SPARK Forum 2015


Sunday, November 8, 2015

8:00 am Golf Tournament

1:00 – 5:00 pm Exhibitor Setup

1:00 – 6:00 pm Conference Registration

6:00 – 8:00 pm Welcome Reception with Exhibitors –

8:15 – 11:00 pm Meet and Greet with Johnny Bench, accompanied by Cocktails and Dinner –

Monday, November 9, 2015

7:00 am – 5:00 pm Conference Registration

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

8:00 – 8:30 am Welcome, Opening Remarks & SPARK Advisor Award Announcements

Joe Ready, Executive Vice President and Director, Wells Fargo Institutional Retirement and Trust and President, SPARK Institute
Tim Rouse, Executive Director, SPARK Institute

8:30 – 9:20 am BlackRock’s Market Outlook: What to Know, What to Do

Shannon Morton, CFA, Director, Investment Strategist in BlackRock’s Multi-Asset Strategies Group

In this presentation, Shannon Morton of the BlackRock Investment Institute provides a guide to understanding the global economic landscape, and discusses the investment risks – and potential opportunities – facing defined contribution participants in the months and years ahead.

9:25 – 10:15 am Building Evangelists – The Science and Art of Optimizing Client Relationships

Cynthia Hayes, President, Oculus Partners, LLC

In the sales and rebid process, every provider claims to be the ‘best fit’ for their current and prospective clients. But, how can you ensure that your clients really experience that ‘best fit’ feeling every day? This session will focus on the keys to building and maintaining strong relationships with plan sponsor clients, turning them into evangelists for your brand and your services. We will utilize a dynamic multi-media approach in examining today’s best practices as well as future trends in plan sponsor client profiles, and optimal experiences and engagement strategies and techniques.

10:15 – 10:45 am Break with Exhibitors –

10:45 – 11:35 am BREAKOUT SESSIONS

SESSION A – The New Retirementality: Help Them Find It; Help Them Fund It

Scott West, Head of Invesco Consulting

According to American Senior Publishing, Boomers are turning 50 at the rate of 12,000 per day, or one every eight seconds. As they approach age 65, they are likely to turn the notion of traditional retirement on its head. Today’s retirees and pre-retirees are interested in pursuing their own dreams and goals, at their own pace, and on their own terms. The problem is that, even though they’re thinking very differently about retirement, the financial services industry isn’t talking to them differently about it. “The New Retirementality” seeks to provide a fresh perspective for advisors to talk with their suitable clients about retirement, as well as the necessary tools to help them find and fund their retirement lifestyle.

SESSION B – Target Date Solutions Customized at the Individual Level

Josh Cohen, Head of Institutional Defined Contribution, Russell Investments
Jeff Eng, Director, Retirement Income Solutions, Russell Investments

DC plan participants aren’t saving enough to meet their income needs in retirement. They often lack the time, knowledge and experience to set a realistic retirement income goal and develop a suitable asset allocation strategy to achieve it. This session focuses on the benefits of offering participants a ‘target date’ solution customized to their specific circumstances and is supported by recordkeeping data showing how it led to increases in participants’ savings rates and more appropriate asset allocation strategies.

SESSION C – Enhancing Outcomes: The Value an Advisor Brings

Keith Namiot, Director, Head of Employer Sponsored Market Product Development and Implementation, AXA
Fiona Russo, Lead Manager, Insights & Analytics Team, AXA

Due to the challenges inherent in quantifying how advisors add value to plan participants’ retirement goals, AXA commissioned a study to help quantify the value of their service to 403(b) plan participants. In our breakout session you’ll learn about the study’s findings, which drew from interviews with hundreds of plan participants. Only a small minority of those polled by an independent research organization were AXA clients. Working with an advisor brings measurable benefits to plan participants in a way that convincingly counters the “do it yourself” investing mantra. Come learn more about the highlights and details of this exhaustive research.

11:40 – 12:30 pm Managing Competing Priorities

Jody Meth, Practice Director, BridgePoint Group, LLC (Moderator)
David Dunne, Senior Managing Director and Chief Data Officer, TIAA-CREF
Barbara March, CEO, BridgePoint Group, LLC
Joni Tibbetts, Vice President of Retirement and Investor Services, The Principal Financial Group
Bill Yoerger, President, Retirement Services Division, OneAmerica

Most industry service providers have realized that a one-dimensional approach to driving profitable growth isn’t sufficient. Firms today are discovering a need to carefully balance complex and often competing strategic priorities.

Barbara March, CEO of BridgePoint, will be joined by esteemed business leaders David Dunne, Senior Managing Director and Chief Data Officer at TIAA-CREF, Joni Tibbetts, Vice President of Retirement and Investor Services at The Principal Financial Group, and Bill Yoerger, President of OneAmerica Retirement Services in a panel discussion highlighting specific approaches organizations are employing to enhance their firms’ strategic outcomes. Scenarios including new distribution tactics, enhanced product disciplines, technology advancements and human capital strategies will be addressed. Jody Meth, Practice Director at BridgePoint will moderate the session.

12:30 – 1:30 pmLunch –

1:30 – 2:20 pm Lifetime Income Today

Mike Westhoven, Business Development, Lifetime Income Solutions, DST
Jamie Greenleaf, Principal / Lead Consultant, Cafaro Greenleaf

In looking to the future, are we missing what is happening today? Undeniable demand and an evolving landscape has income as a lead issue for plan sponsors and top advisors. Join Mike to recognize all that is here today across regulations, communications, operations and product. Jamie will share case studies on how it’s impacting how plans think about their plan service providers.

2:20 – 2:50 am Break with Exhibitors –

2:55 – 3:45 pm BREAKOUT SESSIONS

SESSION A – Financial Wellness and Aggregation Tools

Bob Ward, Chief Revenue Officer, Vertical Management Systems, Inc. (Moderator)
Blake Allison, CEO and President, Financial Education and Literacy Advisers (FELA) / LifeCents
Brian Hamilton, Vice President, Financial Wellness for Dave Ramsey / SmartDollar
James Smith, Vice President, Client Solutions, Head of Workplace Strategy, Morningstar / Hellowallet

SPARK members are made up of record keepers, banks, mutual funds, insurance companies and consultants that all service the defined contribution retirement market. Increasingly these members are connecting to or partnering with firms responsible for providing participants with Financial Wellness services or allowing these participants to use Aggregation Tools for a more holistic view of their finances. In this session we will hear from some of these service providers about the trends and usages of these tools. We will hear from experts for both advisor driven as well as self-service tools as to what types of participants utilize these products and the results they see.

SESSION B – Convergence of Retirement Planning and Healthcare

Doug Murray, EVP, National Director of Institutional Sales, Wells Fargo Institutional Retirement and Trust
Elizabeth Ryan, EVP, Head of Wells Fargo Health Benefit Services (HBS)

Leveraging HSAs for enhanced retirement planning: Wells Fargo provides insights into how HSAs evolve into meaningful employee benefits when positioned as a complementary retirement account alongside 401(k)s.

SESSION C – Game Changing Trends in the DC Consultant Space

James Bentley, Vice President and National Sales Manager, PIMCO

PIMCO’s DC Practice has prepared the 9th annual Defined Contribution Consulting Support and Trends Survey to help plan sponsors understand the breadth of views and specific consulting services available within the DC marketplace. The 2015 survey captures data, trends and opinions from 58 consulting firms across the U.S., which serves more than 8,500 clients with aggregate DC assets in excess of $3.2 trillion. This session will cover the issues that are trending, and provide insights and key takeaways on consultant services, plan design, QDIA, and other important strategies.

3:50 – 4:50 pm The Emerging State Run Retirement Plan and What It Means to the Industry

Cathie Eitelberg, Senior Vice President, Segal Group (Moderator)
Michael Frerichs, State of Illinois Treasurer
Angela Montez, Senior Vice President and General Counsel, ICMA-RC

As policy makers wrestle with how to expand retirement plan coverage to more Americans some states have taken on the challenge and are seeking to offer their own solutions. To date twenty-two states have started to address the goal of expanded coverage, by trying to set up State Run Retirement plans for private employers. Some States have developed a plan and are on their way to implementing their solution, while others are forming study committees and exploring their options. President Obama has taken notice and instructed the Department of Labor to explore ways to modify Federal Regulations to help support the states in their efforts to expand retirement plan coverage. In this session you will hear directly from State Treasurer Michael Frerichs of Illinois who will describe what their state is doing and the goals they want to accomplish. Cathie Eitelberg, SVP for Segal Advisors and the firm’s National Director of the Public Sector markets will moderate this session and help provide a national view on this topic. Angela Montez, the Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary of the ICMA Retirement Corporation (ICMA-RC), will offer a record keepers perspective on how best to administer these potentially large and complicated plans.

5:00 – 7:00 pm Reception with Exhibitors –

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

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

8:00 – 8:15 am Opening Remarks

8:15 – 9:15 am Retirement in America – A New Era of Responsibility

Charlie Nelson, Chief Executive Officer of Retirement, Voya Financial

There is no question that retirement has become one of our nation’s most significant social issues. With fewer employers offering traditional pension plans and more decision-making power shifting into the hands of individuals, working Americans must take greater control over their own financial security in retirement. Charlie, chief executive officer of Retirement for Voya Financial will address the growing responsibilities associated with retirement today, and what it means for the industry, institutions and individuals going forward. Nelson will discuss how defined contribution plans have evolved over the past 35 years to become our primary means of saving, and how there is still more the industry can do to help employers and workers better prepare for this milestone – even as the definition of retirement continues to change. Looking at current industry data and Voya’s own research, Nelson will highlight some of the major economic and behavioral factors that impact how consumers approach retirement readiness. He will also focus on key trends and opportunities, including the need for our industry to adapt to the digital and mobile landscape, and the benefits of helping workers translate their savings into the tangible terms of retirement income. Nelson will also focus on the collective obligation we share to continue shaping important legislation and policy – including the Department of Labor’s proposed fiduciary regulation – and how everyone must work together in this new era of retirement responsibility.

9:20 – 10:10 am BREAKOUT SESSIONS

SESSION A – Faster Change is Possible: Making Product & Service Information Available to Enterprise Applications Simplifies Solutions for Client Facing Teams

Sean Cronin, Vice President and General Manager, ProcessUnity
Joe DeVita, Partner, PricewaterhouseCoopers

To grow customers intelligently, Benefit Plan Providers need to equip client-facing teams with tools and information that help demonstrate the value of key product and service offerings. Integrating Offer Management information with key enterprise applications (such as Customer Relationship Management) allows organizations to do just that. Join experts from ProcessUnity and learn how to quickly change the game by making critical product and service data available to sales and services teams in the applications they rely on most. This 45-minute technical session will outline a simple approach to improve sales decision-making and strengthen service effectiveness by making trusted offer information available with a single click. The session will reveal:

  • Top questions sales and relationship teams need to answer every day
  • Proven, secure approaches to leverage existing data and deliver actionable insights
  • Case studies on how existing sales and relationship teams can boost their effectiveness

While there’s no silver bullet to solve every sales and services issue, making offer management available to those teams goes a long way to steering clients to preferred, highly profitable services. Join us and learn how to take the first steps.

SESSION B – Commingled Investment Trusts – Latest Trends in DC Plans

Philip Chao, CFP, RPA, AIFA, Chao & Company, Ltd (Moderator)
Bob Gain, Managing Director, BlackRock
Glenn Dial, Managing Director, Head of Retirement Strategy, Allianz Global Investors

This session will explore a brief history of Commingled Investment Trusts and their use in Defined Contribution Plans. Investment Consultant Philip Chao will moderate this session and will explore the current status of CITs; their usage by plan sponsors and trends. Philip will be joined by Bob Gain, Managing Director, Blackrock and Glenn Dial, Managing Director Head of Retirement Strategy, Allianz Global Investors who will share their views and experiences in selling CITs to the DC market. The audience will be encouraged to ask questions of the panelist and raise any concerns they have in record keeping or communicating CITs to participants.

SESSION C – Boomers to Millennials: Change Makes Sense

Christen Marsenison, Vice President, Corporate Strategy and Development, Envisage Information Systems

Christen will discuss the demographic changes of our workforce and what that means for us as an industry. Let’s think laterally about fundamental generational differences between Boomers and Millennials and how those differences impact our delivery of successful and holistic financial solutions.

10:15 – 10:45 pm Break with Exhibitors –

10:45 – 11:35 am Strategies for Growing Your Business in 2016

John Moody, President, Broadridge’s Matrix Solutions Group (Moderator)
Sean Deviney, CFP, Retirement Plans Specialist and Financial Advisor, Provenance Wealth Advisors, LLC
Larry Goldstock, First Vice President, Wealth Management Advisor at Morgan Stanley
Steve Fraidstern, Financial Advisor, Pension Consultant and Co-Founder, Associated Investor Services, Inc.

Growing your retirement business is on everyone’s agenda, but what is the right approach? In this session you will hear from two of the FTs Top 401 Retirement Advisors on how they work with Recordkeepers and TPAs to grow their businesses.

10:35 – 10:55 pm Break / Check Out

11:55 – 12:45 pm Labor’s Fiduciary Rule: The Latest Developments from Washington and What You Should Be Doing Now to Prepare

Sean Cunniff, Specialist Leader, Deloitte Consulting LLP
Chris Gaston, Senior Policy Director, Davis & Harman LLP
Mike Hadley, Partner, Davis & Harman LLP
Dan Rosshirt, Principal, Deloitte Consulting LLP

SPARK Institute maintains an active presence in Washington, interacting with legislators and regulators and commenting on major proposals, including, of course, on the Department of Labor’s sweeping fiduciary proposal. Our Washington Update is one of our most popular sessions. Mike Hadley and Chris Gaston of Davis & Harman LLP, The SPARK Institute’s outside counsel, will provide an up-to-the-minute update on the activity in Congress and at the Department on the fiduciary proposal and other breaking retirement policy developments. Dan Rosshirt and Sean Cunniff of Deloitte Consulting will end the session with tips on what every firm in our industry is struggling with – what practical, “no regret,” steps can we take right now to prepare for a rule where the details and timing are yet to be decided. This session promises to provide critical takeaway information for you to keep your firm prepared to meet your clients’ needs quickly after the final rule is released.