2017 MMI Emerging Asset Managers Forum


Matthew Schleichkorn
Managing Director
MJS Consulting

Robert Tynes
Managing Director
Gratry & Company

The MMI Emerging Asset Managers Forum is part of a broader initiative to build a vibrant community of emerging asset managers within the larger MMI organization – and the program agenda is built with an eye to the unique challenges and opportunities you face. You’ll learn more about the industry landscape and “rules of the road,” hear best practices and success stories, and gain meaningful access to potential distribution partners.

This event is by invitation only to senior executives at select firms. To ensure a highly interactive experience, the size of the group will be limited to 60 participants and no more than two attendees per firm.

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Additional Information


Offices of Charles Schwab
215 Fremont Street, 8th Floor
San Francisco, CA

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March 1, 2017

7:45am – 8:15am
Registration and Breakfast

8:15am – 8:30am
Opening Remarks

Craig Pfeiffer, President and CEO, Money Management Institute

Matt Schleichkorn, Managing Director, MS Consulting Group
Robert Tynes, Managing Director, Gratry & Company

8:30am – 9:15am
Wealth Management Opportunities 2020

To open the Forum, Scott Smith of Cerulli Associates will provide a broad overview and outlook for the wealth management landscape. First up, three key challenges facing the industry – the 3 Ds of demographics, DOL, and digitization – and their implications for sales distribution. Next, Scott will address the evolution of the retail advisory marketplace by channel, the migration of advisors and assets to independent options, and the growth of advisor teaming. He will conclude with specific data on the rise of mega-teams and mini-gatekeepers in both the wirehouse and RIA channels, collectively estimated to now control 54% of industry assets. Given the centralization and specialization that characterize these large practices, learn how sales teams are adapting to the new environment and which distribution strategies are proving most effective.

Scott Smith, Director, Advice Relationships, Cerulli Associates

9:15am – 10:15am
The Lifecycle of an Asset Management Firm

This session looks at the four distinct stages in the business lifecycle of an asset management firm: development, introduction, growth, and maturity. Each stage requires strategic marketing and management decisions regarding costs, opportunities, and risks, and the decisions made at each inflection point are critical.

The panel members, representing firms at different points in the typical lifecycle, will provide a fuller understanding of each stage, the characteristics that define them, and the most important decisions to be made. Attendees will learn:

  • how to maximize their business at each lifecycle stage,
  • the impact that using the right – or wrong – mix of tactics can have on long-term business success,
  • how to spot and take advantage of key challenges and opportunities at each stage,
  • how to assess options at each inflection point – when to invest, harvest, acquire, fold, partner or sell, and
  • the importance of how your firm’s brand is perceived.

Russell Parker,
President, rpmAUM

Peter Brennan
, Head of Distribution, Adelante Capital Management
Rick Garcia, President, PVG Asset Management Inc.
Matt Johnson, Private Client Sales Director, Brandes Investment Partners

10:15am – 10:30am
Networking & Refreshment Break

10:30am – 11:30am
Thriving in a Post-DOL Rule World

Whatever transpires between now and April 10th, the DOL Fiduciary Rule has already had a lasting impression on the industry. Its impact has changed – and will continue to inform – how business is done and how investors view financial advisors. This expert panel will examine:

  • the current status of the DOL rule,
  • the likelihood that the SEC will craft its own fiduciary standard if the DOL rule is overturned,
  • what other legislation or regulatory initiatives might emerge with significant consequences for the industry, and
  • how emerging managers should think about their product line-up and advisor engagement strategies in a post-DOL world.

Frank Gregory,
Principal, FG Consulting

Ted Angus
, Executive Vice President, General Counsel, AssetMark, Inc.
Jason Bortz, Attorney, Capital Group

11:30am – 12:30pm
The RIA Opportunity
Recent research confirms that the RIA channel represents a key growth opportunity for emerging asset managers. A Cerulli report on U.S. intermediary distribution found that the independent RIA channel grew assets faster than any other channel in 2015, with growth of 6.2% for the year compared to 0.9% for all other advisor channels – while wirehouse assets shrank by 1.9%. Looking ahead, Cerulli projects that the RIA and hybrid RIA channels will continue to gain asset market share, rising from 23% in 2015 to 28% in 2020.

To build a relationship with an independent practice and win assets, emerging asset managers must understand the RIA’s unique investment discipline and due diligence process. This panel of RIAs will offer insight and perspective on a number of critical questions:

  • Why do RIAs value emerging managers? What do they find compelling?
  • How does an RIA find new managers? Or do managers find them?
  • What are their initial manager screens? How do they screen firms with short track records?
  • What are the key elements they look at in evaluating an emerging asset manager?
  • What are the operational challenges and benefits to working with emerging managers?
  • How do they determine that a manager is getting too big or losing its nimble edge? 

Mike Wood, Managing Director, National Accounts, Charles Schwab & Co.

Drew Pratt, Wealth Manager, Wetherby Asset Management
Sanjeev Sardana, CEO, BluePointe Capital Management
Eric Thurber, Managing Director and Partner, Three Bridge Wealth Advisors

12:30pm – 1:45pm
Networking Luncheon and MMI/FUSE Survey Results

After you enjoy a networking luncheon with your industry colleagues, Rick Ledbury will share highlights and findings from the recent MMI/FUSE Research survey of emerging asset manager business practices. Key topics include:

  • staffing and resources – the functions supporting a manager’s distribution efforts and the level at which they are resourced,
  • product mix and delivery – the type of investment categories emerging managers are pursuing and how they are being packaged and delivered,
  • sponsor relationships – how emerging managers are engaging various sponsor categories – wirehouse, IBD, and independent RIA – and their level of success in the due diligence process, and
  • supporting infrastructure – other areas fundamental to a firm’s distribution efforts such as CRM, marketing automation, and data subscriptions.

Rick Ledbury, Director, FUSE Research Network

1:45pm – 2:45pm
Meeting Today’s Distribution Challenges: Maximizing Technology and Data

It comes as no surprise that a strong correlation exists between the number of staff that asset managers are able to devote to their distribution efforts and assets under management. Data from the recent MMI/FUSE Research survey indicates that managers under $5 billion in AUM employ a median of 6.5 individuals across external sales, internal sales and marketing functions compared to 22 FTEs for their larger counterparts. Larger firms were also seen to be expanding beyond core sales functions as they grow, especially with specialized marketing and analytics/strategy roles.

So if the reality is that smaller firms can’t compete in terms of the size of their distribution teams, are they at a complete competitive disadvantage? Not necessarily. In today’s environment, while a significant plus, a large sales team is no longer a prerequisite for growth. Market intelligence platforms with increasing data sophistication continue to increase the efficiency of distribution, and many small managers are extremely strategic in how they utilize their limited resources in an effort to compete with players of larger size and scale. This session will focus on two firms that provide data analytics to the institutional and RIA markets and on the latest in platform support for asset management firms.

Darryl Keeton,
Head of Distribution, Homestead Funds

Matt Caulfield
, Executive Vice President, Business Development & Client Experience, Archer Investment Management Solutions
Jarlath Forde, Vice President, Sapient Global Markets
Nick Niebeling, Senior Account Executive, Access Data Corp., A Broadridge Company                     

2:45pm – 3:00pm
Networking & Refreshment Break

3:00pm – 5:00pm
Platform Sponsor Roundtable

This highly interactive two-hour session is the centerpiece of the Forum and was one of the highlights of our October meeting. Designed to provide managers with the opportunity to engage in direct dialogue with decision makers from a spectrum of distribution segments, the roundtable will:

  • put you face-to-face with knowledgeable executives from different intermediary channels,
  • allow platform sponsors to explain the best ways for emerging managers to engage with them and where you can add value, and
  • provide a road map to navigate specific distributors and create natural follow-up steps post-conference.

To provide maximum value and make efficient use of the available time, manager representatives will have the opportunity to submit questions to various platform sponsors in advance of the Forum.

National Firm Channel:
Marc Dextraze,
Vice President, Risk Management, Morgan Stanley Wealth Management
Raymond Joseph, Executive Director, Head of Investment Management Research, UBS Financial Services
Melissa Perel, Director, Investment Management & Guidance, Merrill Lynch Global Wealth Management, Bank of America

Insurance Firm Channel:

Bank Channel:
Brian O’Hara, Vice President, Senior Analyst, Multi-Manager Solutions, Northern Trust Asset Management
Gregory Maddox, Global Manager Research, Wells Fargo Investment Institute

Gregory Maddox
, Global Manager Research, Wells Fargo Investment Instit

TAMP/RIA Channel:
Michael Honer,
Vice President, Portfolio Manager, Lockwood Advisors, Inc, an affiliate of Pershing LLC, a BNY Mellon company
Estee Jimerson, Managing Director, Head of Asset Manager Distribution & Engagement, Envestnet
Michael Kim, Executive Vice President, National Sales & Consulting Leader, AssetMark 

Closing Remarks

Arlen Oransky
, Senior Vice President, Chief Membership & Programs Officer, Money Management Institute

Registration Fee

Forum cost:

The Forum registration fee is $795. 

Cancellations: No refunds will be granted for cancellations after 5:00pm ET on Friday, February 17th. Substitutions are permitted. Please notify MMI at (646) 868-8500.


Attendee Registration:
Nia Edwards - nedwards@mminst.org
(646) 868-8506

Speaker Registration:
Laura Payne- lpayne@mminst.org
(646) 868-8510

Fees & Billing:
(646) 868-8500

Sponsorship Opportunities
Arlen Oransky - aoransky@mminst.org
(646) 868-8505

Platinum Sponsors

  • Archer
  • Northern Trust