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Creative Planning Picks Up $1B Kistler-Tiffany Advisors

Creative Planning announces its first acquisition since it agreed to buy Goldman Sachs' Personal Financial Management business.

Creative Planning has acquired Kistler-Tiffany Advisors, a registered investment advisory firm in the larger Philadelphia area managing close to $1 billion in assets for wealthy families and business owners.

Led by managing partners Andy Reder, James Arnold, David Kovach and Michael Connor, the 13-person Kistler-Tiffany team represents the fourth to join Creative Planning this year. A deal to buy the $29 billion AUM Goldman Sachs’ Personal Financial Management unit is expected to close in the fourth quarter.

“Their unparalleled expertise in wealth management, estate planning, and business succession, combined with their dedication to personalization, perfectly complements our mission of delivering holistic financial solutions," Creative Planning CEO Peter Mallouk said of Kistler-Tiffany in a statement.

Continued growth prompted the firm to seek a partner that could provide scale and “a thorough search” led them to Creative Planning, according to Connor.

“We recognized the immense potential that would be realized by combining our specialized expertise with Creative Planning’s extensive resources,” he said.

Calling the move “a monumental step forward,” Reder said Creative Planning’s “innovative approach” made them the “ideal” partner.

Creative Planning has grown massively since selling a minority stake to General Atlantic in early 2020, ending the year with around $50 billion in assets after completing eight acquisitions. In 2021, five more deals were announced that more than doubled assets to $210 billion, including the purchase of Lockton’s $110 billion retirement business. After buying 12 more firms last year, owner and CEO Peter Mallouk said in August the firm would take a pause to focus on developing existing and acquired capabilities and return to the market with a more discerning approach.

When Creative Planning announced its next acquisition the following spring—$1 billion AUM Telarray Advisors—Mallouk indicated they would focus on larger deals going forward and a spokesperson for the firm said that strategy has not changed. 

“Fewer deals, but larger deals,” Mallouk said in March. “That’s the most likely trajectory for us.”

Creative Planning has since acquired $2.5 billion BerganKDV and $240 million CTB Financial Services, in addition to announcing its planned acquisition of Goldman Sachs PFM. Mallouk has said he expects to retain as many as 90% of Goldman advisors in the transition, even after Citywire reported the departure of three large teams in the wake of the announcement. If just half of those assets end up joining Creative Planning, as some industry observers expect, the firm will end the year with close to $260 billion in collective assets.

In July, Creative Planning entered into a multi-billion dollar custody arrangement with Goldman Sachs Advisor Services, bringing them alongside existing custodians Schwab and Fidelity in an effort to better serve up-market clientele.

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