Overland Park firm acquires Central Plains Advisors

Central Plains Advisors, a 23-year-old investment advisory firm, has been acquired by an Overland Park-based firm, Freestate Advisors.

The Wichita firm, at 10333 E. 21st, will now be known as Central Plains Advisors, a division of Freestate Advisors, said Polly Peters, Freestate vice president of client services and former Central Plains president.

“We’re actually owned by Freestate now but because of our presence (as Central Plains) we wanted to continue with that name as much as we could,” said Peters, whose father, Don Peters, started Central Plains in 1990.

She said two conditions prompted the acquisition: a succession strategy — Peters’ father is 83 — and the need for a new investment strategy. Central Plains’ bond investment program was coming to an end because of an extended period of low interest rates. “Zero interest rates don’t make anybody money,” Peters said.

Peters said she and her father began the process of searching for a merger and acqusition partner about five years ago. “Dad and I knew the long-bond (investment strategy) was going to come to an end at some point.”

They first became acquainted with Freestate when Don Peters was making a presentation to accountants at an event in Topeka. One of Freestate’s principals was in the audience, and made a call to the Peters. Peters said she and her father liked Freestate’s philosophy, ethics and “risk-averse” investment strategy.

“They do a total, comprehensive investment stratgey, which includes stocks and bonds,” Peters said.

Peters said the firm has been successful in converting 75 to 80 percent of its clients to Freestate. “It’s been very, very positively accepted,” she said, adding the firm is still completing the process of converting its clients, who are in 30 states.

The Wichita office includes Peters, her father and investment analyst Phil Taylor.

Freestate will host a Wichita client briefing on the economy and investment conditions on Oct. 22. Peters said a limited number of seats will be open free to the public, but all require reservations. To reserve a seat, call Peters at 316-682-5148.