Creative Planning Inc., a $49 billion investment advisor that has been on an aggressive buying spree, has announced the acquisition of a fee-only RIA in Madison, Wis., that specializes in serving U.S. expatriates.

The acquisition of Thun Financial Advisors, with about $600 million in assets under management, gives Creative Planning an advisory firm with a reputation as being one of the best at serving U.S. citizens who live overseas, Creative Planning CEO Peter Mallouk said.

"Creative Planning has been working on a solution for our clients that work and live overseas and for those that live overseas and find us via books, podcasts and other means," Mallouk said in a prepared statement today. "Thun Financial Advisors has been delivering these services for years and greatly strengthens our ability to serve this segment of our client base."

This is Creative's sixth acquisition of the year. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

"Creative Planning is among the few financial service companies willing to embrace the complexities of cross-border advising," David Kuenzi, president of Thun Financial Advisors, said in a prepared statement. "That makes our firms a great fit. Combining Thun Financial' s unique international expertise with Creative Planning's depth and market reach will allow us to deliver best in class wealth management services to underserved and neglected investors who live and work across borders and around the globe."

Creative Planning is an RIA based in Overland Park, Kan., that, in an M&A report released yesterday by Fidelity, was identified as one of the most aggressive deal makers so far in 2020.

The purchase of Thun Financial Advisor follows five acquisitions by Creative in the first half of the year. The other firms acquired were Stratford Consulting of Addison, Texas; Hogan Financial of Milwaukee; Starfire Advisors of Detroit, Coe Financial in Wichita; and Sunrise Advisors in Leawood, Kan.

Mallouk said in an interview with Financial Advisor late last month that five to 10 RIAs “are going to wind up controlling 80% of all the assets in the space” over the next five years.

In an interview with Financial Advisor today, Mallouk said that Thun Financial Advisors has been serving the special needs of U.S. citizens living overseas for over a decade, and that it was a niche area that fills a growing need among Creative's clients base, which includes excutives who need to relocate to other countries.

"We have a lot of clients who move overseas ... who are facing a whole new set of tax laws and invesmtne rules," he said. "We needed a firm that has an understanding of this."

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