2018 MMI Women in Distribution Symposium

September 12-13, 2018 | Chicago, IL
The Westin O’Hare

The Symposium is a gathering of female client-facing professionals designed to inspire, empower and support future women leaders in distribution. 

Symposium Co-Chairs:
Karen Lutomski, Managing Director, Advisor Consultant, Private Wealth Advisory, Nuveen
Anne Steer, Head of Distribution, Congress Asset Management

Presented by the MMI Center for Distribution Excellence, the Women in Distribution Symposium is an exciting new addition to the MMI event calendar.

The inaugural Symposium provides women distribution professionals in the investment advisory solutions space with a unique opportunity to come together, share information and draw inspiration.

Scheduled topics include:

  • Effective negotiating strategies for women
  • Defining your personal value proposition and taking charge of your career
  • Improving your productivity with technology
  • The traits and habits of outstanding performers
  • How a sponsor can help take your career to the next level

Join your female counterparts from across the industry for the Symposium, and then stay on for the third installment of MMI’s Distribution Leadership Forum. A special combination price is available if you attend both events.

Based on the excitement and interest leading up to this first-ever Women in Distribution Symposium, we expect the available slots to be claimed quickly. Attendance is limited to five representatives per firm. Sign up early to reserve your spot and take advantage of Early Registration pricing.

Note: Members of the MMI Center for Distribution Excellence are eligible for an additional $100 off the Symposium – and $150 off if they also attend the Distribution Leadership Forum. Contact MMI at (646) 868-8500 or events@mminst.org for more details.

For questions on this event, please contact Arlen Oransky at aoransky@mminst.org or (646) 868-8505.

Additional Information




3:45 PM – 4:00 PM                            
Opening Remarks
Arlen Oransky,
Executive Director, MMI Center for Distribution Excellence

Symposium Co-Chairs:
Karen Lutomski, Managing Director, Advisor Consultant, Private Wealth Advisory, Nuveen
Anne Steer, Head of Distribution, Congress Asset Management

4:00 PM – 5:00 PM                            
Why Women Don’t Ask: Negotiation & The Gender Divide

Whether they want higher salaries, better career opportunities, or more help at home, women are much less likely than men to ask for what they want. When women do ask, they tend to mimic the forceful, competitive negotiating style favored by men, which often backfires. In this talk, Sara Laschever looks at why women feel reluctant to ask for what they need and deserve—and reveals the shockingly high price women—and their employers—pay when they don’t take steps to combat this widespread phenomenon. A leading authority on the challenges that shape women’s lives and careers, Ms. Laschever will explain how women can recognize more opportunities to negotiate, manage the anxiety they may feel when they approach an important negotiation, and employ negotiating strategies that have been shown to work especially well for women.

Keynote Speaker:
Sara Laschever,
Author, Editor, Cultural Critic, and Coach

5:00 PM – 5:50 PM
Drive & Strive

In this candid discussion, senior women executives and financial advisors debate what it takes to succeed as a woman in financial services. They will share leadership lessons and practical advice on how women can define their own unique value proposition and take charge of their careers—and why it’s so important to give back and empower others.

Arlen Oransky,
Executive Director, MMI Center for Distribution Excellence

Margo Cook,
 President, Nuveen Advisory Services 
Kimberly LaPointe, Executive Vice President, Head of Global Accounts, PGIM
Kathleen Roeser, Managing Director, Wealth Advisor, The Roeser Group at Morgan Stanley

5:50 PM – 6:30 PM
Networking and Cocktail Reception

Ready, set, go. It’s time to work the room! Take advantage of this great group of successful women and make it a personal challenge to make at least five new connections. Introduce yourself … share your story…ask questions. We guarantee you’ll find common ground, gather information and make new friends.


7:00 AM – 7:30 AM

7:30 AM – 8:30 AM                           
Can We Talk? Tales from the Trenches   

Hear from some of the industry’s leading sales executives as members of the MMI Women in Wholesaling Advisory Board share their perspectives on the greatest opportunities and challenges they face in the advisory solutions industry. In a series of rapid-fire “Ted Talk”-style presentations, these inspiring women will share their personal career journeys—their proudest achievements and biggest challenges, surprises and lessons along the path, tips on attaining a healthy work-life balance, and what they wish they had known earlier in their careers. 

MMI Women in Wholesaling Advisory Board

8:30 AM – 9:30 AM                           
Leveraging Your Time with Technology: Attention, Reacting, Multitasking, Task Switching, and Problem Solving

Between juggling professional, family and personal responsibilities—along with the limitation of there being only 24 hours in a day—time has become one of the most challenging assets to manage. Although technology can sometimes seem overwhelming, it can also be an incredible tool to help you manage your time and, ultimately, help you accomplish more each day. Whatever your stage of life or career trajectory, this presentation—with its focus on using technology, including mobile apps—will help improve your productivity and peace of mind both at home and at work. Hear straight from your industry colleagues about how they use technology to balance what matters most to them. 

Rachel Jacobs,
Divisional Director, Head of Strategic Relationship Management, Americas, Macquarie Group

Athena Ole,
Head of Private Funds, Nasdaq Private Market
Melissa Roe, Sales Business Development Manager, Capital Group | American Funds
Jill Somerville, Vice President, Global Strategic Relations, Nuveen

9:30 AM – 10:30 AM                         
Presenting with Impact: Strategies for Effective Presentations

This session will provide a refresher on effective presentations, helping participants increase the clarity and power of their oral communication skills when presenting financial information and conclusions. Our experienced coaches will help you understand the two components of every message that are critical to influencing a decisionmaker to act on your recommendations – what you say and, more importantly, how you say it. Key topics include: the importance of treating every presentation as a conversation; how to captivate audiences and convince them to act on your recommendations; preparing a framework for every presentation; and delivering your message with confidence, clarity, and persuasiveness.

Norma Lana,
Director, Lana Media Group
Jodi Daley, President, West End Productions

10:30 AM – 11:00 AM
Networking and Refreshment Break

11:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Plain Talk from Distribution Heads: Spotting and Coaching Exceptional Talent

Ever wonder what your manager is looking for? Want to know what qualities top salespeople consistently display? Do you need a sponsor to take your career to the next level? This panel of senior distribution leaders will share the traits and habits they observe in outstanding performers, how they coach them to get the most out of their talent, and what it takes to instill a high-performance mindset up and down the sales organization. These experts will also discuss the difference between a mentor and sponsor—and whether a sponsor can help navigate your next career steps and achieve greater success. 

Karen Lutomski,
Managing Director, Advisor Consultant, Private Wealth Advisory, Nuveen

Jeff Carlin,
Senior Managing Director, Head of U.S. Retail, Nuveen
Anne Steer, Head of Distribution, Congress Asset Management
Brett Wright, Co-Head of Client Group, Macquarie Group

12:00 PM
Closing Remarks

Symposium Co-Chairs:
Karen Lutomski, 
Managing Director, Advisor Consultant, Private Wealth Advisory, Nuveen
Anne Steer, Head of Distribution, Congress Asset Management

12:00 PM – 12:45 PM
Networking Luncheon with MMI Distribution Leadership Forum Attendees

12:45 PM
Start of MMI Distribution Leadership Forum

Featured Speakers


Sara Laschever
Author, Editor, Cultural Critic, and Coach


Sponsorship Opportunities

The Symposium represents a unique opportunity to build brand awareness with female distribution executives, showcase your firm's offerings, and make new connections. A limited number of premium sponsorship packages are available.

Arlen Oransky
SVP, Chief Membership & Programs Officer
(646) 868-8505

CE Credit

Investments & Wealth Institute® has accepted the 2018 MMI Women in Distribution Symposium for 1.0 hours of CE credit towards the CIMA® and CPWA® certifications.

Hotel Information

The Westin O’Hare
6100 North River Road
Rosemont, Illinois 60018
Phone: (847) 698-6000

MMI Guest Room Rate: $149 per night (plus taxes and fees)
Guest Room Cut-Off Date: September 5, 2018

Follow this link to reserve a room under the MMI room block or call the hotel directly at (847) 698-6000 and request the Money Management Institute rate. Reserve your room before September 5, 2018 to secure the discounted rate of $149/night (plus taxes and fees). After the cut-off date, room reservations and rates are subject to availability and prevailing rates.

The Westin O’Hare is a AAA Four-Diamond hotel, centrally located approximately 2-1/2 miles from O'Hare International Airport (ORD), and is accessible via the hotel’s complimentary airport shuttle. Hotel amenities include complimentary high-speed internet service in the hotel lobby, spa services, an indoor heated pool and whirlpool, and a WestinWORKOUT® Fitness Studio.

The Westin O’Hare’s complimentary shuttle operates on the following schedule (subject to change):

1:00 AM – 4:45 AM, contact the hotel at (847) 698-6000 to request a pick-up
4:45 AM – 10:30 PM, every 15 minutes
10:30 PM – 1:00 PM, every 30 minutes

Registration Fees

Registration Type Dates Women in Distribution Symposium Pricing Combo Pricing:
Women in Distribution Symposium and Distribution Leadership Forum 
Early Pricing Before 5 PM ET August 24 $595 $1,295
Standard Pricing 5 PM ET August 24 - Onsite $695 $1,395

Cancellation/Transfer Policy

All cancellations are subject to a $50 cancellation fee. Full refunds minus the $50 cancellation fee will be granted for cancellation requests received prior to 5:00 PM ET on Wednesday, September 5, 2018. After that time, no refunds will be granted. Your registration can be transferred to another individual at your firm without penalty. To cancel or transfer your registration, please contact MMI at 646-868-8500.


Attendee Registration:
events@mminst.org or (646) 868-8500

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

Fees & Billing:
Samantha Lustig
slustig@mminst.org or (646) 868-8516

Sponsorship & Exhibitor Opportunities:
Joan Lensing
jlensing@mminst.org or (646) 868-8518