September 2018 MMI Distribution Leadership Forum

September 13-14, 2018 | Chicago, IL
The Westin O’Hare

Forum Co-Chairs:
John Moninger, Managing Director, Retail Sales, Eaton Vance
Mark Spina, Head of U.S. Advisor & Intermediary Solutions, Russell Investments
Brett Wright, Co-Head of Client Group, Macquarie Investment Management Americas

This is the third installment of MMI’s popular Distribution Leadership Forum – the only industry conference to focus solely on distribution in the investment advisory solutions space. The Forum brings together top wholesalers, sales managers, and their home-office partners for two days packed with information, frank conversations, and actionable takeaways. This highly interactive, one-of-a-kind program is designed to help distribution professionals raise their game and become more effective and productive at every level.

To follow up on the sold-out Forum held in February of this year, this edition will tackle topics such as:

  • How to identify your top opportunities and focus on high impact activities
  • Best practices for working with intermediaries
  • The evolution of the modern sales organization and effective internal partnering
  • Successfully integrating new channels and/or product lines into your practice
  • Achieving simplicity in your business planning process and strategy

To promote open discussion and an active exchange of ideas, space is limited. 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 Forum registration fee. Contact MMI at (646) 868-8500 or for more details.

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

Additional Information




12:00 PM – 12:45 PM  
Registration and Networking Luncheon with MMI Women in Distribution Symposium Attendees

12:45 PM – 1:00 PM
Opening Remarks

Arlen Oransky, Executive Director, MMI Center for Distribution Excellence

Forum Co-Chairs:
John Moninger,
Director of Retail Sales, Eaton Vance
Mark Spina, Head of U.S. Private Client Services, Russell Investments
Brett Wright, Co-Head of Client Group, Macquarie Group

1:00 PM – 2:00 PM
Opening Keynote Presentation: Elevate Your Sales Success with the ‘16X Factor’ 

Your top clients and top prospects are 16X more valuable to your business. So how do you make sure you are spending time on the “right” opportunities and maximizing them with “high impact” activities to drive results? This dynamic presentation will lay out specific action steps and practical guidelines to help you:

  • determine the actual value of your top clients and prospects and what they mean to your practice;
  • develop a profile matrix that utilizes quantitative and qualitative attributes to qualify your best opportunities within your current roster of clients and prospects; and
  • systematically identify – and maintain focus on – the most effective tasks to move those clients and prospects through the various stages of the sales process.

Steve Meier, Senior Vice President, Executive Program Director, Sequoia Systems International

2:00 PM – 3:00 PM
Designing the Modern Sales Organization

To remain competitive in the asset and wealth management landscape, national sales organizations need to restructure their current organizational strategy around advisor coverage, territory design and management, sales roles and skills, and advisor engagement. The redefined, more modern sales organization will heavily leverage data and technology, focus greater attention on training and development, experiment with organizational structures, leverage enterprise resources, and update compensation plans to optimize the firm’s approach to the market. Lee Kowarski of DST Research, Analytics, and Consulting will share insights from DST’s thought leadership on the paradigm shifts that are occurring in sales distribution and what they mean for firms and their sales teams. A panel of top wholesalers will then weigh in on these trends – the opportunities and challenges they present, and what the sales organization of the future will look like.

Lee Kowarski,
Vice President, DST Research, Analytics, and Consulting

Tige Hofer,
Regional Director, Delaware Investments a member of Macquarie Client Group
Debbie Simon Michaelson, Vice President, OppenheimerFunds

3:00 PM – 3:30 PM
Networking and Refreshment Break

3:30 PM – 4:30 PM
How Wholesalers Can Grow Their Business by Simplifying Their Strategy

Wholesalers are exposed to countless hours of high-quality product and skills training. Additionally, they work with their managers to put together comprehensive business plans for their territory. This session explores using the Pillar System to turn a wholesaler's knowledge, skill set, and business plans into a simple, but proven weekly strategy. Key takeaways will include:

  • how wholesalers across multiple channels and product lines have grown sales significantly by using a strategy so simple it fits on an index card;
  • designing a wholesaler strategy that achieves results as opposed to simply "getting more done;" and
  • developing a weekly strategy using the Pillar System that allows managers to understand what is happening inside a wholesaler’s business beyond just recent sales and meeting counts.

Jeff Welday, Executive Vice President, National Sales Director, Invesco

David Ingram, Regional Vice President, Hartford Funds
Brian Margolis, Founder,
Lance O'Neal, Regional Vice President, Sammons Retirement Solutions

4:30 PM – 5:30 PM
Amplifying Value through Peer-to-Peer Partnering

Collaborating with advisor consultants who represent distribution platforms and/or single distributors is an important leverage point for asset management investment specialists. There is no proven single approach, but those who excel at even the most fundamental forms of partnering will gain a competitive advantage. This expert panel will explore a wide range of best practices, including how to be relevant to each other, approaching advisors as a team, and delivering impactful joint meetings.

Ryan Dahm,
Vice President, Senior Regional Director, BNY Mellon | Lockwood

Bob Gray,
Senior Vice President - Institutional Sales & Marketing, Dana Investment Advisors
Ted Hellmuth, Senior Vice President, Portfolio Strategist, Boyd Watterson Asset Management
Garrett Pierce, Vice President, Schafer Cullen Capital Management

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


8:00 AM – 8:30 AM

8:30 AM – 9:30 AM
The New World of Asset Management Distribution

Data and analytics have come into the financial services industry like a bull into a china shop, forcing us to rethink efficient product distribution from all angles. In this session, panelists representing three different roles within a distribution team discuss how these new tools are impacting everything from rotation construction and firm segmentation to initial advisor engagement, the structure of advisor meetings, ongoing service models, and internal partnering.

Terry Riordan,
Vice President, Senior Regional Director, Private Wealth & Advisory, Voya Investment Management

Jeff Carlin,
Senior Managing Director, Head of U.S. Retail Distribution, Nuveen
Jeff Robinson, Associate Director, Digital Sales and Service, Russell Investments

9:30 AM – 10:30 AM
Concurrent Breakout Sessions – “Peer-Led” Channel Discussions (choose one of three)

What sales channel do you focus on? Join one of three discussion groups—Wirehouse, Regional/Independent and RIA or Dechannelized—for a deeper dive on important topics. You’ll have a chance to swap information and ideas with your peers from across the industry.

John Moninger,
Director of Retail Sales, Eaton Vance

Mike Matarazzo,
  Regional Vice President, Columbia Threadneedle
Paul Pezza, Senior Vice President, Account Manager for Chicago Market, PIMCO Investments
Christy Ryan, Vice President, Advisor Consultant, Nuveen

Regional/Independent and RIA
Bill Rader,
National Sales Manager, External Sales, American Century Investments

Matt Boren,
Regional Investment Consultant, T. Rowe Price
Joe Clancy, Senior Advisor Consultant, Franklin Templeton
Sri Vemuri, Senior Vice President, Director Internal Sales and Support, American Funds

Mark Spina,
 Head of Advisor & Intermediary Solutions, Russell Investments

Tim Halverson,
Regional Director, Northern Illinois, Advisor & Intermediary Solutions, Russell Investments
Austin Weichbrodt, Vice President, Account Manager, PIMCO Investments
Cary Zborovsky, Regional Director, Wells Fargo Asset Management

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

11:00 AM – 12:00 PM
FA Spotlight: The Evolution of Advisor Needs and Expectations

As financial advisors evolve their practices to keep pace with changing client demands, what they expect from wholesaler relationships is evolving as well. This diverse FA panel will provide perspective on how they are future-proofing their practices, what is – and isn’t – effective in getting their attention, and what makes their “go-to” wholesalers stand out.

John Nersesian,
Head of Advisor Education, PIMCO Investments

Danielle Hennesen,
Certified Financial Planner, Responsible Investment Group, LPL Financial
Paul Rashid, Investment Manager, SAGE Private Wealth Group

12:00 PM – 1:00 PM
Networking Luncheon

Closing Remarks

Forum Co-Chairs:
John Moninger,
Director of Retail Sales, Eaton Vance
Mark Spina, Head of U.S. Private Client Services, Russell Investments
Brett Wright, Co-Head of Client Group, Macquarie Group

Sponsorship Opportunities

The Forum represents a unique opportunity to build brand awareness with field 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 Distribution Leadership Forum for 3.5 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 Distribution Leadership Forum Pricing Combo Pricing:
Women in Distribution Symposium and Distribution Leadership Forum 
Early Pricing Before 5 PM ET August 24 $895 $1,295
Standard Pricing 5 PM ET August 24 - Onsite $995 $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: or (646) 868-8500

Speaker Registration:
Laura Payne or (646) 868-8510

Fees & Billing:
Samantha Lustig or (646) 868-8516

Sponsorship & Exhibitor Opportunities:
Joan Lensing or (646) 868-8518