Fred Barstein, founder and CEO of The Retirement Advisor University and The Plan Sponsor University, offers insights on the business of retirement plan advisers.
The larger providers produced by consolidation will cater to larger RPA groups like aggregators and major broker-dealers at the expense of smaller, independent RPAs.
A significant impediment is that experienced retirement plan advisers do not want to work with smaller or start-up plans, because they can't afford the minimum fees these RPAs need to charge.
RPA firms are selling at record profits, with deals flow expected to double in 2021, but it pales in comparison to the RIA market. So far, we have not seen any RIA aggregators, other than Captrust, show interest in the DC space.
Looming over the RPA Record Keeper Roundtable and Think Tank was the convergence of wealth, retirement and health at work.
RPAs with strong wealth management businesses and leadership will command a premium price, among other factors.
The DC industry must be realistic and admit that financial wellness is largely a failure, an acknowledgment that's a key step on the road to success. Because we cannot afford to fail.
Providers cannot hope to create a sales force that competes with the 25,000 RPA specialists and hundreds of thousands of RIAs that dabble. But once the plan is sold, who has the right and ability to monetize the participants?
Plan sponsors are clamoring for solutions to help employees with their financial issues. Student loans and emergency savings programs are two easy, simple and impactful ways that the DC industry can help.
There are more than 40 national record keepers, with plenty of capacity for all. And some providers are uniquely positioned.
Few have figured out how to serve the participants who cannot afford traditional advice. Managed accounts are just a start.