Conference Topics

Keynote: John Emerson, former US Ambassador to Germany (ret.) & Vice Chairman at Capital Group on geopolitics, trade and populism in this disruptive era — where are we headed

What we have observed in the post global financial crisis world is the unevenness of globalization. From a macro level, while the aggregated data shows that globalization has created significant opportunities and wealth while bringing billions out of poverty, the imbalance of the recovery, workplace transitions driven by advances in technology and automation, and rapid cultural changes that accompany globalization have given rise to people, regions, and politicians challenging the status quo.

The voices of left populism (more socialistic) and right populism (more nationalistic) are voices of discontent, amplified throughout the echo chamber of social media, and demanding change. Moreover, the 4th Industrial Revolution, which threatens job security and replaces entire industries adds more fear and uncertainty in a warp speed world. The rise of China and the withdrawal of America from active global leadership may well give rise to conflicts that are not transitory. Finally, there is the question of the ability of the EU to hold together with Brexit, and the strength and resolve of the European community will surely be tested during the next recession.

The Ambassador will share his observations and insight about where the current path will lead us and will examine the question of whether things are really as bad as they seem.

Keynote: An industry in transition – a conversation with Dick Darian, CEO, Wise Rhino Group

As we stand on the precipice of the largest single generation in U.S. history transitioning into retirement and reaching the lowest point of their human capital, the financial services industry is experiencing seismic shifts that will redefine how future products and services are designed, delivered and consumed.

The obvious impact from this demographic shift is quite predictable on the retirement and asset and wealth management industries. But this, otherwise orderly transition, has been disrupted by regulatory emphasis on fiduciary duties and the digital revolution; not to mention the ongoing fallout of the Great Recession resulting in the possible Japanification of our economy in compressing of returns and low yields for decades to come.

These factors and changing client needs are resulting in revenue shrinkage, fee compression and value-examination. Mergers, acquisitions, tuck-ins, JVs, and startups are springing up across all segments in the financial services industry and everyone is in “search mode” for a path to survival and prosperity. The trend has been clear and many current players will cease to exist by 2025. This is even assuming no serious financial recession.

Plus, these other hot topics:

  • An industry in transition: A conversation with Dick Darian
  • The changing distribution model
  • Cybercrime: protecting your firm against fraudsters & hackers
  • The new world of investing
  • The rise of global defined contribution systems
  • Fraud prevention & mitigation
  • US Chamber members perspectives on ARP
  • A fresh look at in-plan retirement income
  • Impact of new DOL announcements
  • Securing the end-to-end email process
  • CITs at the tipping point?
  • Auto enrollment in the public sector
  • Blockchain applied to the US retirement industry
  • Managing risk inherent in client transitions and platform conversions
  • Upgrading HSAs: legislative & regulatory opportunities
  • Geopolitics, trade & populism in this disruptive era – where are we headed?
  • Building retirement income into investment menus: best practices & innovative solutions
  • GAO’s study of cyber security for retirement plans
  • Financial wellness
  • Communicating a lifetime income
  • Washington update