2014 Annual Convention

March 31 - April 2, 2014 |
Hilton New York, New York, NY.


David Berkowitz, President, Lincoln Financial Network

Larry Sinsimer, Senior Vice President, Practice Management, Fidelity Investments

Re-Engineering Managed Solutions and Client Relationships to Optimize Outcomes

Platinum Sponsor:

 Folio Dynamix

Additional Information

Recap: 2014 MMI Annual Convention

More than 330 advisory solutions executives gathered in New York last week for the 2014 MMI Annual Convention – Re-Engineering Managed Solutions and Client Relationships to Optimize Outcomes. 


During the three-day meeting, industry experts led sessions on what clients value in an advisory relationship, the characteristics of shifting relationship preferences and investment attitudes across differing age groups, and the growing importance of aligning investment programs with customer needs and goals through goals-based investing. If you were unable to attend, you missed those and other thought-provoking sessions on a broad range of topics, a compelling list of speakers and panelists, and a chance to connect with colleagues, competitors and industry leaders. Convention highlights included:

Craig Martin: Building Relationships That Drive Positive Financial Results
Craig MartinMr. Martin, a Director at J.D. Power, opened the meeting with a presentation that focused on the results and impact of his firm’s recently conducted financial services customer satisfaction research. Sponsor firms and advisors, he urged, must come to understand the ongoing shifts in customer desires, perceptions and behavior and deal with the factors that have become the principal drivers of relationship effectiveness today. “It’s about building collaboration with your customer,” Mr. Martin argued. “That doesn’t mean discussing every financial decision. It’s about understanding their goals and objectives, having a clear vision. You are listening to your clients, you are not telling them what to do….When you tell people what to do, they don’t value your advice nearly as much as when you hear them out and then offer solutions and options to meet their needs.” 

Marilyn Moats Kennedy: A Cross-Generational Approach to Developing and Selling Financial Products
MMKA highly sought after speaker, expert on demographic trends and CEO of Moats Kennedy Inc., Ms. Kennedy’s keynote presentation outlined a cross-generational approach to developing and selling financial products to the four discrete age cohorts born since 1946 – Baby Boomers (1946-1959), Cuspers (1960-1968), Busters (1969-1978) and Millennials (1978-1990). “When we look at relationship building across the spectrum, it has got to be different for each age group. You have to wear a different hat. One size does not fit all,” she cautioned. Among the topics Ms. Kennedy covered were the devastating impact on Boomers and Busters of those over 85 being the nation’s fastest growing age cohort; the tendency of Busters – whom she termed the “darkest group” in the economy – to save at a disproportionate rate; late maturation among Millennials, their shunning of traditional corporate career paths, and a growing wave of entrepreneurship; and the need of Busters and Millennials for a true sense of mission.

Goals-Based Wealth Management: The Next Big Game Changer in Retail Investing?
Chuck WidgerWhile history has yet to put a final stamp on the next big change in managed solutions, the largest sponsor firms are now building capabilities around Goals-Based Wealth Management at the household level. A distinguished panel of three former MMI chairmen discussed the challenges and opportunities presented by outcomes-based planning and investing and where they see the industry headed. There was consensus among the panelists on two major points: outcomes investing is the right path for the industry to take and the demand is clearly there. Chuck Widger (left), Executive Chairman of Brinker Capital, summed up the panel’s view, “Goals based investing incorporates everything the investor wants. Our clients…don’t want to go through 2008-2009 again….I hope the industry will make this a message because I think that it has been too focused on indexes. It has been guiding clients to invest based on beating the S&P 500. That’s a fool’s errand – people may want the return, but they sure don’t want the risk. Outcomes-based investing will help manage the risk and will do a better job for our clients.”

Jeffrey S. Weiss: Money, Madness and the Markets: A Look at the Charts
Jeff WeissChief Technical Analyst at Tejas Securities Group, Inc., Mr. Weiss took the audience on an insider’s tour of the technical analyst’s world which he has inhabited for four decades and what goes into the challenging task of trying to predict stock market movements. True to his reputation as a provocative speaker, Mr. Weiss told the audience, “There are no great analysts on Wall Street. There never were, there never will be. The stock market in and of itself is the greatest analyst. All we can do – no matter how advanced our degrees are and what our IQ is – is go back to the beginning and listen to the market’s message and the clues it gives.” 

Impact Investing Portfolios: A Viable Solution?
William BurckartWith the level of discussion and interest among investors and advisors clearly at a high watermark, this panel explored impact investing, the subject of a white paper soon to be released by MMI and Impact Economy. The panel agreed that there is without question a clearly growing demand for impact investing. As one panel member put it, “You don’t dedicate people or capital to these types of activities out of large financial services firms if there is not client demand for it. What has changed over the last seven years…is seeing some of these trends really take off.” Two of the most difficult aspects of impact investing, the panel agreed, are scalability and measurement.  “The finance side is the easy part,” one panel member offered. “We feel very good about being able to provide a return commensurate to the risk. The hard part is measuring impact in terms of investor goals that are very personal and qualitative.” (Moderator: William Burckart, Managing Director, Impact Economy (North America) LLC, above)

Mark your calendar now and make plans to attend the 2014 MMI Fall Solutions Conference October 21-22 at the Hilton New York.  




Re-Engineering Managed Solutions and Client Relationships to Optimize Outcomes
March 31 – April 2, 2014
Hilton New York

DRAFT AGENDA as of 3/28/14 (download here)

Monday, March 31, 2014

1:30PM–1:45PM  |  Welcome and Opening Remarks

John Moninger, Chairman Emeritus of the Board of Governors, Money Management Institute
Joe Schultz
, Chairman of the Board of Governors, Money Management Institute
Christopher Davis, President, Money Management Institute

Convention Co-Chairs:

David Berkowitz, President, Lincoln Financial Network
Larry Sinsimer, Senior Vice President, Practice Management, Fidelity Investments

1:45PM–2:45PM  |  J.D. Power: Building Relationships That Drive Positive Financial Results

Craig Martin, Director, J.D. Power

This opening session centers on financial services industry customer satisfaction research conducted by J.D. Power, a premier global marketing information services company. At the midpoint of this decade, a rapidly changing world is reshaping investors’ needs, desires and expectations – and there are important lessons to be learned with respect to those changes and their impact on creating lasting customer relationships.  

What investors value most in an investment relationship
Lesson #1 is that building a relationship is not what it used to be. Sponsor firms and advisors must clearly understand the underlying fundamentals of strong client ties, shifts in customer perceptions and behavior, and the principal drivers of relationship effectiveness today. J.D. Power will focus on Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) related to the investor experience and how customer preferences differ from segment to segment of the population. 

The impact of shifting investor technology preferences
Lesson #2 is that technology is altering the landscape for investors and the firms that serve them. J.D. Power’s findings offer perspective on how technology is shifting investor preferences and expectations, reshaping traditional definitions of “full service” and “self-directed,” and changing the nature of investor/advisor relationships.

2:45PM–3:45PM  |  Advisor Panel: Best Practices of Successful NextGen Advisors

This panel, which includes representatives from various distribution channels, along with a firm offering an online, technology-driven advice platform, focuses on how “up and coming advisors” have been able to begin to build successful practices during a period of tumultuous change in the industry. The discussion will cover their approach to establishing relationships with the Boomer and post-Boomer generations, how they see their practices differing from those of older colleagues both in terms of client goals and investment approach, and the particular challenges – including non-traditional sources of financial advice – they feel they will face in the second half of the decade. 

Moderator: David Berkowitz, President of Lincoln Financial Network

Eli Broverman, Co-Founder and COO, Betterment, LLC 
James J. Detterick
, Managing Director,Senior Institutional Consultant, Corporate Client Group Director, Morgan Stanley
Andrew J. Wigzell, Senior Financial Planner/Financial Services Representative/Investment Adviser Representative, Barnum Financial Group, An Office of MetLife

3:45PM–4:15 PM  |  Refreshment and Networking Break with Exhibitors

4:15PM–5:30PM  |  Industry in Transition, Asset Managers in Action 

In an industry in transition, advisors are realigning their value propositions, business strategies, and marketing messages to further adapt to a solutions-oriented advisory model. In this session, senior distribution leaders from some of the industry’s most successful asset management firms will describe their strategies and tactics around advisor sales and support in this changing environment. With an enhanced focus on outcome-oriented investing, non-traditional and alternative products, and customized, model-based portfolios, these organizations are leaders in challenging traditional approaches to portfolio construction and are changing the way in which advisors are supported.           

Moderator: Mike Lewers, Managing Director, Head of U.S. Wealth Advisory Private Client Group, BlackRock

Frank Campanale, Chief Executive Officer, Lebenthal Wealth Advisors
Mark Hancock, Managing Director, Goldman Sachs
Carter Sims, Head of U.S. Intermediary Distribution, Schroders
Kirk Strawn, National Director of Strategic Relationships, Altegris

5:30PM – 6:30PM  |  Reception and Networking with Exhibitors


Tuesday, April 1, 2014

7:00AM– 8:15AM  |  Breakfast and Networking with Exhibitors

8:30AM–8:45AM  |  MMI Industry Data Update

Rick Ledbury, Vice President, Research and Data Services, MMI

8:45AM–9:30AM  |  Money, Madness and the Markets: A Look at the Charts

Jeffrey S. Weiss, Chief Technical Analyst, Tejas Securities Group, Inc.

The difficult task of trying to predict stock market movements is part and parcel of the technical analyst’s world, and Jeff Weiss will lead us on a guided tour of that landscape. To assess the market’s technical position and condition, he will review key market charts to help us find clues as to whether the bulls or bears currently hold the upper hand. Mr. Weiss’s presentation will also examine some of the most popular market axioms and argue that these innocuous sounding tenets, which have been around for decades, can prove highly toxic to a portfolio’s performance. He will also offer a dose of risk management considerations, without which no market discipline can survive. Join us for a look at the stock market through the eyes of a technical analyst with four decades of experience, a veteran whose views were shaped by living through the 1973-1974 bear market and who formerly ran the technical departments at Lehman Brothers, PaineWebber, and UBS. 

9:30AM–10:00AM  |  Refreshment and Networking Break with Exhibitors

10:00AM–11:00AM  |  Outcome-Based Management: The Next Big Game Changer in Retail Investing

Retail investing has seen three major changes over the past 40 years. It began with the dramatic growth of mutual funds in the late 1970s, which was followed by the virtual disappearance of defined benefit pension plans as IRAs and 401k plans emerged in the 1980s. Most recently in the 1990s we have seen the advent of advisory programs. While history has yet to put a final stamp on the next big change, the largest sponsor firms are now building capabilities around Goals-Based Wealth Management at the household level. Three former chairmen of MMI will discuss the challenges and opportunities of goals-based planning and investing in the context of multiple account management. A key topic for these thought leaders will be where they see the industry headed as investors and advisors alike recognize that every household asset is a retirement asset and that tax and cost alpha are as important as investment alpha.

Moderator: Jack Sharry, Executive Vice President, Strategic Development, LifeYield  

Len Reinhart, Executive Chairman, Wealthcare Capital Management
Jim Tracy
, Director, Consulting Group Wealth Advisory Solutions, Morgan Stanley Wealth Management
Chuck Widger, Executive Chairman, Brinker Capital

11:00AM–12:00PM  |  A Cross-Generational Approach to Developing and Selling Financial Products

Marilyn Moats Kennedy, Chief Executive Officer, Moats Kennedy Inc.

“One size does not fit all” has never been as important in the financial industry as it is today. Products must be designed to solve a generational problem as well as have an instantly-recognized value.

Today, there are four age cohorts with very different financial needs with a fifth coming on in the next two years. These groups are:  Baby Boomers (1946-1959), Cuspers (1960-1968), Busters (1969-1978) and Millennials (1978-1990). A fifth group born since 1991(and tentatively called the “Next” generation) is in the wings, but its muscle will not be felt for another five years. In this presentation, Ms. Kennedy will look at the broad trends that affect each group and, using case studies, the best communication strategies for connecting with each.   

Among the topics to be covered:

  • What each demographic group wants and needs to know financially. What they seek from an advisor is different than what mom and dad wanted – they are more discerning shoppers,
  • What financial advisers need to understand in communicating with each group,
  • Why the group born since 1991 will provide the greatest opportunities – and challenges – for advisers,
  • Advisor demographics – it’s a gray group, it’s getting grayer, and it’s shrinking.  What does the landscape look like for the younger advisor generation?, and     
  • How can advisors replenish their books in an environment of faster draw downs? 

12:00PM–1:30PM  |  Executive Networking Luncheon

1:30PM–2:45PM  |  Concurrent Breakout Sessions – Choose 1 of 2

Breakout A: Impact Investing Portfolios: A Viable Solution?
The level of discussion among investors and advisors around the topic of impact investment – investing with the goal of generating measurable social and environmental impact along with financial return – is clearly at a high watermark. Is it, as some believe, a silver bullet for generating new sales, calibrating for uncertain financial markets, and addressing staggering needs just around the corner? That, of course, remains to be seen. This session, building on an impact investing white paper recently released by MMI and Impact Economy, will seek to cut through the hype and focus on the actual opportunity for investors. 

Moderator: William Burckart, Managing Director, Impact Economy (North America) LLC

Amy Bell, Executive Director, Head of Principal Investments, Social Finance, JPMorgan Chase & Co.
Joel Hornstein
, Managing Director, American Dream Fund
Mark D. Sloss, Senior Portfolio Manager, Head of Premier Portfolio Services, UBS Wealth Management Americas 

Breakout B: A Deeper Dive with Marilyn Moats Kennedy
Ms. Kennedy, a well-known speaker and career consultant, is an expert on managing different generational groups in the workplace as well as on the most effective ways to market and sell to various age cohorts. As an extension of her earlier general session presentation, she has offered to let the audience for this session determine its topic by choosing among the following:

  • Generational Attitudes Toward Money
  • Aging Populations and the Pension Crisis
  • Millennials Look At Their Parents' Money Management

You were asked to cast your vote after you registered online – and the majority will rule!

Marilyn Moats Kennedy, Chief Executive Officer, Moats Kennedy Inc.  

2:450PM–3:30PM  |  Refreshment and Networking Break with Exhibitors

3:30PM–4:45PM  |  Distribution Lessons from the Leaders

Let’s face it—certain investment management firms are consistently recognized for their sales and distribution prowess. Their effectiveness can be measured not only in net sales, but by advisor loyalty and strong partnerships with key accounts. This panel of senior sales executives from leading asset managers will share their secrets for success and challenge you to think about these critical topics:

  • Common traits of top distribution teams – access to portfolio managers, market commentary and thought leadership – how does your firm stack up?
  • What type of distribution model do you have – channelized, non-channelized, hybrid or other?
  • What are you doing to maintain profit margins with distribution costs going up?
  • What type of ongoing distribution training does your firm provide? Are wholesaler credentials important? Why and which ones?
  • What do top-rated internal sales desks do differently than their competition?
  • What is the role of social media in your distribution model? How do you handle compliance issues?   

Moderator: James Lyons, Head of RIA Advisory Sales & Western Division Manager, Allianz Global Investors

Paul Cahill, National Sales Director, Virtus Investment Partners
John Moninger, Managing Director, Retail Sales, Eaton Vance
Jim Supple, Executive Vice President, Fidelity Investments        

5:00PM–6:15PM  |  Cocktail Reception with Exhibitors - Courtesy of

6:30PM–9:30PM  |  Gateway to Leadership Industry Recognition Dinner

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

7:30AM–8:45AM  |  Breakfast and Networking with Exhibitors

8:45AM–9:45AM  |  New Approaches to Asset Allocation: Building Portfolio Resilience

With problem solving as a goal, outcome-oriented portfolios are on the rise, demanding a different approach to asset allocation in a period marked by low returns and high volatility. Portfolio resilience matters in such an environment, and traditional investment strategies have struggled to hold value during volatile periods. This panel will offer a fresh perspective, examining a number of modern asset allocation strategies that seek to deliver improved portfolio efficiency. 

Topics will include:

  • Managing risk and providing specific outcomes or return streams – often drifting across traditional styles, asset classes or market caps,
  • How new approaches challenge conventional wisdom and what financial advisors are doing to blend them into existing allocations,
  • Investment solutions designed to improve the probability of financial success and lifetime income,  
  • A look at newly emergent retirement income strategies, and
  • With interest rates near all-time lows for the safest fixed income investments, a discussion of how investors can be best positioned with respect to fixed income.

Moderator: Christopher C. Thompson, Head of Intermediary Distribution, Marketing and Product, Columbia Management

Philip Camporeale, Executive Director, Client Portfolio Manager, Global Multi-Asset Group, JP Morgan Asset Management
Jim Celico
, Managing Director, Alternative Investments, F-Squared Alternative Investments
Jeffrey Knight
, CFA, Head of Global Asset Allocation, Columbia Management

9:45AM–10:45AM  |  Concurrent Breakout Sessions – Choose 1 of 2

Breakout A: The Continuing Evolution of ETFs: A Look Ahead
In 2013, global sales of ETFs were just shy of $200 billion, new asset classes were added, and sponsors continued to bring more diverse products to market. This expert panel will walk through the two distinct factors driving this evolution – product development and distribution.

Topics will include:

  • Who is buying and why?
  • The evolution of smart or strategic beta alternatives.
  • Which firms will become the big players in active ETFs – will it be traditional active managers rolling out active ETFs or will these firms play a sub-advisory role for traditional ETF sponsors?
  • Ownership trends – who uses which products, how they are being employed, and how business intelligence is aiding in distribution.

Moderator: Bobby Brooks, Executive Vice President , National Sales Manager, Invesco PowerShares

Dennis Geelan, Senior National Accounts Manager, Intermediary Business Group, State Street Global Advisors
Pete Quinn, President and Chief Operating Officer, RiverFront Investment Group
Pete Thatch, Managing Director, Head of Third Party Programs, Merrill Lynch
Paul Weisenfeld, Managing Director, Director of Funds, Morgan Stanley Wealth Management

Breakout B: Outcome vs. Performance: The Mutual Fund Perspective on Goals-Based Investing
Approaching goals-based investing from an investment perspective, this panel of mutual fund professionals will discuss – in the context of building holistic solutions that align with client goals – the fund solutions being tailored to fit into a goals-based portfolio construct.

Topics to be covered include

  • Is there an authentic shift in philosophy under way among advisors towards measurement by outcomes and away from evaluation by benchmarks?,
  • If so, how are advisors implementing portfolios differently and how well does the “advisory model” meet goals-based planning needs,
  • What they are hearing from the advisory community about clients’ attitudes toward goals-based investing,
  • How quickly asset managers are developing – and advisors adopting – specific solutions that fit into a goals-based portfolio construct and the tools that advisors anticipate will be necessary, and
  • How well investors – and advisors – understand the challenges involved in preserving and growing capital on an inflation-adjusted basis, mitigating volatility, principal risk and loss avoidance.

Moderator: Paul Schieber, Regional Vice President, Principal Global Investors

Michael Kay, President, Financial Life Focus, LLC
Alexandra Levi, Managing Partner, Element Financial Group
Scott D. Zelniker, Senior Vice President – Wealth Management, Senior Financial Advisor, Senior Portfolio Manager, PIA Program, The Zelniker & Dorfman Group, Merrill Lynch Wealth Management

10:45AM–11:45AM  Industry Outlook: The Future of the RIA Business

The evolution of the RIA channel from a cottage industry to a significant force in the financial advisory and wealth management space has been well documented. Experts representing broker-dealer, product manufacturer, and technology or investment supplier firms will debate the future of the RIA business from different viewpoints – examining the forces driving the growth and how traditional distribution channels are responding.

Discussion topics will include:

  • The rationale for the continued expansion of the RIA channel, including the regulatory drivers and a look at current RIA data analytics,
  • The Broker-Dealer perspective: How the wirehouse, independent and regional broker-dealers are adjusting their business models to provide reps with more flexibility and affiliation options, 
  • The RIA perspective: Tactical and strategic considerations when weighing the RIA model, decision criteria when evaluating custodian firms, what to look for in service provider partners, how best to evaluate them, and
  • The Manufacturer and Service Provider perspective: What prompts a firm’s decision to work with RIA firms, what are the distribution challenges, and how are the investment and service needs of RIAs different from those of traditional reps.

Moderator: Kian Rafia, Vice President, Product Development, Cetera Financial Group

Michael Bryan, Senior Vice President, Advisory Services, Triad Advisors, Inc.
Michael Partnow
, Director and Financial Solutions Consultant, Pershing LLC, a BNY Mellon company
Mark Pennington
, Partner, Global Relationship Management, Lord Abbett & Co.

11:45AM  |  Closing Remarks & Adjournment

Hotel Information

Hilton New York
1335 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY  10019
(212) 586-7000

The MMI group rates of $279/single and $289/double plus taxes/night are available until March 24, 2014.

Click the link below:
New York Hilton Midtown - MMI Spring Convention 2014


Call 1-800-HILTONS and reference the MMI Spring Convention 2014: MMI (group code).

Registration Fees

The convention registration fees are as follows:

MMI Member Registration Fee:  $1,250

Non-Member Registration Fee:  $1,550

Cancellations: No refunds will be granted for cancellations after 5:00pm ET on Friday, March 14th. Substitutions are permitted. Please notify MMI at (202) 822-4949.


MMI Industry Leadership Recognition Dinner

On April 1, 2014, MMI will honor excellence in the Advisory Solutions industry at its sixth annual Industry Leadership Recognition Awards dinner.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014
6:30 p.m.

The Awards dinner will be held on the second night of the 2014 MMI Annual Convention at the Hilton New York and proceeds will benefit MMI’s workplace diversity program, Gateway to Leadership, a 501(c)(3) charity. The Gateway to Leadership program is a partnership between MMI and UNCF that focuses exclusively on the financial services industry, providing internships and career opportunities for students from historically black colleges and universities. With the class of 2014, Gateway will have placed more than 140 qualified students with MMI member firms for summer internships and lifelong career guidance.

The dinner is always a fun and rewarding experience, allowing us to celebrate outstanding performers in the Advisory Solutions industry while helping to pave “The Path to Success” for deserving Gateway students. Tickets for the event can be purchased as part of your registration for the Annual Convention or by calling MMI headquarters at (202) 822-4949.

  • $325 per individual seat
  • $2,500 for a table of 8

($175 of the single seat fee and $1,300 of the table fee is tax deductible.)

RSVP by March 21, 2014

Learn more about Gateway to Leadership.

Sponsor & Exhibitor Opportunities

Who Should Sponsor and/or Exhibit?

  • Technology and service providers
  • Data information/management firms
  • Sponsors and investment managers
  • Industry media and publications
  • Turnkey asset management firms
  • Executive search firms
  • Industry consultants and research firms

Download Sponsor & Exhibitor Prospectus

CE Credit

IMCA accepts 10 CE hours (toward CIMA®/CIMC®/CPWA® certifications) for the March 31-April 2 MMI 2014 Annual Convention. Course ID 14MMI002.


Attendee Registration:
Nia Edwards - nedwards@mminst.org
(202) 822-4949

Speaker Registration:
Laura Payne - lpayne@mminst.org
(202) 822-4949

Fees & Billing:
Michelle Marsh - mmarsh@mminst.org
(202) 822-4949

Sponsorship Opportunities:
Joan Lensing - jlensing@mminst.org
(484) 883-1324

Exhibitor Opportunities:
Linda Pierre - lpierre@mminst.org
(720) 940-5174