From RIA to RBI: Peter Mallouk buys into MLB team under new ownership
Peter Mallouk said he wanted to make a lot of deals — but this one is quite the curveball.
With record M&A reshaping wealth management, the Creative Planning president is going outside the industry as part of a different kind of billion-dollar deal. And any RIAs or funds vying for his attention could help their cause by donning a blue baseball cap with a white “KC” logo.
Mallouk, his wife Veronica and some 20 investors are part of the new ownership group of the Kansas City Royals, the MLB team announced Nov. 26. The group led by incoming Royals CEO John Sherman is reportedly paying $1 billion to buy the franchise from David Glass.
Sherman, the energy entrepreneur who launched Inergy and LPG Services Group, assembled a hometown group composed of the Mallouks and some of the most prominent names in the Kansas City business community. The “Modern Family” actor Eric Stonestreet is also part of it.
The size of the stake and investment by the Mallouks wasn’t immediately clear, and the team didn't disclose the group's level of equity in the franchise under the new setup. Representatives for Overland Park, Kansas-based Creative Planning didn't immediately respond to requests for comment.
In a statement released by the team, Mallouk said he is excited to be part of the ownership group, which "has strong ties to this great city, and is committed to keeping the Royals here for the long run."
"I grew up watching the Royals in constant playoff contention and ultimately winning their first World Series, and some of my best memories are from working in the clubhouse for several years while in high school," he said.
Mallouk built the suburban Kansas City firm to more than $40 billion in assets under management primarily through organic growth, he explained to Financial Planning in a March interview. He now aims to reach $100 billion by buying as many as 100 RIAs in coming years.
“We are determined to become the leading national independent firm,” Mallouk said. “We are on a mission to do that.”
Sherman applauded the new ownership group's varied backgrounds, saying they have "an impressive collection of skills and strengths across multiple sectors" in a statement. “They bring both business and sports acumen, entrepreneurial curiosity, a willingness to embrace risk and a deep commitment to civic and community engagement in Kansas City. What is perhaps most valuable is that each of them also brings the passion and the heart of a fan.”
Other league owners approved Sherman’s purchase of the team from the former Walmart CEO last week, MLB.com reported. Glass bought the franchise in 2000 for only $96 million.
“John has been a uniter in terms of bringing people together,” MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred said after the deal received its approval. “It is a really impressive Kansas City-based group. That really bodes wells for Kansas City.”
The ownership group also includes the Lockton family, founders of the world’s largest private insurance brokerage; the Dunn family, owners of construction firm J.E. Dunn; Dan Dees, co-head of the Investment Banking division of Goldman Sachs; Mariner Kemper, CEO of the bank UMB Financial; and two managing partners of the private equity firm VantEdge Partners.
Despite winning two straight American League pennants in 2014 and 2015 and a championship over the New York Mets in their last trip to the World Series, the Royals have struggled lately. This year, they finished in fourth place in the AL Central with a record of 59-103.