Peter Mallouk’s Creative Planning, an independent registered investment advisor in Kansas City, Kan., has announced plans to acquire the retirement plan business of Lockton, an independent insurance brokerage, adding $110 billion to the RIA’s assets, once the deal closes. As part of the deal, Lockton will take an equity stake in Creative Planning.
Following the deal’s completion, which is expected by the end of 2021, Creative Planning will advise on over $210 billion in assets, according to the announcement. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Founded in 2000, Lockton’s retirement business services 1,500 clients. Following the deal, which will create a business entity called “Lockton Retirement Services, an Offering of Creative Planning,” clients will receive individual advice on investments, retirement planning, tax planning and estate planning, specialties provided by Creative Planning, according to executives at the two firms.
“Lockton provided advice to employers about the design and administration of their 401(k) plan and on the investments in the plan,” said Donn Hess, Lockton Retirement’s head of financial wellness services. “We also provided limited education about financial topics to employees, but not advice to those employees.”
The deal is designed to give Lockton’s clients more holistic advice, while allowing Creative Planning to present Lockton’s educational components to a broader nationwide audience, he added.
“Our mutual clients are looking for a more robust retirement offering,” said Mallouk, in a statement. “The Lockton-Creative Planning partnership will help our clients create more value for their people through personal retirement, estate planning, legal, tax and other advice resources, which they would otherwise not have access to.”
This is not Creative Planning’s first foray into the retirement plan space. In February, the RIA announced its acquisition of IRON Financial’s retirement division, with $6 billion in assets under management.
Creative Planning has been growing significantly over the past year, passing the $100 billion AUM mark recently, double what it was a year ago. It has added assets from a number of multi-billion-dollar firms in the past year, at the same time allowing its employees to take equity in the firm.
In 2020, Creative Planning took a minority investment from private equity firm General Atlantic and acquired eight more firms, making it a top three acquirer with Hightower and CI Financial.
Meanwhile, Lockton and the retirement services division have been undergoing a series of changes lately. Earlier this year, Lockton Retirement Services added Jamie Battmer as chief investment officer. It appointed a new CFO and people officer in August 2020.