients.”

Free Financial Education in Underserved Areas

In separate news, Creative Planning and Mallouk have established a nonprofit organization that provides free financial education and training to small-business owners and other individuals in under-resourced communities, starting with the historic jazz district at the corner of 18th and Vine in Kansas City.

“Pathway Financial Education is a response to a clarion call to address racial injustice and inequity in our under-served communities,” said Mallouk, in a statement. “By creating access to financial education, we hope to narrow the gap of inequity.”

The organization offers both in-person classroom instruction and online educational courses to teach high school kids and adults about spending, saving and investing money and to teach small-business owners about accessing capital, taxes, and bookkeeping and recordkeeping best practices. Upon graduation, students can access resources for resume writing, interview help and fixing their credit.

Initially, lawyers, accountants and financial planners from Creative Planning will teach the courses at Pathway, but once the organization becomes more established after a couple of years, Mallouk envisions professionals from outside the firm will assist.

In the meantime, the organization has more volunteers than it can use, Mallouk said, adding that Creative Planning has been involved in inner-city projects in Kansas City over the past 20 years.

Pathway has received financial backing from Creative Planning and The Mallouk Family Foundation and financial support from JE Dunn Construction, Royals Charities (the philanthropic arm of the Kansas City Royals baseball team), BlackRock, Dimensional Fund Advisors and The Opus Group.

(Image: Adobe Stock)

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