SPARK National 2013


Sunday, June 16, 2013

1:00 – 7:00 pm Conference Registration

1:00 – 7:00 pm Exhibitor Setup

Monday, June 17, 2013

7:00 – 8:00 am Continental Breakfast with Exhibitors

8:00 – 8:15 am Welcome & Opening Remarks

Joe Ready, Executive VP and Director, Wells Fargo Institutional Retirement & Trust

8:15 – 9:15 am The Role of Employer Plans in Retirement Savings: Data Makes the Case

Dallas Salisbury, President and CEO, Employee Benefit Research Institute

For nearly 35 years the Employee Benefit Research Institute has provided the industry’s most comprehensive and objective source of data on employee benefit plans. While some question the efficacy and sustainability of the current system, EBRI President and CEO Dallas Salisbury will share data that proves voluntary employer plans are indeed more effective than voluntary individual savings and programs.

9:20 – 9:50 am Break with Exhibitors

10:00 – 11:00 am Record Keeping, What’s Next?

Greg Clark, Executive Vice President – General Manager, SunGard
Jude Metcalfe, President, DST Retirement Solutions
Bob Wuelfing, Executive Director, SPARK Institute (Moderator)

Service providers today are under constant pressure to do more with less, demonstrating their value to clients and focusing on their areas of differentiation. Common to those pressures is record keeping, the engine that often drives change and growth or stalls success. Can we get more from that engine? Can it evolve from where we are today? Where are we headed? In this session, we will ask two of the leading experts in defined contribution record keeping for their perspectives on the challenges and solutions required, not just for today but as we all think about driving success in the future.

11:05 – 11:55 am Perspectives from Plan Consultants

Cynthia Hayes, President, Oculus Partners, LLC

Cynthia will discuss findings from a recent study conducted by Oculus Partners with large market retirement plan consultants. In-depth one-on-one interviews were conducted with consultants from 18 firms who conducted over 200 large market searches in 2012. While these consultants focus primarily on plans greater than $100 million in assets, they actually have a wide range of clients across a number of size segments. The goals of the study were to learn how these specialty consultants manage and operate their businesses, think, feel, and what advice they can offer to help record keepers and investment providers better position themselves for growth. In addition, these perspectives provide great insight into how retirement specialists perform services across all the markets they serve, from plans under $50 million to those over $1 billion in assets. The presentation will focus on five dimensions of the study findings:

  1. Plan Consultant Business Profiles
  2. The Provider Selection Process
  3. Providers Who Stand Out
  4. Plan Sponsor Attitudes and Plan Design Trends
  5. Plan Investments

11:05 – 11:55 am Challenges & Opportunities in the Advisor-Sold Market

Michael Shafer, Vice President, Wealth Management Systems, Inc.

With the needs of advisors and their firms constantly evolving, retirement plan providers need to adjust and evolve their service models and offerings in order to maintain and grow their market share through intermediaries. This session will discuss some of those changes from a WMSI perspective, and provide insight and ideas as to how to convert those challenges into opportunities.

12:00 – 1:00 pmLunch

1:05 – 1:55 pm Washington Regulatory Update

Steve Saxon, Principal, Groom Law Group Chartered

This session will focus on a number of major regulatory issues affecting 401(k) and other individual account retirement plans, including:

  • The President’s proposed 2014 budget;
  • The DOL’s re-proposal of the definition of “Fiduciary”;
  • An update on the 408(b)(2) service provider disclosure regulation;
  • IRA rollovers, including a recent GAO report; and
  • The DOL’s Advisory Opinion on “Swaps”

2:00 – 2:30 pm Break with Exhibitors

2:35 – 3:25 pm Lessons From the Downturn: What Plan Sponsors and Participants Should Really Understand

Stuart Ritter, Vice President, T. Rowe Price Investment Services, Inc.

This session takes a critical look at the recent downturn and the criticisms levied at asset allocation, diversification, 401(k)s, and other fundamentals of retirement investing. We look at the headlines, then move beyond them to better understand what went right, what went wrong, and what

2:35 – 3:25 pm Optimizing the Digital Plan Participant Experience: Online and Mobile Retirement Best Practices

Chase Marshall, Director-Business Development, Corporate Insight
Drew Maresca, Senior Analyst-Retirement Plan Monitor, Corporate Insight

The proliferation of the Web and mobile devices has forever changed how plan sponsors communicate and engage with employees about their retirement savings plans. The introduction of digital resources such as account performance tracking, advice and planning tools and investment screeners has transformed the retirement plan participant experience. These resources are no longer value-adds but integral parts of a sound digital retirement user experience which encompasses the Web, smartphones and tablets. Beyond account and educational resources, providers must ensure that the design of their digital retirement platforms is intuitive and allows for user-friendly navigation. In this session, you will get a first-hand look at the current state of the digital participant experience that leading retirement plan providers offer via online and mobile channels. We will highlight best practices in retirement account information, educational resources, site design, navigation and more. The session will also showcase best-in-class examples from leading firms in other areas of financial services to provide you with additional ideas when building your digital retirement platforms.

2:35 – 3:25 pm Living in the Post Fee Disclosure World

Bob Kaplan, VP and National Training Consultant, ING Retirement Services

This session will explore the impact the DOL’s service provider and participant fee disclosure regulations have had on the marketplace. Among the topics discussed will be:
408(b)(2) Service Provider Disclosure

  • How are margins being cut and plans being re-priced?
  • How will the industry address a possible index or roadmap requirement?
  • Are advisors disclosing their fiduciary status?
  • The problem with brokerage window only accounts.

405a-5 Particiapnt Disclosure

  • Who is actually paying the cost for participant disclosures?
  • What is changing from year one for participant disclosure?
  • How are record keepers supporting distribution partners with value added material?

3:30 – 4:30 pm The Language of Fees: Communicating Fees to Participants

Scott West, Managing Director, Invesco Consulting

Fees have become a contentious issue. So communicating fees effectively to skeptical participants is not just about what to say, it’s about how to say it. The numbers won’t speak for themselves. This entertaining and interactive presentation, based on six years of word research and “The Language of Trust” book, focuses on how to communicate fees in a way that is respectful, beneficial and constructive so that participants are more willing to evaluate the fees objectively.

Skills developed from the presentation:

  • How to talk about fees and how not to talk about fees.
  • Words to use and words to lose.
  • The AAA response that puts you on their side.
  • The three appeals of persuasion.
  • Sample responses to anticipated questions about fees.

5:00 – 7:00 pm Reception with Exhibitors

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

7:15 – 8:15 am Continental Breakfast with Exhibitors

8:15 – 9:05 am View from the Capitol: A Retirement Policy Leader Shares his Perspectives

Congressman Richard E. Neal, (D-MA)

Congressman Richard Neal (D-MA), a senior member of the House Ways and Means Committee, has long been one of the most active and influential members of Congress on retirement issues. Congressman Neal will share his perspective on how tax reform might impact retirement plans and discuss the pro-retirement agenda that he and others are promoting.

9:05 – 9:55 am Ask The CEOs

Chuck Cornelio, President, Retirement Plan Services, Lincoln Financial Group
Bob Guillocheau, President & CEO, Ascensus
Bob Wuelfing, Executive Director, The SPARK Institute, Inc. (Moderator)

This session provides attendees with the opportunity to ask two industry leaders – Chuck Cornelio and Bob Guillocheau – for their candid views on industry trends, issues and challenges. In an interactive format, audience members will be able to question these CEOs about their companies and the state of the retirement market.

10:00 – 10:30 am Break with Exhibitors

10:35 – 11:25 am Secrets of Successful Product Management Practices

Jody Meth, VPractice Director, The BridgePoint Group

Enhanced competition, increasing customer demands and regulatory complexity have made it more important than ever for firms to strengthen their product and service offerings. Product Management teams are being challenged to increase profitability, improve quality and drive innovation, yet many are undergoing their own evolution in developing key processes and tools critical to their success. The BridgePoint Group is at the center of many of these transformations, sharing their insight and experience into the Secrets of Success for Product Management Practices, from ideation through development and adoption.

10:35 – 11:25 am Collective Trusts, A Scalable Solution for RIAs and Investment Advisors

James Breen, President, Horizon Fiduciary Services
William David Hand, CEO, Hand Benefits & Trust, a BPAS Company
Mary Patch, Director of Retirement Plan Services, Trademark Capital

Over the last few years, collective investment trusts (CITs) have been one of the fastest growing asset vehicles for 401(k)s and other DC plans. Because these custom solutions can have lower fees than mutual funds while providing the ability to include uncorrelated, actively managed assets – everything from equities to real estate to commodities – they are being used by RIAs and investment advisors to increase the use of alternative and extended asset classes for diversification and to help participants achieve better portfolio outcomes. Many advisors are also converting 401(k) investment allocation models into collective trusts. In this session, the panelists will discuss the growth of CITs and outline ways that advisors can develop sophisticated asset allocation collective trusts for QDIAs as cost-effective alternatives to traditional target date funds.

11:25 – 11:45 am Break / Check-Out

11:45 am – 12:35 pm Subtle Offense, Aggressive Defense: A Retirement Policy Update from Washington

Derek Dorn, Partner, Davis & Harman, LLP

The related drives for deficit reduction and tax reform will continue dominating Washington through 2013 and beyond. Since retirement incentives are generally tax-based, they will face considerable vulnerability if Congress succeeds in its first fundamental reform of the Tax Code since 1986. This session will explore that vulnerability and the leading reform proposals. The session will also consider the affirmative retirement policy agenda, which emphasizes coverage, lifetime income, and plan simplification. We will examine the President and Congress’s focuses and evaluate prospects.