Retirement plan provider sticks with embattled celeb Tony Robbins

The self-help guru is a board member and 30% owner of America's Best 401(k) Company

May 31, 2019 @ 2:02 pm

By Jeff Benjamin

Self-help guru Tony Robbins, whose business relationship with $38 billion RIA Creative Planning ended last week following a wave of sexual misconduct allegations, is maintaining his affiliation with $1 billion retirement plan provider America's Best 401(k) Company.

Mr. Robbins, 59, owns approximately 30% of the Scottsdale, Ariz.-based plan provider that was launched in 2012.

Mr. Robbins, whose son Josh Robbins is chief strategy officer, is a partner and board member, but has never been involved in the day-to-day operations of America's Best 401(k), according to a company spokesperson.

"As a spokesperson for America's Best 401(k), I can confirm that Tony Robbins remains on the board of advisors," said Jami Schlicher of J Connelly Public Relations, a public relations firm that also represents Mr. Robbins.

The allegations against Mr. Robbins were first published by the website BuzzFeed.

A spokeswoman for the popular public speaker and author issued the following statement:

"Tony Robbins has never behaved in the reckless and malicious manner suggested by the false and unfounded allegations published by BuzzFeed.

BuzzFeed has manipulated facts and sourcing to present a false and one-sided negative narrative supporting its predetermined agenda to use Mr. Robbins as a convenient celebrity target. What BuzzFeed has published is unsubstantiated and sensationalized tabloid journalism largely relying on alleged events from 20-30 years ago.

BuzzFeed has established a pattern of manipulating and misstating the facts in order to generate traffic and revenue for shareholders. You can see this in their use of the stories they have published about Mr. Robbins and associated social media postings to solicit donations.

Despite BuzzFeed brazenly trolling for stories and actively prompting their tip line, their reporting is already failing to hold up to the scrutiny of others, including individuals that they interviewed who are speaking up and pointing out BuzzFeed's failure to report the truth."

In the immediate wake of the BuzzFeed reports, Creative Planning filed an updated form ADV last week stating that it has "eliminated the position of chief of investor psychology, and consequently Anthony Robbins is no longer associated with Creative Planning nor serves on the firm's advisory board."

Earlier this week, Creative Planning issued a statement claiming that the termination of the firm's relationship with Mr. Robbins was already in the works prior to the BuzzFeed reports of sexual misconduct allegations.

The statement from Creative Planning owner and chief executive Peter Mallouk read in part, "We've been negotiating an exit for six months," said Peter Mallouk, owner and CEO of Creative Planning, in a statement. The parting between Tony and Creative Planning was imminent regardless and it was a mutual decision and amicable."

The statement included the confirmation that the forthcoming book coauthored by Mr. Robbins and Mr. Mallouk, "The Path: Accelerating Your Journey To Financial Freedom" has been postponed.

"While the book was in the works, contractual terms were never reached nor finalized with its planned publisher," according to Mr. Mallouk's statement.

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