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Industry Spotlight > Mergers and Acquisitions

Creative Planning Adds $2B San Diego RIA

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What You Need to Know

  • The acquisition of Reilly Financial Advisors expands Creative’s footprint in Southern California.
  • Creative now manages over $100 billion in assets across all 50 states and 65 countries.
  • The firm plans to announce more acquisitions soon, CEO Peter Mallouk says.

Overland Park, Kansas-based RIA Creative Planning acquired La Mesa, California-based Reilly Financial Advisors, which has more than $2 billion in assets under management, Creative Planning said Tuesday.

The acquisition expands Creative’s footprint in Southern California, with one office each in La Mesa (in San Diego County) and Huntington Beach (in Orange County), CEO Peter Mallouk told ThinkAdvisor in a phone interview.

Overall, Creative now has six offices in Southern California, including two each in the San Diego area, Orange County and Los Angeles, he said.

The Reilly acquisition was “great for us because we’re already in San Diego and we’re already in Orange County and it allowed us to expand a bit” in those markets, he told ThinkAdvisor.

“Also, we are just very aggressively trying to expand our talent base and they just had so many tenured wealth managers and financial planners,” he said. “That was very appealing to us.”

The Reilly acquisition closed on Dec. 31, Mallouk said. Terms weren’t disclosed.

Creative acquired 14 firms in 2021. It has announced the acquisition of one other RIA this year, saying on Jan. 4 that it bought Berno Financial Management in the greater Cincinnati, Ohio, area and more than 20 other states, with over $300 million in AUM.

Creative now manages over $100 billion in assets across all 50 states and 65 countries with continued plans for growth throughout 2022, it said.

“There’s a few more [firms] that we’ve acquired” that the company will provide details on “in the coming weeks,” Mallouk told ThinkAdvisor.

Reilly’s Focus

Reilly was founded in 1999 by the father and son team of Don and Frank Reilly, its president and chairman emeritus, respectively. In addition to offering comprehensive financial planning, the firm specializes in corporate retirement plans and working with international clients, Creative said.

“I could not have asked for a better business partner than Creative Planning for a few key reasons: their similar business practices and culture, their enhanced — and extremely robust — client service offerings, and their greatly expanded opportunity for employee growth,” according to Frank Reilly.

“Simply put, I wanted someone who would prioritize the same level of care for both our clients and employees as the Reilly family has for the last 22 years,” he said in a statement.

“Reilly’s strong company values, philanthropic efforts, and commitment to their clients were three of the main reasons why we at Creative Planning were drawn to them as business partners,” according to Mallouk.

Republic Capital Group acted as the exclusive investment banking advisor to Reilly for the transaction.

(Image: Shutterstock)


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