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.


Brian Hamburger (left): I don't want people up there patting each other on the back.

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

November 17, 2018 — 12:22 AM UTC by Brooke Southall

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 ...

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Aaron Klein: Our competitors like to downplay our sophistication.

Aaron Klein sells against fear and risk in San Antonio -- and hits back at competitors

The Riskalyze CEO has three businesses, an expanding list of copycats, 600 close friends and a rah-rah message: Fearlessness

October 22, 2018 — 10:40 PM UTC by Guest Columnist Tim Welsh

Brooke's Note: There was much talk in Newport Beach at the Dealmakers Summit about the concept of "boutique" practices. I presumed they sold high-end handbags. In fact it is a term for a business comprised of super-principals, fresh to being powerful who have yet ...

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Sheryl Garrett: I think it could be too much power at one entity.

FPA soldiers through CFP Board tension at its 2018 national event

It's technically a small dispute with the CFP Board but any rift is big when it's your Siamese twin

October 11, 2018 — 3:51 AM UTC by Graham Thomas

Brooke's Note: The FPA and the CFP Board have worked in remarkable harmony for a long time. But the complexity of the business, its regulatory environment and diverging agendas are creating challenges -- and differing views of just how to take on those challenges. In other ...

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Dan Seivert (r.): The private equity guys are just phoning it in and not getting to know advisors.

Dan Seivert and Mark Tibergien karate chop private equity investors for being little more than financial engineers in RIA orbit

The CEO of ECHELON and the CEO of Pershing Advisor Solutions describe the investors like hedge funds that make savvy purchases of depleted oil wells

October 8, 2018 — 7:22 PM UTC by Brooke Southall

Brooke's Note: We all consume conferences based on multiple factors -- including quality control. The DealMaker's Summit controls from the top with Dan Seivert doing two excellent sessions, the second with help from Mark Tibergien. Seivert got extra, very timely, assistance in 2018 from ...

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Michael Kitces: The first year sucks for everyone.

As many of his RIAs hit critical third year, Michael Kitces uses XYPN Live event to signal his startup's market power is catching up to his mind share

Blogger Kitces and co-founder Alan Moore get buy-in and growing success for hundreds of advisors betting on mass affluent investors

September 28, 2018 — 7:29 PM UTC by Guest Columnist Timothy D. Welsh

Brooke's Note: Michael Kitces is not a thought leader. He thinks ahead. There is a big difference. Thought leaders are generally people at corporations who warm over the thinking of thinkers in the skillet of PowerPoint. But thinking goes to waste if it doesn't ...

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Neesha Hathi says Schwab micro-arranged how its engineers work.

Wild role swaps at InVest 2018 as Schwab recasts its engineers into micro teams and Acorns founder talks macro corporate partnerships

The giants like Fidelity, BlackRock and Envestnet come to get down with the innovators and the startups strut like giants

July 17, 2018 — 10:23 PM UTC by Graham Thomas

Brooke's Note: The waitress is practicing politics as the businessman slowly gets... You know the rest. In RIA land, the corporations are playing small ball and the digital dudes are trying to play grown-up. We get it. It  should be healthy. But after years ...

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Anton Kuzmanov: Private equity understands us.

Why Financial Engines undid its IPO, and what it says about the succession-phobia still paralyzing the RIA business

DeVoe & Co.'s annual event in San Francisco featured RIA-merger rock stars-- Mercer, CAPTRUST and Financial Engines -- whose comments revealed not a note of gloat

July 2, 2018 — 2:47 AM UTC by Brooke Southall

Brooke's Note: David DeVoe led off his conference with a great anecdote about his partner, Tim Kochis, who merged his RIA, Kochis Fitz, with Quintile, to form Aspiriant and immediately and intentionally deserted the scene for six months. Tim Kochis retires, months earlier than scheduled ...

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Lisa Dolly: Bigger is better.

Pershing CEO Lisa Dolly flaunts size and software at INSITE 2018

The new leadership continues to push RIAs to see the custodian as less niche but more nimble

June 11, 2018 — 7:33 PM UTC by Guest Columnist Timothy D. Welsh

Brooke's Note: The message from Pershing was always to judge the book not by its industrial cover but by the pages within. But as time passes and the quality of competitors rises, Pershing is necessarily taking on a more refined look. For RIAs, it ...

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Joel Bruckenstein: MoneyGuidePro is looking to grow into the more complicated planning space with larger RIAs and family offices, where eMoney has been the tool of choice.

At T3 eMoney and MoneyGuidePro redraw the lines of battle and post-API-era blockchain discussion begins

Financial planning software giants zig to each other's zags, Ric Edelman rips the robos and Joel Bruckenstein bobbles

February 12, 2018 — 10:29 PM UTC by Graham Thomas

Brooke's Note: The buzz surrounding technology rises and falls like the recent stock market. Right now it seems muted -- but for RIA software vendors it's always on full blast. See: How tech vendors pierced the glare generated by Fidelity's uni-bundle to get their message ...

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Not a dry eye after "Fearless Girl" spoke.

TD Ameritrade brings tears and cheers to RIAs in Orlando

A little girl blindsided attendees with heart and TD's Veo Village took on a life of its own

February 5, 2018 — 6:13 AM UTC by Guest Columnist Timothy D. Welsh

Brooke's Note: From afar I just can't help noticing three big things about TD Ameritrade. One is the way Veo and its open API has made it connect as closely to a wide swath of RIA vendors as it does to RIAs. Another thing ...

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Tim Hockey: In the industry, retail has a higher return on client assets on a higher revenue base. But both businesses have a strong operating margin.

Tim Hockey goes to Florida with an RIA 'problem' that's not RIAs

The TD Ameritrade CEO relies on 6,000 registered investment advisors for 80% of growth -- skewed by big, big 'bus drivers' like Ric Edelman and Ron Carson

February 1, 2018 — 11:17 PM UTC by Oisin Breen

Brooke's Note: Virtually every RIA custodian is a B2B company behind the scenes and a retail firm for all the world to see (even Pershing Advisor Solutions is pretty closely tied to a big bank.) But TD Ameritrade finds itself in the more unusual position of depending ...

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Tim Buckley: With mutual fund fees coming down, the highest fee is the advisory fee itself.

At Inside ETFs, Vanguard CEO skipped over ETFs to get to a hotter topic -- mass delivery of financial advice

In his first public speech, Tim Buckley warned that asset managers no longer have the target on their backs -- but advisors do

January 30, 2018 — 10:13 PM UTC by Graham Thomas

Brooke's Note: It was stunning to see a new Vanguard Group CEO go to an ETF conference and not talk ETFs, despite having the mother lode of inflows product arsenal to crow about. Tim Buckley talked in great detail about financial advisors -- mostly RIAs, mostly ...

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Shirl Penney (2nd from r., flanked by Rich Gill, Marty Bicknell and John Furey): ​Breakaways should expect to 'pay a 25% settlement fee moving forward.'

An RIABiz advertising exec derives hard meanings from soft comments made by big shots at MarketCounsel Summit

Post-TD Tom Bradley, post-refinanced Elliot Weissbluth, post-divorce David Bach and Ric Edelman, post-protocol Shirl Penney and post-windfall Marty Bicknell were among execs who tipped their hands and hearts about where they are headed

December 12, 2017 — 2:18 PM UTC by Graham Thomas

Brooke's Note: The most overused theme for an RIA speech is "the future of wealth management." Typically, such talks are neither about wealth management nor the future, unless platitudes about digital wealth count. But RIABiz marketing exec Graham Thomas's listening skills, powers of ...

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Greg Fleming: I love the Rockefeller name and brand and family. I'm fixated on it.

How Greg Fleming got props from his 90-year-old uncle by ankling the wirehouses after 25 years and joining a 'small' family concern

From his perch atop Rockefeller Capital Management, the Ex-Morgan Stanley and Merrill exec derives lessons for profitably serving the 'Vanguard set'

December 6, 2017 — 5:38 PM UTC by Dina Hampton

Brooke's Note: You shouldn't stereotype people. You should probably make an exception to the rule for former wirehouse chiefs. Dina Hampton makes that point here in this article with a feathery touch.

A long day of sessions was -- almost -- on the books of ...

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Bernie Clark: We are at an inflection point where new technology craves data, a scenario where incumbents have the advantage.

Bernie Clark uses Schwab IMPACT 2017 as pulpit to preach Schwab scale as firewall to blaze of dystopian big-data future

With no RIA deliverable to pitch, Charles Schwab & Co. execs presented their go-big, 'no goals' vision for managing accelerating external change

November 17, 2017 — 10:45 PM UTC by Guest Columnist Timothy D. Welsh

Brooke's Note: Tim Welsh artfully draws a picture of what happened to 4,000 people in Chicago over a three-day stretch by reducing it to a few broad strokes. Schwab IMPACT 2017 hammered home the point that Charles Schwab & Co. is very, very ...

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