Creative Planning Acquires Mesirow’s Retirement Advisory Business

The RIA adds $13 billion corporate plan services team soon after announcing a deal for Goldman’s personal finance unit.

Creative Planning LLC, the registered investment advisory and retirement plan services firm, announced Tuesday it has acquired Mesirow Financial Inc.’s retirement plan advisory division. The firms did not disclose terms of the deal.

The deal will bring to Creative Planning more than 350 retirement plans and $13 billion in assets under advisement and management, according to the announcement. Mesirow divisional leaders David Dermenjian, Chris Pohlman, Vince Allegra and Chuck Lawless will join Creative Planning in the transaction.

Carly Bell, head of retirement services at Creative Planning, led the acquisition. She said in a statement: “The acquisition of Mesirow’s corporate retirement team is additive to our existing Retirement Services offering as it brings together industry thought leaders that will continue to expand the comprehensive services available from Creative Planning to plan sponsors and participants.”

Creative Planning’s retirement services practice oversees $137 billion in AUA and works with publicly traded companies, large private corporations, small businesses, startups and government entities such as cities, municipalities and housing developments.

The deal adds to an active acquisition period for CEO Peter Mallouk and the firm. Creative Planning is also finalizing a deal to purchase the Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s personal financial management unit, United Capital Financial Partners Inc. That transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2023 and will be focused on high-net-worth investors, according to company statements.

“We are excited to welcome Mesirow’s impressive corporate retirement advisory services team into the Creative Planning family,” Mallouk said in a statement. “They are well-equipped to address the retirement needs of plan sponsors, plan participants, investors, and non-qualified plans.”

Mesirow’s retirement division provides service and fiduciary solutions to plan providers, sponsors, advisers and participants. Based in Chicago, the firm’s other businesses are in global investment management, capital markets and investment banking, and advisory services.

“As our business grew, we understood the need to find greater scale and resources,” Dermenjian, head of the retirement team, said in a statement. “Joining Creative Planning allows us to deliver a new set of products, solutions and technologies to our current and future clients, and we’re excited to be part of one of the largest independent RIAs in the country.”

In 2021, Creative Planning acquired Lockton’s retirement services division, adding 1,500 clients and more than $110 billion in AUA.

The firm’s total AUM now totals more than $245 billion, with adviser services in 50 states and 65 countries.