Conferences

This section contains news and coverage about the dozens of conferences held in the advisory industry every year. Those conferences range from annual events put on by the big custodians to small hands-on workshops hosted by law firms, consultants and tech companies, among others. RIABiz can't cover all the conferences, but this page includes our stories about those we have written about.

We hope that getting a flavor of the different gatherings helps you decide which are worthwhile attending and — if you're in the conference business yourself — what clicks with attendees and what doesn't. Have a suggestion for a conference we should cover? Email me, Brooke Southall at brooke@riabiz.com.


John Swolfs: Event-focused organizations around the world are trying to hold their events in the most timely and effective manner that they are able. Inside ETFs and the rest of the financial event industry are all looking forward to having more flexibility after Covid has passed.

Oisín's Bits: With COVID-19 spiking in 27 states, RIA events like Wealth/Stack fight for late 2020 conference slots • Black Diamond taps startup Canoe for alternatives reporting • DOL quantifies RIA numbers

The InsideETFs event will compete with InvestWest for coveted late 2020 date, but without Josh Brown's stardust • SS&C's move follows Addepar advance and will include Advent products• The DoL sees net gains in RIAs of about 300 a year

July 8, 2020 — 2:23 AM by Oisin Breen

The COVID-19 pandemic, now spiking in 27 states, is still playing havoc with RIA events, causing popular gatherings like Wealth/Stack and InVest West to scramble for late 2020 dates to host ...

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Schwab IMPACT 2020 won't happen in Boston and will morph to an online version of itself.

Schwab Advisor Services takes EXPLORE, IMPACT and SOLUTIONS 'virtual' in face of COVID-19 pandemic, updates merger, and makes clear the two scheduling details are unrelated

Set to be held in Fidelity's Boston backyard, IMPACT 2020 will move to the ether, making it one of the industry's premier virtual conferences in a sure sign the RIA world has dramatically changed.

April 29, 2020 — 6:41 PM by Lisa Shidler

Brooke's Note: On its face, the idea of taking an RIA conference online seems like a non-starter -- maybe even sacrilege. The business of 30,000 practices and tens-of-thousands of vendors gets enough isolated screen time, right? Maybe. The nice thing for Schwab is that they get ...

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Megan Carpenter: 'The rules of the game have changed.'

COVID-19 crushes RIA conference schedule; 100 gatherings are in jeopardy along with the bottom lines of publications and organizations

Pershing INSITE is the latest biggie to cancel and firms are all over the map about when it'll be 'safe' for more than 10 people to gather at any one time.

April 14, 2020 — 5:58 AM by Lisa Shidler

Brooke's Note: One big drawback of the RIA business is its atomization -- with 30,000 firms sprawled across the United States. One antidote for isolated advisors is to attend conferences -- in attractive destinations or for a specialized theme. Every year, more events pop up ...

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Reed Colley: 'We want to do it collaboratively and quickly.'

Reed Colley reveals his bigger, better second-act plans at T3 conference in San Diego

The Black Diamond founder kicked off Tuesday sessions with a vision, a plan, some hard dates and plenty of unassuming swagger

February 19, 2020 — 3:49 AM by Brooke Southall

Brooke's Note: All that was missing was the black turtleneck. The founder of Black Diamond, now co-founder of Summit Wealth Systems, emanated drive and purpose on stage reminiscent of the late Apple founder who had Acts 2 and 3. Colley was listed as the Mystery Guest on the ...

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Tom Nally: 'We are not letting up.'

TD Ameritrade hedges its bets that Schwab can swallow it whole as DOJ letter lands, LINC 2021 gets planned and TD pledges it'll go 'full tilt'

The Omaha, Neb.-based firm is ready to combine with Charles Schwab & Co. if need be but ready, too, to remain its nemesis until anti-trust hurdles dissipate and the ink dries.

January 31, 2020 — 2:10 AM by Brooke Southall and Guest Writer Tim Welsh

Brooke's Note: Tim Welsh and I teamed up on this article. Tim is fulfilling his role as conference reporter. For me, it's taking his observations and melding them with the news that DOJ is entering phase 2 of examining the proposed TD-Schwab merger. I also talked to ...

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Guy Benstead (with George Gay on right): [The move to Orlando for 2020] it rankled some of the old guard RIAs who have been at the vanguard of the SRI movement.

Planned move to plastic Disney World from natural Broadmoor rankles some RIAs as perverse outcome of record-obliterating SRI confab turnout and arrival of mainstream to fringe investing approach

Women, millennials and climate change make up the trifecta driving socially responsible investing sky-high and into the arms of Mickey Mouse

December 12, 2019 — 7:01 PM by Guest Columnist Guy Benstead

Brooke's Note: I admit I am a skeptic about socially responsible investing. That unfounded skepticism has cost me. The best example of my brick-headedness on this matter goes back to around 1996. I was working for about $23,000 a year for the Central Penn Business ...

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Brian Hamburger: We have great speakers who didn't ask for anything in return.

Brian Hamburger gets Bill Crager, Joe Duran and a top Schwab executive in swing for 'insider baseball' feel at MarketCounsel Summit

RIA feedback guided toward less 'wow' factor and more RIA behind-the-curtain stuff and the golden oil that lubricates all events -- more recess to mingle and schmooze

November 18, 2019 — 10:36 PM by Brooke Southall

Brooke's Note: The model RIA conference agenda allocation is pretty much 60/35/5. The 60% is filler how-to stuff from middling presenters. The 35% is general session feel-good stuff from stars far and wide who are entertaining and generally edifying. The five percent (if you're lucky) are ...

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Charles 'Chuck' Schwab: I grew to hate the whole idea of limits.

Charles Schwab, a true American oligarch, shows no signs of slowing at 82, throwing his substantial fortune behind Donald Trump, hard-right politics and his continuing financial services revolution

The billionaire is dumping San Francisco's liberal warrens for full-time residence in the exclusive enclave of Atherton, Calif., where he'll rub shoulders with other billionaires.

November 5, 2019 — 3:35 PM by Oisin Breen

Brooke's Note: Nobody has made more money from the RIA movement than Charles "Chuck" Schwab. The now $1.7 trillion of RIA assets in Charles Schwab & Co.'s custody drive more than half the firm's profits and have for decades. Not that anyone is begrudging him that ...

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Ken Fisher says he's spoken with 'color' for years, and no one has complained... until now.

How Ken Fisher's 'girl's pants' remarks set off an RIA-led tweet firestorm that became a slow-burn PR disaster that remains uncontained

The Fisher Investments CEO finally admitted guilt on his third or fourth attempt after trying to blame the messenger, Alex Chalekian, while Chip Roame struggled with how to intervene and where to assign blame.

October 14, 2019 — 2:29 AM by By Lisa Shidler

Brooke's Note: Like any 100-year blow-up, the Ken Fisher explosion that gripped the RIA industry last week involved a rare confluence of events that were eminently predictable, and maybe preventable, looked at with the aid of 20/20-hindsight. You have 'old school' Fisher taking his penchant for shock-jocking up ...

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WealthStack was staged in a desert setting that Bugsy might approve of.

The 7 best quotes at WealthStack not uttered by Peter Mallouk, Joe Duran or Barry Ritholtz

The RIA business's traveling roadshow set high standards for chatter in Scottsdale, Ariz.'s high heat and generated a surplus of quotes

September 12, 2019 — 3:07 AM by Graham Thomas

Brooke's Note: No reporter can stand having good quotes in their notebook that go unused. When Graham Thomas covers a conference for us, he understands the feeling and we accommodated it by creating a sidebar column. It speaks well of an event when it has quotation ...

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Joe Duran (with interviewer Josh Brown): You (RIAs) have no distinct offering that makes people want to go to you.

Peter Mallouk and Joe Duran described the RIA business like they were from two separate planets, spinning heads at WealthStack

The Creative Planning CEO sees green pastures but for the United Capital manager 'the golden era is over' with Goldman Sachs there to pick up the pieces

September 12, 2019 — 3:00 AM by Graham Thomas

Brooke's Note: Talk about Rumpelstiltskin spinning straw into gold. When I think about Joshua Brown and Barry Ritholtz, my mind casts back to a 2013 RIABiz interview when the two men revealed how the hell they get all that blogging and tweeting done. It happens in what many ...

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Dan Seivert: While only 3% of the total population, billion-dollar plus [AUM] firms control 56% of the assets .

RIA buyers charge to Newport Beach moaning a familiar refrain: Not enough sellers! Yet, not one believes that RIA M&A is a bubble... much

Roll-ups, serial buyers and merger-minded RIAs still want to deals but fears creep up -- especially for $1B-plus AUM RIAs -- too much money is chasing too few deals.

September 9, 2019 — 9:00 PM by Guest Columnist Timothy D. Welsh

Brooke's Note: Ask any buyer in the deal-making business and their message for sellers is this: Sell now or take a lower price later. Sellers go the other way: Buy my firm now while you can still afford it. There was no shortage of those kinds of ...

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JPMorgan nabbed Frederick Duden from Schwab and then Broadridge re-nabbed him from JPMorgan for his ability to package products in ways RIAs find appealing.

Under new Vanguard whiz, Facet Wealth grows much faster • Broadridge is coming for RIAs, if it can solve channel conflicts • Mark Tibergien kibboshes 'death watch,' says succession shortlist exists • Fidelity's Canter and Schwab's Clark share similar RIA gloom but differ, too

Facet Wealth continues to grow -- thanks to a Vanguard ace, says CEO; RIABiz’s 'death watch' has a long wait, says Pershing's Mark Tibergien; financial technology giant Broadridge steps up RIA game, but Fall deadline may be hard to meet; and David Canter and Bernie Clark, Fidelity and Schwab's RIA heads, respectively, see price peak gloom on RIA horizon.

July 30, 2019 — 5:34 PM by Oisin Breen

Brooke's Note: At the InVest conference in New York, Oisin Breen could have used a fire hose to cool off. It was hot as hell. Instead he found himself drinking from a fire hose of news, bursting from the city and its conference. It didn't all ...

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Martin Small: We’re wildly focused on them, but they’re competed away instantaneously.

In a summer swelter, In|Vest's feisty crowd throws punches at Schwab; Bernie Clark counters and debate erupts over whether 'digital' makes a difference

The New York City event drew heavyweights. Edmond Walters, Barry Ritholtz, Martin Small, Lauren Radcliffe were among those who skipped the BS

July 19, 2019 — 11:04 PM by Oisin Breen

Brooke's Note: In the spirit of life being short (and uncertain), a school of eaters has a dictum: "Eat dessert first." At the end of this article is a quote that probably deserves to get consumed first. Here goes: “The advisor is now the product, but ...

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Jim Crowley: 'What is not changing is our strategy.'

In extreme air conditioning, Jim Crowley put industrial strength stamp on Pershing INSITE, but admits his custodian needs to get stronger in end-user software

Pershing COO, who took CEO job in May following Lisa Dolly's abrupt departure, made the event zero in on technology, yet again

June 18, 2019 — 3:35 AM by Guest Columnist Tim Welsh

Brooke's Note: The number one rule of life: Be yourself. There are plenty of signs that Pershing is doing that. No flashy promises that'll be hard to keep. No new hires from outside that show the company is trying to import a culture. Just a ...

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