Overland Park, Kansas-based Creative Planning announced that it is acquiring business partner America’s Best 401k, a retirement plan provider based in Scottsdale, Ariz..

Tom Zgainer, America’s Best 401k founder and president, will remain in his current role.

This is Creative Planning’s second acquisition. In February, the firm made its first acquisition with The Johnston Group, a Minneapolis firm with $500 million in client assets under management (AUM).

At that time, Peter Mallouk, Creative Planning CEO, said that the acquisition marked a turning point in his fast-growing firm’s growth strategy, which previously relied on referrals.

Mallouk said the acquisition was important  because the retirement business was “ripe for growth.”

A spokesperson said that America’s Best 401k manages $1 billion in client assets.

Additional terms of the transaction were not disclosed on Tuesday.

Mallouk further discussed the acquisition in a series of emails exchanged on September 24th.

In those messages, he told Financial Advisor  that he expected to make "one or two more" acquisitions in the fourth quarter of 2019.

“It’s much healthier to invest in and develop talent internally," said Mallouk. "We only acquire to complement our current offerings and people.”

When asked what he looks for in an acquisition, Mallouk wrote that he prioritizes cultural fit and a like-minded approach to financial advice. 

Under Mallouk’s leadership, Creative Planning has grown from $34 million AUM in 2004 to over $43 billion in assets today. The company has over 650 employees, with clients in all 50 states

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