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2018 Semi-Annual Meeting

January 15/16/17, 2018

Hosted by: INVESCO

Register Online

Meeting Objective

The 2018 semi-annual meeting is designed to be thought provoking - a lab experiment in social change - peers exploring the fundamental value of the plan advisor function with the goal of helping a group of outstanding advisors position their respective practice to thrive in a market turned upside down by technological innovation. We will leverage the uniqueness of the Council - collaboration among experts who respect each other across colleges in friendly company - to foster innovation and help participating advisors thrive in the challenging years ahead.

The entire meeting is a collaborative study in change.  Attendees do not get to select the sessions they attend.  Instead, advisors and practice leaders will be assigned to specific breakout groups to provoke differential conversation.  Investment managers and service providers in attendance will be assigned the role of prodder - devil's advocate - and charged with asking difficult questions they would probably not ask in a polite business conversation.  In each group, three anonymous observers will study the behavior of attendees and report at general sessions.  Sessions will be moderated by Council member service providers and investment managers to create unsettling situations.


11 Greenway Plaza, Suite 1000
Houston Room
Houston, TX 77046

Dates and Times

Monday, January 15

12:30 p.m.

1:00 - 4:00 p.m.

6:00 p.m.

Transportation to pre-event

Pre-Event Houston Food Bank Project, Portwall Warehouse
35 Portwall
Houston, Texas 77029

Sponsored Pre-event dinner at Caracol

Tuesday, January 16

8:00 a.m.

8:30 a.m.

8:45 a.m.



9:00 a.m.






9:45 a.m.

10:00 a.m.

Continental Breakfast Buffet

Opening and Goals and Objectives
Meeting Plannning Committee Co-chairs - Mike Gouldin - Gouldin & McCarthy
                                                                           Steve Smith - VALIC

Terry Kelly
National Sales Director, Retirement, Insurance and Education

Big Bang Innovation to Succeed in the Retirement Plan Advice Business

Innovation takes many forms. Does it start with a sea change or small incremental modifications? What is the ripple effect of change in legislative, regulatory, service model shifts? This panel of retirement plan advisors will discuss the paths currently seen as the tried and true way to success and contrast those with the shifting dynamic of artificial intelligence, robo advisors and a disparate work force.

Moderator: Steve Smith
Managing Vice President, Business Development

Panelists TBA

Refreshment Break

Breakout Sessions - Transformation of the Advisor Business

There is plenty of evidence that Professional Retirement Plan Advisors help client plans and their participants achieve superior outcomes. We now have evidence that employers reap business benefits from partnering with an outstanding Professional Retirement Plan Advisor.

However, the world is changing, and Plan Advisors need to define and redefine their value propositions, evolve business models and innovate faster than ever before to stay ahead. The future is swiftly becoming the present. Artificial intelligence is here now. Robotics are revolutionizing professions that historically relied on intellectual capital and relationships for differentiation (e.g. law firms, accountants). In the age of singularity, humans can’t keep up with the pace of technological innovation. How will your team thrive in this new era? Tough questions from your peers will keep you on your toes and help you stay ahead. You will be assigned to one of these three sessions:

Beyond Benchmarking: The Value of an Advisor
Moderator: Adrian Hodge
                   Senior Vice President
                   Eastern Division Manager - Workplace Investing
                   Fidelity Investments

Managing the Business for Successful Transition or Succession Planning
Moderator: Mike Shamburger
                    Head of Territory Sales
                    T. Rowe Price

Business Development:Is More Less? Is Less More? Is Scale the Key?
Moderator: Kevin D. Morgan
                    Executive Director/Retirement Plan Investment Consultant
                    J.P. Morgan Asset Management

11:00 a.m.



12:15 p.m.

1:00 p.m.





2:00 p.m.



Retirement Plans of the Future

Moderator: Chris Doucet
                    Vice President, National Accounts
                    Empower Retirement

Panelists TBA

Luncheon - Texas Barbecue Sponsored by INVESCO


Moderator: Marcela Curry
                    Senior Vice President, National Director of Sales – Business Development
                    Wells Fargo Institutional Retirement and Trust

Panelists:   Doug Peterson - Empower/Great-West
                    Tim Rouse - SPARK Institute
                    Keith Sykes - Wells Fargo Institutional Retirement & Trust
                    Scott Witter -  AIG

Breakout Session - Client Concerns / Industry Support 

Consolidation and waves of staff reduction lead investment management firms and service providers to focus their attention on key relationships. At the end of the day, your strategic partners may have no choice but to let some people fall by the wayside. Are you worth their attention? Why is that important? You will be assigned to one of these three sessions:

What’s Happening to the Business Beyond the Fiduciary Rule?

This session will discuss what are the impacts on the employer while providing their employees access to retirement benefits and the impact for IRAs and the allure of retirement plan business for financial services firms.

Moderator TBA

What is the Impact of Technological Innovation on Managed Accounts and Professional Money Management?

Moderator TBA

Where Will Employer Appetite for Financial Wellness and HSAs Lead Your Business and Are You Willing to Go Down this Path?

Moderator TBA

3:00 p.m.

3:15 p.m.





4:15 p.m.





5:15 p.m.

6:30 p.m.

Refreshment Break

General Session - The Retirement Advisor Council General Business

The Retirement Advisor Council needs to take a more proactive approach to enhancing the role of the retirement advisor. For example, committee structures   need to be transformed to build a stronger, more effective PR advocacy organization.

Membership criteria needs to better focus on the future of retirement advisors. Tenure and size alone no longer guarantee success. Entrepreneurial spirit, the ability to adapt to a changing environment are critical in a world characterized by constant flux. How do we reflect these new success factors in the definition of “outstanding” and in the composition of our membership?

New Word Order - It’s Not Just What You Say, It’s What People Hear

Hear about defined contribution plan participants reaction to the vocabulary we use to communicate with them. Take away four principles to apply when communicating with participants. Invesco Consulting teamed up with the word specialists Maslansky + Partners to conduct one of the largest, most comprehensive studies of its kind on financial language. The research included measuring investors’ emotional responses to words using unique instant dial-response technology. The firm then conducted a national survey with the goal of validating findings, and uncovered amazing results

Speaker: Jeff Hemker CIMA®, National Sales Manager - Invesco Consulting


Event Dinner at Tony’s

Wednesday, January 17

7:30 a.m.

8:00 a.m.


9:00 a.m.

10:00 a.m.

10:15 a.m.



11:15 a.m.

Continental Breakfast

The Role of CFOs in Business Strategy and Future Direction
Moderator: Robert A. Massa, ChFC®, CEBS®, AIF®, CPFA®,CBC - Ascende

Panelists: Jeff Martini - Chief Operating and Financial Officer - HICOR Technologies
Other panelists TBA

Retirement Income – Can It Change and Insure the Future?
Presenters: Tim Black - Black Diamond Advisory Services, Craig McKenna - MFS Investment Management

Refreshment Break

HROs: Forward-looking Talent Management Strategy

Moderator: Martha Spano - UBS Financial Services, Inc.

Panelists:   Irene Higgins, US Oncology Network
Other panelists TBA


Hotel / Transportation

DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Houston - Greenway Plaza
6 E Greenway Plaza
Houston, Texas, 77046

For reservations, contact Council staff Kate Connole



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