From $30mm to $55B: The Strategic Vision Behind Creative Planning’s Extraordinary Growth

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Mindy Diamond

A conversation with Peter Mallouk – President & CEO, Creative Planning, LLC.

Many suspected a drawback on the heels of a record-setting year in mergers and acquisitions—particularly in light of the pandemic. Yet, as TD Ameritrade Institutional reported in their 2020 Q1 and Q2 report on M&A activity, the first half of the year was yet another record-breaker with 80 transactions.

More than the 75 reported for the same period in 2019.

More than any 6-month period looking back over 2 decades.

It seems that despite Covid, a roller-coaster market, and changing valuations, buyers still see independent firms as a great investment.

Yet it’s the mega-RIA firms that seem to have an incredible appetite in the space as of late. One such firm, Creative Planning, made headlines three times in the span of just a few weeks this summer with acquisition announcements: Two in mid-August totaling $750mm and a $1.7B deal the 1st of September.

Peter Mallouk, President & CEO of the $55B Overland Park, Kansas-based RIA firm, seems to be on a tear these days, driving inorganic growth like never before.

He joins the show to discuss the firm’s extraordinary growth, including:

  • Why he purchased the nascent RIA firm in 2004—and how he grew Creative Planning from $30mm in assets to $500mm in just 4 years, and then to $11.8B 5 years later.
  • How a firm like Creative Planning differentiates from a crowded and competitive RIA marketplace—and what key value proposition continues to drive their growth.
  • What’s behind the recent shift from organic to inorganic growth—and how that decision plays into the firm’s strategic plan.
  • What value the firm derives from custodial referral programs—and how this relationship has impacted Creative Planning’s overall growth.
  • What makes an attractive acquisition target for the firm—and what’s in it for a seller to be a part of a firm with the size and scale of Creative Planning.

Peter shares that he has a goal to grow Creative Planning to $100B—and so far, he’s demonstrated he’s on track. As such, his advice for firms looking to sell should be heeded: With valuations at an all-time high, now is the time.

Listen in to learn more about his focused practices for growth—and gain valuable knowledge, regardless of whether you sit on the buyer’s or seller’s side of the table.




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