What You Need to Know
- Milwaukee-based Wipfli includes 80 advisors, the Avid digital investment tool and a retirement-plan services group.
Creative Planning says it has acquired Milwaukee-based Wipfli Financial Advisors — an RIA with offices in nine U.S. states that manages $5 billion in client assets — from Wipfli LLP, a national tax, accounting and consulting firm.
Wipfli Financial Advisors is bringing 95 employees to Overland Park, Kansas-based RIA Creative Planning, including CEO Jeff Pierce and 80 advisors, according to Creative Planning. They will join Creative Planning’s 350 advisors.
“It’s an incredible fit for all parties,” CEO Peter Mallouk said in an interview. “We share a planning led approach, investment philosophy and focus on education and credentials.”
Also, Mallouk explained, “Wipfli’s RIA strengthens our presence in the upper Midwest. It’s a great strategic relationship, [and] Wipfli and Creative will enter into a referral relationship as well.”
As part of the deal, the wealth management and investment advisory affiliate of advisory firm and CPA Wipfli will “maintain a significant minority ownership stake” in the venture with Creative Planning, according to a statement.
The transaction includes Wipfli Financial Advisor’s digital investment tool, Avid, and its retirement-plan services group. These additions will “complement” Creative Planning’s recent acquisition of Lockton Retirement Services and its emerging wealth division, Creative Planning said.
Other transaction terms were not disclosed and the timing of the deal’s closing is subject to certain approvals and conditions.
Founded in 1930, Wipfli was named after founder Clarence Wipfli. The firm launched Wipfli Financial Advisors in 1999 with a “mission to make objective, fiduciary-focused financial advice available to the everyday investor,” according to Creative Planning.
The presence of the Wipfli Financial Advisors team in Colorado, Illinois, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Montana, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin “will help us better serve our clients throughout the U.S.,” according to Mallouk.
Explaining why Wipfli Financial Advisors made a deal with Creative Planning, Pierce said in a statement: “From leading with financial planning and a similar evidence-based investment approach, to the incredibly strong cultural alignment and deep commitment to both clients and employees, we knew Creative Planning was the right firm for us to join.”