Creative Planning Adds $300M Cincinnati Firm

Well, that didn’t take long: Just weeks after sealing a deal that made it the region’s second-largest wealth-planning firm, Creative Planning has started the new year with another significant acquisition. This time, it has added Berno Financial Management, a Cincinnati wealth manager that will add more than $300 million to Creative’s assets under management.

The addition of Berno, announced this week, gives the Overland Park firm as much as $2 billion in AUM in the Cincinnati market, where it first opened an office in 2013. In 2020, it added Lenox Wealth Management’s $600 million in assets in that market.

Creative Planning was on an acquisition tear in 2021, winding that up in the fall by adding Lockton Retirement Group’s $110 billion in assets. That pushed Creative’s total past $210 billion, and put it on a trajectory to threaten American Century’s $250 billion dominance in the Kansas City region.

With the deal, Lockton’s parent acquired an interest in Creative Planning, giving the latter greater access to global resources and a growth culture that created the world’s largest private, independent insurance brokerage. That partnership will be dubbed Lockton Retirement Services, an Offering of Creative Planning.