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Fi360 Conference

2011 Conference

Thanks to everyone who attended the 2011 Fi360 Conference in San Antonio!

The below speakers appeared at the 2011 Fi360 Conference. A detailed agenda with slotted dates and times for all conference events can be downloaded here. Most of these sessions were recorded and are available for download by AIF and AIFA designees via the Designee Portal. If you have any questions, please email conference@fi360.com.

2011 Speakers
Christopher Dodd
Peter Elkind
Blaine Aikin
Rich Lynch
Dan Bernstein
David Blanchett
Mercer Bullard
Bob Clark
Jeff Cleveland
Mario Giganti
Peter Gulia
Liza Horvath
Don Jones
Fi360 Tools Team
Greg Kasten
Johann Klaassen
Tom Kmak
Michael Koffler
Stephen Lansing
Barbara Lewis
Ed Lynch
Kevin Mahoney
Karen Matingou
Lynne McAuley
Jim McMichael
Mark Mensack
Mike Montgomery
Carlos Panksep
Jim Patrick
Sharon Pivirotto
Terrance Power
Scott Pritchard
Scott Reed
Fred Reish
Ron Rhoades
Knut Rostad

KEYNOTE SPEAKERS


Speaker: Senator Chris Dodd
Topic: Business, the Economy and Washington: A Look at Dodd-Frank's Impact on America
Description: Senator Dodd will be speaking from his first-hand perspective as one of the co-authors of the Dodd-Act Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, in particular focusing on its affects on standards of care for financial advisors and fiduciary protections for investors. Senator Dodd will also be taking questions from attendees.

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Speaker: Peter Elkind
Topic: Business Ethics and Washington Regulation
Description: Peter Elkind is co-author of The Smartest Guys in the Room: The Amazing Rise and Scandalous Fall of Enron, author of Rough Justice: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer and editor-at-large at Fortune magazine. He will be sharing his insights on the state of ethics in business and government, the need for smart regulation for financial services and the important role fiduciaries can serve in raising the bar for investor protections.

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Speakers: Blaine Aikin and Rich Lynch
Topic: State of the industry address
Description: Introductory remarks and state of the industry address from Fi360. 

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BREAKOUT SESSIONS


Speaker: Dan Bernstein
Topic: Regaining Clarity During Regulatory Instability
Description: OK, we get it. Past performance really is no indication of future results. Yesterday's "hot topics" are just today's old news. But all the while, the level of hype and rhetoric emanating from state and federal securities regulators is at an all-time high and competitive threats are seemingly coming out of the woodwork. So what is a small business to do when navigating through this highly-regulated area?

Join MarketCounsel's Director of Professional Services, Dan Bernstein, as he surveys the day's most pressing legal and regulatory issues affecting investment advisers. In his session, he will provide some much needed clarity on these new and proposed changes, their effect on investment advisers, and ideas for maintaining regulatory compliance. Attendees will gain a comfortable handle on the issues at hand, develop some action items for maintaining compliance and perhaps, along the way, even identify some business opportunities amidst this regulatory chaos.

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Speaker: David Blanchett
Topic: Exploring the Cost of Socially Responsible Investing
Description: Socially Responsible Investing (SRI), also known as sustainable investing, socially-conscious or ethical investing, describes an investment strategy which seeks to maximize both financial return and social good for an investor. While SRI may be good from a moral perspective, it is less clear how well SRI portfolios performance against their non-SRI peers, both on a pure return and risk-adjusted basis. This presentation will explore this topic, through an analysis of actively managed mutual funds categorized as "Socially Conscious" by Morningstar, as well as the performance of various SRI and "sin" indices through time. The presentation will also cover unique considerations for plan sponsors (as well as fiduciaries in general) that choose to offer SRI investments to plan participants and the unique benchmarking implications associated with SRI investments, especially from a peer group perspective. Based on research recently published in the Journal of Investing.

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Speaker: Mercer Bullard
Topic: SROIIA - The Self-Regulatory Organization for Independent Investment Advisers
Description: Professor Bullard will discuss: (1) why a self-regulatory organization for investment advisers such as SROIIA is likely to be authorized by Congress, and (2) the key issues facing SROIIA or any other entity that intends to offer an alternative to FINRA as an IA-SRO.

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Speaker: Jeff Cleveland
Topic: The Art of Economic Forecasting & the US Economic Outlook
Description: Why economic forecasting is important, but it's more of an art than a science.

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Speaker: Liza Horvath
Topic: Developing and Implementing Appropriate Investment Policy for Trusts, Sub-Trusts and Endowments
Description: Developing appropriate investment policies for trusts and sub-trusts based on the needs of the income beneficiary while keeping remainder beneficiaries interests in mind. Marketing to attorneys, endowments, family foundations and non-profits through the use of investment policy and fiduciarily responsible investing. Communicating investment policy compliance to develop and retain clients.

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Speaker: Greg Kasten and Jim McMichael
Topic: Moving beyond target-date investing. Professionally managed 401(k) plans are the answer.
Description: In this session we will challenge the premise that participant direction is in participant's or plan sponsor's best interest. We will show how to take the next logical step in advising 401(k) plans. Studies suggest plan participants are perhaps the worst class of investors. As fiduciaries we are not only required to know a professional alternative exist but to offer it to our clients.

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Also see the following article from InvestmentNews.com


Speaker: Johann Klaassen
Topic: Clients and Patients: Informed Decisions, Informed Consent, and the Presentation of Financial Plans 
Description: As investment advisors and financial planners, we have a fiduciary duty-and a broader moral obligation-to ensure that our clients understand at least the broad outlines of the plans we recommend to them. The general shape of the obligation to help our clients make "informed decisions" are not worked out with any more clarity that this, though perhaps because the financial planning profession is still a relatively young one. There is another profession with a remarkably similar obligation, of course: Physicians have an oblication to obtain the "informed consent" of a patient before beginning almost any course of treatment. There is a large academic literature on the concept of informed consent, and while there is a wide agreement about the basic concept, there are large areas of disagreement about the details. In this session I will focus on the problem of relevant information and "framing effects." It's widely understood, in both medicine and finance, that the way in which options are presented makes a huge difference to even the most rational-seeming of choosers. If a patient or client can be manipulated simply by the way in which information is presented, can we ever really be sure that we've helped them to become a properly informed decision-maker? I believe that financial planners, like physicians, must walk a very fine line between respecting our clients' rights to make financial decisions for themselves and our duties to help them make those decisions that we believe will be in the clients' best long-term interests.

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Speaker: Tom Kmak
Topic: Value Standards: The Next Logical Step for our Industry
Description: The last few years have produced an unprecedented amount of attention on fees in our industry. Unfortunately, almost all of these articles treat the services associated with these fees like a commodity, which Wikipedia partially defines as: "equivalent or nearly so no matter who produces it." Anyone remotely familiar with our industry will realize that there are many differences between service providers that are truly important to both plan sponsors and participants. The problem, however, is that our industry has yet to agree upon the metrics that define these important services. Thus, this session will try to do two things:

  • Clearly demonstrate that the adoption of value standards greatly propel an industry forward
  • Propose three important value standards that will help propel our great industry forward

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Speaker: Stephen Lansing and Peter Gulia
Topic: Understanding and Utilizing Computer Based Retirement Plan Participant Investment Advice
Description: The Pension Protection Act of 2006 added new investment advice prohibited transaction exemptions to ERISA. These new regulations have called attention to computer modeled participant investment guidance and advice. Fiduciary practitioners still face a series of quandaries that can challenge them in providing, or advising about, investment advice: a) How are the prior rulings, such as the SunAmeria advisory opinion, reconciled with the proposed prohibited exemptions? b) What are the practical implications of the proposed regulatory guidance and directives? c) What criteria should be used to evaluate a vendor? d) How can/should advisors adopt computer advice modeling in their practice? The presentation material will provide a sample RFP advisors can use in working with computer based services.

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Speaker: Barbara Lewis
Topic: Get a Black Belt in Marketing: How to Avoid the Top 10 Pitfalls for Successful Marketing
Description: As a professional speaker, Barbara Lewis is an energetic and entertaining presenter, who educates audiences. Using her black belt as the springboard, Barbara will take attendees through belt colors describing marketing pitfalls with real world examples. Although her presentations are based on research and data, which are the results of her MBA training, her speeches are peppered with concrete examples and colorful case studies that bring the material to life and inspire attendees to get a black belt in marketing by following proven, successful marketing tenets.

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Speakers: Ed Lynch, Lynne McAuley and Don Jones
Topic: The World Inside the CAFE
Description: Prudent Practices for Investment Stewards (PPIS) and the Consultant's Assessment of Fiduciary Excellence (CAFE) are excellent resources to improve existing plan governance and to have assurance that plans are operating prudently. However, because they are so comprehensive, anyone using it quickly realizes that in many areas they are outside their realm of expertise and competence. This is especially disconcerting for those investment advisors who embrace acting in a fiduciary capacity. This talk will cover the CAFE process in detail and will highlight areas within the CAFE where insight is needed that are outside of most advisors' expertise. For example, the CAFE addesses issues of conflicts of interest, self-dealing and prohibited transactions in very broad terms. Yet, under ERISA, these terms have very specific meanings. Advisors conducting assessments and certifications should understand what steps are required to determine that the investment steward has not engaged in any prohibited transactions or engaged in self-dealing.

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Speakers: Ed Lynch, Lynne McAuley and Don Jones
Topic: Helping Your Client Know How DOL Thinks
Description: By working closely with your clients, you know their weaknesses. But is your client vulnerable to being audited by DOL and how can you tell if the audit involves a serious issue or not?

During this panel session, former DOL investigators will explain the various ways that plans are targeted for investigation. Some investigations are routine and just involve submitting basic plan documents to DOL to review. Other investigations can become black holes for your clients and go on for a protracted period of time.

While implementing prudent investment practices are an excellent defense, how can you assess if a client is vulnerable? What information should you review and how should you analyze it? What situations suggest that a participant has contacted DOL?

This discussion will address how DOL often works and what steps the investigators take to prove or disprove a violation. Panel members will share their past experiences and offer guidance for investment advisors who want to assist their clients. By the end of the session, you will:

  • Be in a better position to help your clients avoid audits
  • Know if the audit is routine or not
  • Help your client prepare for the audit
  • Analyze Form 5500 and Financial Data
  • Recognize what issues are targeted
  • Understand how investigators frame prohibited transactions and administrative weaknesses as prudence violations
  • Understand what motivates an investigator to close an investigation
  • Reduce or avoid penalties for your client

In addition, the talk will cover the open-source nature of FPG's virtual association of professionals as a resource to enhance and leverage relationships with current clients and to gain an advantage in developing new business.

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Speaker: Kevin Mahoney
Topic: Transitioning to fiduciary standard from the suitability standard
Description: In an uncertain regulatory environment, wirehouse advisors can begin the transition from a suitability standard to a fiduciary standard. Following a prudent process can enable advisors to get a jump on the regulators without running afoul of their compliance department.  Process driven steps help advisors to recognize, avoid and manage conflicts of interest while delivering value to clients.

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Speaker: Mark Mensack
Topic: What is your Professional Code of Ethics, and do you have the moral courage to adhere to it?
Description: The aging demographic of America and the vulnerability of their retirement income security is a serious threat to the US Economy. I will outline how AIF®/AIFA® designees are in a unique position to lead and implement the effort to strengthen this vulnerability, and like some other professionals they have an obligation to do so.

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Speaker: Jim Patrick and Michael Koffler
Topic: A Fiduciary's Challenge: Practical Advice for an Industry in Transition
Description: Changing rules and blurring boundaries make for confusion, from insurance products to "changing hats." Get practical advice on how to manage the 3Cs - Costs, Complexity, and Conflicts. Learn more about how technology can help you satisfy fiduciary standards. Bring your own practice conundrums to discuss with the group. This session will be an open discussion with the audience.

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Speaker: Carlos Panksep and Scott Reed
Topic: Leveraging the Level 2 CAFE to generate consulting business and CEFEX Certifications
Description: Scott Reed, CEO, Hardy Reed Capital Advisors, will provide an update to his highly popular 2010 session, "Are You the Hammer or the Nail?", describing how his firm has made fiduciary assessments the fastest growing part of his business.

Carlos Panksep, General Manager, CEFEX, will provide an update on the CEFEX program including a description of how CAFEs are evolving, new standards, new services and new markets.

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Speakers: Terrance Power, Scott Pritchard and Mike Montgomery
Topic: Multiple Employer Plans: An institutional-level fiduciary and administrative solution for the smaller end of the 401(k) market

Description: This will be a lively discussion on the features and benefits associated with 413(c) Multiple Employer Plans for unaffiliated plan sponsors. The session will focus on the recent emergence of multiple employer plans as both an independent fiduciary solution and as a significant cost-savings tool for plan sponsors in the small to mid-sized 401(k) market. The panelists will address the proposed Department of Labor fiduciary regulations as they apply to the parties in a multiple employer plan arrangement, the use of multiple employer plans as a means to insure compliance with the upcoming 408(b)(2) and 404(a) regulations, and the role of the advisor to their client in the client's role as a multiple employer plan adopter.

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Speaker: Fred Reish
Topic: 408(b)(2) Disclosure and Agreements
Description: The new disclosure requirements under 408(b)(2) must be fully satisfied by December 31, 2011 for your ERISA-governed clients. Then, beginning on January 1, 2012, each new ERISA client must be engaged through a 408(b)(2)-compliant process. This program covers the requirements in the 408(b)(2) regulation and their impact on your service agreements and your intake process. The program will also discuss the legal and practical considerations for transitioning your existing clients under 408(b)(2).

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Speaker: Fred Reish
Topic: The New Fiduciary Proposal and Its Consequences
Description: The Department of Labor has issued a proposed regulation that expands the definition of fiduciary investment advice. As a result, the changes will increase the number of people who will be considered to be fiduciaries. The DOL leadership has said that a final regulation will be issued no later than the end of this year. These changes are significant and will require advisers to clearly define whether they are acting as fiduciaries or not and to adopt practices that are consistent with their status. The program covers the proposed changes and some of the practical consequences.

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Speaker: Ron Rhoades
Topic: What Are the Specific Fiduciary Duties of Those Providing Financial and Investment Advice to Retail Consumers?
Description: Investment and financial advisors must exercise "due care" and "act in the best interests" of their clients.  But can we elicit from these general legal concepts more specific principles?  In this session Ron explores more detailed principles, derived from case law and administrative rulings, which can serve to guide the actions of fiduciary advisors.

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Speaker: Ron Rhoades
Topic: The New Form ADV Part 2 Disclosure Requirements: How They Relate to Your Investment Strategies and Product Due Diligence
Description: Item 8 of the new Form ADV, Part 2A "requires that advisers describe their methods of analysis and investment strategies" and "that advisers explain the material risks involved for each significant investment strategy or method of analysis they use and particular type of security they recommend, with more detail if those risks are unusual."  In the event of legal challenge, fiduciaries hire experts to meet their burden of proof as to the viability of their investment strategies and the sufficiency of their investment due diligence efforts.  But the Daubert and Frye standards require expert testimony to possess either sound academic foundations or back-testing of the investment strategy.  Join Ron for insights into your investment strategies and investment product due diligence - will they stand up to judicial review?  And how can you enhance your disclosures in Form ADV?

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Speaker: Knut Rostad and Bob Clark
Topic: An Update from The Committee for the Fiduciary Standard
Description: By stepping back and getting out of the regulatory trenches for a moment, this session will be a broader discussion of the consequences (intended and unintended) of legislation / regulation (a uniform standard, 'harmonization'), the financial crisis, and other socio-economic forces on the future health of the fiduciary standard. 

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Speaker: Don Settina, Sharon Pivirotto, Karen Matingou and Mario Giganti
Topic: Prudent Practices Applied
Description: What are the current industry 'best practices' for investment committees? What are most advisors doing from a service standpoint to add value? How do these services match up with prevailing standards? This session will shed light on the challenges and solutions to implementing best practices by reviewing the results of the Prudent Practices Research Study conducted by Financial Service Standards. Some practices are easily met while others are more of a challenge. Find out how advisors are applying practical solutions to implement processes that demonstrate all key practices are being met. Hear first hand from Center designees on solutions they've implemented into their service model to meet the practices.

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Speaker: Ron Surz
Topic: Fiduciary Responsibilities in Target Date Fund Investing 
Description: Fiduciaries have a responsibility to select the best target date fund (TDF). Despite their status as Qualified Default Investment Alternatives (QDIAs), we can't just pick any TDF, or rely on procedural prudence to choose one of the "Big 3." So who defines "best"? This session provides the insights and understandings that fiduciaries need to make this determination. 

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Speaker: Gary Sutherland and Marcia Wagner
Topic: Affirmative Fiduciary Liability Coverage and ERISA Bonding
Description: An open dialog on fiduciary issues including the legal, ethical, best practice and insurance concerns.

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Speaker: Duane Thompson
Topic: Lobbying for Fiduciary Principles, or, Stories about Sausage Making
Description: As the old saying goes, "Law and sausage are two things you do not want to see being made." This presentation covers some of the sausage-making experiences of the presenter after 20 years of lobbying in state capitols from Hawaii to Maine and in the nation's capitol. Although the 1939 film classic, "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington," created a fiery storm of criticism at its release, its idealistic message - that a single person can effect change - still resonates today. Join the presenter in this interactive session as we review the current debate over fiduciary principles in Washington, D.C., and what you can do to bring a higher form of the culinary process to Washington.

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Speaker: Katie Umile
Topic: Selling Yourself. Utilizing Fi360, CEFEX & Your AIF®/AIFA® Designation to Win New Business.
Description: This session will discuss how to maximize the resources that come with your designation and use these resources to effectively communicate the value it can provide to your clients and potential clients. This session will give a practical overview of how to take your designation from the classroom to the street and win new business.

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Speaker: David Upton
Topic: Sharia Investing: A very brief introduction to Islamic Finance
Description: This session will cover: 1) The philosophical basis for Sharia compatible finance and how it differs from conventional finance e.g., the prohibition on interest (riba) and excessive uncertainty (gharar). 2) The effect of the resulting prohibition on interest (riba) and excessive uncertainty (gharar) on the acceptability of conventional investments - what is permitted and what is not permitted. 3) The availability of Sharia compatible alternative financial solutions. 4) How this would affect fiduciary practices.

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Speaker: Fi360 Tools Team
Topic: Fi360 Toolkit - Producing highly customizable reports with the new Report Template Editor
Description: This session is ideal for individuals who are familiar with the core Fi360 Toolkit functionality. We will focus on the new Report Template Editor. Specifically, we will review how you can create a custom report template, including options such as color schemes, page layout (portrait or landscape), logos and disclaimers. We will then dig deeper into the options related to individual report sections, such as, selecting and ordering them within a custom report template, and the specific options available on a section-by-section basis. Lastly, attendees will learn how to utilize the custom report templates from the various areas of the Fi360 Toolkit, including: My Clients, the Investment Analyzer, and Recommended Fund Lists. After attending this session, attendees will know how to create unique report templates which are custom designed to match their firm's corporate design and how to utilize the report templates throughout the Fi360 Toolkit.

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Speaker: Fi360 Tools Team
Topic: Fi360 Toolkit - Tracking historical client and investment data
Description: This session is ideal for individuals who are familiar with the core Fi360 Toolkit functionality. We will focus on several areas of the Toolkit that allow for the historical entry, tracking and reporting of client and investment data. Some of these new sections include: the My Clients new period-by-period storage system, the updated Investment Commentary area, the enhanced Custom Due Diligence section. After attending this session, attendees will know how to store historical client and investment data and how to utilize this data in their investment reporting.

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Speaker: Fi360 Tools Team
Topic: Fi360 Toolkit -Creating, managing and documenting a Custom Due Diligence process
Description: This session is ideal for individuals who are familiar with the core Fi360 Toolkit functionality. We will focus on the enhanced Custom Due Diligence feature that now not only allows for user-defined factors, thresholds, and "optional/required" compliance, but also multiple period tracking and missing data compliance options. We will cover the various options and how they can be translated into client reporting and general investment reporting. The new due diligence report section will also be reviewed in detail. This new section allows for a historical look at each chosen due diligence criterion and provides a significant and powerful view of an investment's due diligence status. After attending this session, attendees will know how to create a unique Custom Due Diligence process, integrate it within a client's investment policy statement, and use it with client or general investment reports.

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Speaker: Fi360 Tools Team
Topic: Fi360 Toolkit - Building, analyzing, and utilizing models
Description: This session is ideal for individuals who are familiar with the core Fi360 Toolkit functionality. We will explore the different ways that models can be created and used in the Fi360 Toolkit. We will begin with a review of the Resampled Efficiency™ process used in the Asset Allocation Optimizer. Next we will take a look at the new Optimizer interface and how it can be used to build models that are accessible throughout the Toolkit. We will explore how the models can be utilized in client investment policy statements, model portfolios, and other areas within the Toolkit. Finally we will explore some of the reporting options available in the Toolkit that help advisors review client asset allocations and compare the allocations to allocation models. After attending this session, attendees will know how to build a model in the Toolkit using the Asset Allocation Optimizer, or other methods and know how to utilize the model within the Toolkit. 

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