RPA Special Edition Part 1 - The Hot RPA M&A market


It seems as if overnight the retirement plan adviser mergers and acquisition market exploded, fueled in part by a flood of private equity money. Why is it happening now, what are the valuations and why are they so high? Get insightful commentary and direction on the hot RPA M&A market from Fred Barstein and Dick Darian, two of the industry’s foremost experts, and learn whether it’s time to test the waters.


1:00 — Introduction; why leave BlackRock to start Wise Rhino Group?

5:15 — What explains the hot RPA market and adviser industry consolidation in general

12:30 — Valuations in the RPA market and the key sector trends

18:00 — What drives valuation and what an adviser can do to meet buyer interest

21:30 — Post-acquisition trends

23:30 — The other side — why hold out?

26:30 — Where does consolidation leave the independent adviser?

Guest Bios:  

Fred Barstein is contributing editor for retirement for InvestmentNews & RPA Convergence. He is the founder and CEO of TRAA and TPSU.

Dick Darian is founder and CEO of the Wise Rhino Group. Previously he headed up BlackRock’s DCIO division and held senior positions at NRP and MFS Retirement.

This episode is sponsored by MassMutual.  

MassMutual Investments is a leading provider of retirement-centric investment solutions. Leveraging the expertise, scale, heritage, and stability of our parent company, MassMutual Investments is uniquely qualified to serve the evolving investment needs of a diverse range of stakeholders. We employ an open architecture approach, constructing diversified, risk-sensitive, multi-manager portfolios that seek to optimally combine the expertise of carefully selected investment teams from proven third-party managers. We offer a comprehensive range of retirement solutions across the major asset classes, designed to address investors’ accumulation to post-retirement distribution life stages. These are available through our family of MassMutual Funds (, stable value products, and other investment strategies that leverage our multi-manager approach.

To contact a member of MassMutual Investments please visit


Dick Darian

Fred Barstein

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