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Brian Hamburger convinces his FSI nemesis to debate him in Las Vegas, after trips to San Francisco and Washington

The pressure to create fireworks for a big, bright line-up of 'faculty' and attendees meant finding common cause with Dale Brown based on their lack common ground about how advisors should be regulated

Saturday, November 17, 2018 – 12:22 AM by Brooke Southall
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Brian Hamburger (left): I don't want people up there patting each other on the back.

Brooke's Note: Whether it's Chip Roame, Dan Seivert, Aaron Klein or Brian Hamburger, who represent management consulting, M&A, risk management and compliance as it pertains to financial advice, they are all rip-roaring excited to talk about their conferences. All of the events succeed and they all have increasing overlap of attendees. What may set Hamburger's event apart is the creativity he brings -- to the deadline of people piling in -- of pushing for that hook act that people will remember and learn from. Kelly Anne Conway, Tony Robbins and Mark Cuban come to mind. He's at it again with undiminished enthusiasm. It's a quality you really need but one that seems to generate itself in a business that has yet to grow stagnant.

Brian Hamburger is the first to admit his MarketCounsel Summit has a VIP problem in its 11th year .

Headliners like John "Jack" Bogle, founder and former Chief Executive of The Vanguard Group and former Vice President Al Gore will be put on the spot as much as possible, Dec. 3-6, at the Four Seasons Hotel Las Vegas.

Former Vice President Al Gore
Al Gore will be one of the keynote speakers at the conference.

But the CEO of MarketCounsel will have just as much on his hands contending with the attendees. The RIAs who show up are fine. It's the industry big names. "People end up talking out in the hallways. I used to get offended. How do I get people into the conference rooms?" In an attempt at balance, the event comprises 22 hours of curriculum and 15 hours of networking

Yes, the more star power of attendees, the less drawing power of the people speaking on stages on panels. A very partial list includes:

  • Joe Duran, founder and CEO of United Capital Financial Partners
  • Michael Durbin, president of Fidelity Institutional
  • Steve Lockshin, founder and principal of AdvicePeriod
  • Phyllis Borzi, former U.S. Department of Labor
  • Dave Barton, vice chairman of Mercer Advisors
  • Gabe Garcia, managing director of Pershing Advisor Solutions
  • Rich Gill, partner at Wealth Partners Capital Group
  • Lori Hardwick, founder and president of AI Labs
  • Aaron Klein, co-founder and CEO of Riskalyze.

Brian Hamburger is planning to be the guy on top in his LV cage match with FSI's Dale Brown.

Power lunch and lurch

That's why in October Hamburger flew to San Francisco to attend the Tiburon CEO Summit to plant a seed in the mind of Dale Brown, CEO of Financial Services Institute, then took him out to lunch in Washington to follow up. See:  Dale Brown tells RIAs why SEC's fiduciary standard is too costly for their clients

Hamburger told Brown he wanted to debate him in Vegas -- ultimate fighting brought to the RIA compliance stage -- but Brown delivered a quick jab Hamburger failed to see coming.

"He was a step ahead of me," Hamburger says. "I thought I'd have to build up to that at lunch. He ran right into the cage." See: Jaws drop after Dale Brown Skypes keynote address to Laser App conference with the claim: 'We were fiduciary believers long before being a fiduciary was cool'

Brian Hamburger plans to be the one on top in his LV cage match with undefeated DOL rule killer Dale Brown of FSI. 

In the same spirit of playing to the presumed devil, Hamburger is going to lead off the conference with David Kowach, president of Wells Fargo Advisors, which encompasses both the wirehouse and FiNet.

The question Hamburger demanded Kowach take head-on is how can he build a business in the face of a poisonous, post-scandal PR atmosphere. 

"How do you build what you're talking about from the position you're in?"

Kowach lustily promised to embrace the very real and daunting topic and unsympathetic audience, Hamburger adds.

In another power dilemma, MarketCounsel is placing four of the more outwardly self-assured men in the RIA business on a panel -- Todd Thomson, Joe Duran, J. Fieldling Miller and Elliot Weissbluth. The obvious peril is the accustomed collegiality these men practice in the public eye.

In an attempt to counteract that nauseating tendency, Hamburger put Philip Palaveev on the panel to stir things up. 

"I don't want people up there patting each other on the back," Hamburger says.

Casting call

The rest of the cast who will appear on stage on various panels include: 

  • Dave Barton, Vice Chairman of Mercer Advisors
  • Sarita Bhagwat, VP, Thought Leadership and Research at Fidelity Investments
  • David Canter, EVP, Head of RIA Segment of Fidelity Clearing and Custody
  • Ron Carson, Founder & CEO of Carson Group
  • Eric Clarke, CEO of Orion Advisor Services
  • Louis Diamond, EVP of Diamond Consultants
  • Amit Dogra, CEO of Third Seven Advisors
  • Greg Friedman, CEO of Private Ocean
  • Jeff Fuhrman, President of Coastal Bridge Advisors
  • Rich Gill, Partner at Wealth Partners Capital Group
  • Steve Lockshin, Founder and Principal of AdvicePeriod
  • Brian McLaughlin, CEO of Redtail Technology
  • Marilyn Mohrman-Gillis, Executive Director of CFP Board Center for Financial Planning
  • Terrence Mullen, CEO of Truelytics
  • Jim Patrick, EVP of Envestnet
  • Mike Reed, COO of Dakota Wealth Management
  • Knut Rostad, Founder and President of Institute for the Fiduciary Standard
  • Tricia Rothschild, Chief Product Officer of Morningstar
  • Abby Salameh, Chief Marketing Officer of Private Advisor Group
  • David Selig, Founder and CEO of Advice Dynamics Partners
  • Pam Stross, CEO of TruClarity
  • Don Trone, CEO of 3ethos


Mentioned in this article:

MarketCounsel | Hamburger Law Firm
Consulting Firm, Compliance Expert, Legal Services for RIAs
Top Executive: Brian Hamburger

Stan Mayhew

Stan Mayhew

November 19, 2018 — 5:36 PM
No plans to roll out Rudy Adolf for a roll-up victory lap?

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