17 Agenda

2017 Leadership Conference Agenda

Conference presentations are organized around three main themes. This agenda is color-coded to indicate which theme each session advances. Assessing Industry Trends and Implications sessions appear in red. Understanding the Key Drivers of Growth sessions appear in green. Integrating Strategy and Culture to Create Winning Organizations sessions appear in blue.

Wednesday, October 4

12:30 - 5:00pm

Registration Open

2:00 - 3:30pm

Opening General Session

Have Your Say: What Are the Biggest Challenges to Cultivating 21st Century Leadership?

The investment adviser industry continues to evolve at a breakneck pace, driven by technological change and a generational shift in the attitudes of investors, clients and employees. Deliberate cultivation of a corporate culture that will propel an advisory firm to achieve its goals — especially sustainable revenue growth — has become increasingly important.

Cultivating 21st Century Leadership, a new survey for the Investment Adviser Association that's being conducted by GEO Group Strategic Services, seeks to identify the issues investment advisers see as most important within three primary themes:

  • Assessing Industry Trends and Implications
  • Understanding the Key Drivers of Growth
  • Integrating Strategy and Culture to Create Winning Organizations

GEO Group Founder and CEO Leland Russell will outline the survey findings — as well as potential strategies for meeting the challenges they represent — in the conference's opening session. A comprehensive report of his presentation will be available to all conference participants.

3:30 - 4:00pm

Networking Break

4:00 - 5:30pm

Breakout Sessions — AUM

The conference will begin and end this year with AUM Breakout sessions. These breakout sessions – for SEC-registered IAs only – will be peer-led and provide a forum for executives from similarly sized firms to engage in peer-to-peer discussions about issues facing the investment adviser industry. Additionally, this year the Boston-based research firm, Cerulli Associates, will provide a brief benchmarking survey at these sessions and share the results from all AUM breakouts during the Friday morning AUM Breakout sessions.

There will be six separate breakout sessions:

• Under 500 Million AUM • $5 Billion — $10 Billion AUM
• $500 Million — $1 Billion AUM • $10 Billion — $25 Billion AUM
• $1 Billion — $5 Billion AUM • Over $25 Billion AUM

5:30 - 7:00pm

Opening Cocktail Reception

Thursday, October 5

7:30 - 8:30am

Roundtable Breakfast & Introduction of the IAA Active Managers Council

The IAA is launching an Active Managers Council, developed by members, to promote the value and benefits of active management -- through supporting education, research and advocacy. At this special breakfast, members of the Active Managers Council Organizing Committee will share the council’s initial work – and the framework for the important agenda that lies ahead. Please join the conversation!


8:30 - 10:00am

Morning General Session

Employees and Your Corporate Culture: Three TED Talk-Style Presentations

1. Diversity & Inclusion 

Erica Williams is now a partner in the Government, Regulatory & Investigations Group at Kirkland & Ellis  LLP – after serving as a Special Assistant to President Barack Obama and Deputy Chief of Staff to three SEC Chairs. Erica will offer her perspective on diversity and inclusion in the work place, specifically in the investment adviser space.

2. Millennials from a Millennial Perspective

Jilliene Helman — founder and CEO of RealtyMogul.com and a Certified Wealth Strategist, made her first million dollars when she was just 27 years old and landed on Forbes' Top 30 Under 30 List. Helman will discuss how to recruit, hire, train and retain her peers – and your next generation of employees.

3. Why They Do it: Inside the Mind of the White-Collar Criminal

Harvard Business School Professor Eugene Soltes, who has spent years studying the failings of corporate titans whose misdeeds have dominated news headlines. He'll discuss what drives well-educated and well-meaning business executives to commit serious financial crimes.

Assessing Critical Trends in the Asset Management Industry

Peter L. Clark, Managing Director, Jennison Associates LLC
John C. Siciliano, Global Strategy Leader – Asset Management, PricewaterhouseCoopers
Anita Venkiteswaran, Principal, Focus Financial Partners
Paul A. Ehrhardt, Moderator, Investment Business Advisors LLC

Assessing the outlook for "creative destruction" and further M&A and industry consolidation, this panel will explore a range of key questions:

  • Given expected trends and recommended manager responses, what are the key characteristics of likely winner and loser manager firms?
  • What are the most important asset management trends facing the industry today? And what do institutional asset managers and wealth managers need to do to address them effectively?
  • How is the composition and geography of the asset management client base changing globally? And what are client expectations regarding ‘solution oriented' products? How can managers respond to transparency, fee and margin pressures?
  • What are the most important ‘game changer' factors challenging today's asset managers? And what are the most important manager ‘critical success factors'?
  • Why is technology ‘mission critical' for client engagement, operating effectiveness and efficiency as well as regulatory and tax reporting?

10:00 - 10:30am

Networking Break

10:30am - Noon

Breakout Sessions

1. The Unholy Trinity of Digital Threats: What CEOs Need to Know about Cybersecurity, Anti-Money Laundering & Privacy

Eldon Sprickerhoff, Founder and Chief Security Strategist, eSentire
​Ross Marrazzo​, Managing Director, Treliant
Michael J. Waters, Co-Chair, Privacy, Cybersecurity & Media Group, Vedder Price P.C. (Moderator)

Our enterprises are increasingly at risk from elusive, constantly evolving and ever-increasing threats to the security of the critical information that is at the heart of our business operations. And it's no longer enough to refer regulators, clients, stockholders and other stakeholders to your IT division when questions about privacy and information security arise. C-Suite executives must now be knowledgeable and conversant not just about cybersecurity, anti-money laundering and information security in general – they must have a sophisticated understanding of their own firms' programs and practices to safeguard personal and proprietary information, to defend their systems from cyber breaches and to prevent bad actors from using our firms to launder criminally obtained money.

In this Town Hall-style breakout session, members of our panel will share their expertise, their hard-won wisdom and their unique insights into reducing the threat landscape.

CEOs will come away with tools to better understand and be conversant about their companies' overall cybersecurity, AML and privacy programs:

  • Risk Assessment — where are the vulnerabilities vs. what's already been done
    • Third party access to systems/facilities
    • Other weaknesses
  • Incident Response Plan — how does the CEO get contacted and what are the C-Suite roles in the event of an event
  • SEC's view, expectations and exam focus areas

2. Tales of Succession — What Worked? And What Didn't?

Richard Adler, Founder, Red Arrow Capital
Maria E. Smith, CEO, Smith Affiliated Capital Corp.
Jane Williams, Chair and Co-Founder, Sand Hill Global Advisors, LLC
Clarence H. King, III, CFA, CIC, Managing Director and Portfolio Manager, Boston Financial Management
Linda Davis Taylor, Chairman and CEO, Clifford Swan Investment Counsel

Leadership is crucial for any business to survive and flourish – and investment firms in transition must evaluate current business issues and devise appropriate strategies to successfully effect a change in leadership. This panel will look at real-life tales of succession, the successful strategies adopted by some, the missteps made by others – and offer practical advice for planning and executing a change in leadership.

3. Cyber Exposures and Insurance Protection – A Holistic View

David M. Goldstein, Esq., Senior Vice President, Corporate Risk & Broking, Willis Towers Watson
Elizabeth B. Sukay, Vice President, Cyber and Fidelity Leader, FINEX Financial Institutions Industry Practice , Willis Towers Watson

Adviser interest in Cyber Liability Insurance has reached record highs — and for good reason. It seems that each day we read about the ever increasing risks associated with cyber-related crimes, computerized intrusions, or new cyber regulations designed to protect investors. And advisers are paying attention. The number of Cyber Liability Insurance policies purchased has skyrocketed as firms strive to cap risk exposures and satisfy client demands.

But which risks are actually captured by an adviser's Cyber policy?, And how does a Cyber policy differ from coverage available under a standard Fidelity Bond, General Liability Policy, Property coverage, or Professional Liability program? Does Cyber merely fill the gap left by these other policies, or does it provide value beyond other forms of insurance? And how can advisers identify and address any gaps that might still exist in their insurance portfolios?

In this session, we will take a holistic view of what is driving an increasing number of advisers to purchase Cyber-specific insurance, and how various other insurance policies address these exposures, to uncover the best approach to a comprehensive cyber insurance program.

4. Why is Compliance So Costly? Measuring Compliance to Improve Efficiency and Effectiveness

Eugene Soltes, Harvard Business School Professor and Author

Harvard Business School Professor Eugene Soltes spent seven years in the company of the men behind the biggest corporate crimes in history more than 40 once-celebrated and now disgraced executives. His landmark study of business gone wrong reveals that it's more than just excessive greed and hubris that motivated them — and the lessons Soltes draws are crucial at a time when increasing globalization threatens even more devastating corporate misconduct. In this session learn how to:

  • Identify potential problems
  • Incorporate training to prevent misconduct
  • Design compliance systems to help mitigate employee misconduct

5. Reframing the Active vs. Passive Debate

Jennifer Muzerall, Product Development Practice Leader, Cerulli Associates

While it may be the current fashion among policymakers and others to promote passive investment as a low-cost, high value approach to investing, active management is not going away – nor should it. The industry needs to shift the debate from Active vs. Passive to Active and Passive. In this roundtable session, we’ll discuss the future of active management:

  • What are the main priorities for active managers going forward?  
  • Where is the product demand for active and passive strategies by asset class?  
  • What other types of strategies should active managers be exploring?
  • How can active and passive be positioned in adviser portfolios?

Noon - 12:15pm

Networking Break

12:15 - 1:30pm

Luncheon and Featured Speaker: Political Correspondent Mara Liasson

The State of Play in the Nation's Capital

One of America's most respected political reporters, Mara Liasson — the award-winning national political correspondent for NPR and contributor to Fox News Channel — will analyze the political dynamics in official Washington as the conference's featured luncheon speaker. In her more than 30 years at NPR, Liasson has covered Congress and the White House. As national political correspondent, her reporting and analysis can be heard on All Things Considered and Morning Edition. Liasson joined Fox in 1997 and appears as a panelist for Special Report with Bret Baier and Fox News Sunday.

1:45 - 3:00pm

Breakout Sessions

1. Building Client Trust Through Radical Transparency: Why Firms Need to Transform their Approach to Client Communications

Susan Silma, Co-Founder and Partner, CRM2 Navigator

In recent polls by the CFA Institute, investment advisers indicated the most significant obstacle confronting them was "winning and maintaining clients' trust." This interactive workshop will demonstrate how a radically transparent approach to client communication, informed by a clear understanding of what clients want, has the power to reinforce client confidence and grow your firm's business. Participants will explore strategies to differentiate their firm from competitors, communicate value, and strengthen client relationships. Among the specific topics we will discuss are:

  • How to build trust by applying the client lens
  • How to talk to what matters to clients and communicate value
  • How firms can acquire clients when competitors pitch fee-free solutions

2. Marketing and Messaging: Best Practices for Building Your Brand in Good Times and Protecting Your Reputation in a Crisis

Paul Leibowitz, President, Chief Creative Officer & Owner, Leibowitz Branding & Design
Dale Weiss, Senior Vice President, Commcore Consulting Group

In this breakout session, Paul Leibowitz will explore the positive ways an investment adviser can use communications tools and strategies to set itself apart from its competition. He will explore how clients and potential clients interact with your brand – and explore the practical steps for learning about your audience, strategically communicating with consistency across all media, and improving the crucial moment of engagement.

Crisis communications specialist Dale Weiss will address how to protect your firm's brand and reputation in a crisis situation – such as following a cyber breach, or in the event of a major legal or regulatory action or other scandal. Among other things, he will discuss how to create and execute sophisticated crisis communications plans geared toward a range of stakeholders — including clients, the public, law enforcement, regulators and the media.

3. Using M&A to Implement Management and Equity Succession

Jonathan Stern, Managing Director, Berkshire Capital
Peter Boyle, President and CIO, Clifford Swan Investment Counsel
Robert Francais, CPA, CEO, Aspiriant

Most private investment firms must eventually develop a succession plan to deal with both management (including the necessary evolution of the firm’s business development efforts and infrastructure) and ownership. This panel will explore the use of M&A as the solution, including

  • the decision-making process to determine if M&A is the optimal route,
  • acquisition philosophy and business/economic models of potential partners, and
  • real world view of how M&A works as a succession tool, pros and cons.

4. Indexation: The New Bubble, The Greatest Ever

Steven Bregman, Co-Founder, President, Horizon Kinetics, LLC

The indexation mode of investing, most particularly through the Wall Street business end of it – ETF-based asset allocation – has expanded to a degree that it has distorted the clearing price mechanism across virtually every large-cap, liquid asset class. No previous asset bubble has encompassed substantially the entirety of the stock market and bond market, including domestic, international and emerging markets alike. It has also distorted exposures: investors who believe they are buying a low-volatility or foreign or emerging market ETF, or a high-yield bond fund, or a set of diversified investments, are not. They now all share the same systemic risk. Seeing is believing, though, and we’ll show you how to see what you really own, and how it has come to be this way.

Step two is how to find properly diversified investments, those that provide idiosyncratic – not systemic – return characteristics, and with an appropriate level of optionality. They exist aplenty, just not within the ETF-centric, basket-based investing universe.

5. Fee Pressure – Divergent Convergence!

Ken Hoffman, Managing Director, President, Optima Group

Fee pressure in asset management is a growing concern, but is it real? We find significant differences between what’s happening to RIAs that focus on individuals versus those that serve institutions and RIAs through mandate specific or TAMP services.

In this session, we will answer the following questions:

  • Is fee compression real?
  • What segments of the investment management business are under the greatest threat from price competition?
  • How does the success of some robos impact traditional in-person advisor pricing?
  • Does fee pressure put more pressure on wealth advisors, or the institutional managers (passive and active) they use?
  • How are RIAs (wealth and institutional) responding to perceived fee pressures?
  • What impact are fees having on how RIAs manage and position their businesses?
  • What is the future for pricing in asset and wealth management?

3:00 - 3:30pm

Networking Break

3:30 - 4:45pm

IAA Town Hall Meeting

Jane Williams, Chair, IAA Board of Governors
Karen Barr, IAA President & CEO
Gail Bernstein, IAA General Counsel
Neil Simon, IAA Vice President for Government Relations

IAA executives will discuss the political, legislative, regulatory and business challenges facing investment advisers and the initiatives the association has undertaken to address those challenges on behalf of the industry. This town hall-style meeting will include ample opportunity for attendees to pose questions.

6:00 - 10:00pm

Reception and Dinner, with Performance by Second City Comedy Troupe and a Wine Tasting hosted by Napa Valley's Whitehall Lane Winery

Friday, October 6

8:00 - 8:30am

Continental Breakfast

8:30 - 10:00am

AUM Breakouts and Cerulli Benchmarking Survey Results

These breakout sessions – for SEC-registered IAs only – will be peer-led and provide a forum for executives from similarly sized firms to engage in peer-to-peer discussions about issues facing the investment adviser industry. The Boston-based research firm Cerulli Associates will share the results of its benchmarking survey, conducted at Wednesday afternoon's AUM breakouts. There will be six separate breakout sessions:

• Under 500 Million AUM • $5 Billion — $10 Billion AUM
• $500 Million — $1 Billion AUM • $10 Billion — $25 Billion AUM
• $1 Billion — $5 Billion AUM • Over $25 Billion AUM

10:00 - 10:30am

Networking Break

10:30 - 11:45am

Closing General Session

Fun Is Good: How to Create Joy & Passion in Your Workplace & Career

Mike Veeck, Minor League Baseball Owner, Founding Partner, Fun Is Good Employee Engagement Consultants

Mike Veeck believes that anything is possible, that passion drives performance and that fun is critical to success. Often called "the funniest man in baseball," his name is synonymous with fun and creativity, and he continues to blaze new trails each year – as a nationally known speaker, entrepreneur, college professor, marketing and advertising expert, owner of several successful minor league baseball clubs that stage outrageous promotions and founder of the business consulting firm Fun is Good.

Mike's philosophy is a straightforward one: Fun Is Good. Fun is good for business because it creates a more engaged workforce, a better customer experience and a more profitable environment. He has been praised for creating exceptional employee engagement by bringing joy, innovation and inclusion into the workplace.


Closing Remarks, Box Lunches and Departures