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Fi360 Conference

2013 Conference

Thanks to everyone who attended the 2013 Fi360 Conference in Scottsdale!

The below speakers appeared at the 2012 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.

GENERAL SESSIONS



Keynote Speaker: Nate Silver
Title: The Signal and the Noise – How advisors should value predictions, filter out unreliable data, and incorporate useful data into their activities

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Description: Based on his best-selling book titled The Signal and The Noise: Why Most Predictions Fail — But Some Don't, author Nate Silver will look at how data-based predictions underpin a growing sector of critical fields, from political polling and hurricane watches to the stock market and even the war on terror. That means it's important to ask — what kind of predictions can we trust? What methods do the most reliable forecasters use? What sorts of things can be predicted — and what can't? Nate will take us on a tour of modern prediction science and the implications for investment advisors trying to make sense of it all, uncovering a surprising connection among humility, uncertainty, and good results.

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Speakers: Blaine Aikin, Dan Bernstein, Ron Rhoades, and Skip Schweiss
Title: Trust Relationships at a Crossroads: a Conversation Regarding the Current and Future State of Fiduciary Affairs

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Description: The future of the traditional fiduciary standard, one tested by centuries of common-law guidance, is anything but clear as Washington politics increasingly holds sway. Both the SEC and DOL are contemplating substantial rulemakings that could dramatically alter the current standard as we know it today. Whether the changes favor a strong standard, or one watered down by special interests is at a crossroads.To set the stage for the 2013 Fi360 Conference, we’ll welcome a Who’s Who panel of fiduciary thought leaders to share their thoughts on what the future holds for the fiduciary standard. Fi360 CEO Blaine Aikin will serve as moderator in an informal panel setting to examine the prospects for change in what promises to be an eventful year for fiduciaries; whether those changes will be helpful or harmful to advisors, service providers, and investors; and what conference attendees should begin thinking about now to prepare for those eventualities. Join us in a provocative discussion that will help set the tone for an impressive lineup of educational programs that follow over the next two days.

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Speakers: Rich Lynch and the Fi360 Team
Title: Welcome to the 2013 Fi360 Conference

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Description: Introductory remarks, conference logistics, an update on Fi360, 2013 Article Competition winning article presentation, and Committee for the Fiduciary Standard 2013 Fiduciary of the Year Award presentation.

MASTER'S TRACK SESSIONS


Master's Track sessions have been developed for audience members who already have basic knowledge of fiduciary standards of care and how they apply to the specific topic being covered, and are looking for more advanced content. These sessions are open to all conference attendees. The sessions and speakers on the Master's Track were selected in consultation with a committee of practitioners from Fi360's membership who have attended previous Fi360 conferences.



Speaker: David Blanchett
Title: Understanding the "Cost" of Guaranteed Lifetime Income Options

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Description: The decline of defined benefit plans have left many retirees or near-retirees seeking guaranteed lifetime income options to hedge against longevity risk. While insurance products cannot (and should not) have a positive expected value for the purchaser, the respective costs and attractiveness varies greatly among the different products available. This presentation will provide an overview of some of the more common guaranteed income products and introduce a framework to better help financial advisors determine the "cost" of the guarantee.

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Speaker: David Blanchett
Title: Alpha, Beta, and Now…Gamma

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Description: When it comes to generating retirement income, investors arguably spend the most time and effort on selecting 'good' investment funds/managers—the so called alpha decision—as well as the asset allocation, or beta, decision. However, alpha and beta are just two elements of a myriad of important financial planning decisions, many of which can have a far more significant impact on retirement income.

In this presentation we introduce a new concept called "Gamma" designed to quantify the additional expected retirement income achieved by an individual investor from making more intelligent financial planning decisions We focus on five fundamental financial planning decisions/techniques: a total wealth framework to determine the optimal asset allocation, a dynamic withdrawal strategy, incorporating guaranteed income products (i.e., annuities), tax-efficient decisions, and liability-relative asset allocation optimization.

We estimate a retiree can expect to generate 29% more income on a "utility-adjusted" basis using a Gamma-efficient retirement income strategy when compared to our base scenario, which assumes a 4% constant real withdrawal and a 20% equity allocation portfolio. This additional income is equivalent to an annual arithmetic return increase of +1.82% (i.e., Gamma equivalent alpha), which represents a significant improvement in portfolio efficiency for a retiree. Unlike traditional alpha, which can be hard to predict, we find that Gamma (and Gamma equivalent alpha) can be achieved by anyone following an efficient financial planning strategy.

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Speaker: Dr. Greg Kasten
Title: The Non-Fiduciary Position in Legal Filings

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Description: Today many vendors seem to market fiduciary services, yet in litigation their legal filings reveal how they immediately disavow fiduciary status and actually place blame back on the plan sponsor. This wide disparity and confusion surrounding fiduciary services usually finds the plan sponsor standing alone in court.

This session is for advisors seeking to enter or expand their practice model in the retirement plan servicing and retirement fiduciary services. Advisors must be able to understand which services are broad and which services are narrow in scope, especially when viewed from court filings adversarial to plan sponsors by the same vendors.

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Speaker: Ed Lynch, Charles Humphrey, Susan Mangiero, and Michelle Sullivan
Title: Due Diligence for Alternative Investments

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Description: Plan sponsor fiduciaries have additional responsibilities when portfolios include alternative asset classes. Due diligence by financial advisor on behalf of an ERISA or public plan must take into account issues such as lock-ups, leverage, access to capital, key person risk and valuation. The Advisor's responsibility is to educate his clients regarding these responsibilities. This session will focus both on the legal issues and the internal control compliance issues that cannot be ignored by anyone with a fiduciary responsibility to prudently select and monitor. This session will describe the impact of Dodd-Frank on investing in alternatives, various court cases and regulatory enforcement actions as well as the DOL/IRS regulatory guidance on alternative investment allocations.

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Speaker: Robert Michaud, Dr. Michael Phillips, and Dr. James Chong
Title: Opportunities and Risks of Low Volatility Portfolios

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Description: There is currently much enthusiasm for low volatility investing. After a decade of disappointing market returns with periods of extreme volatility, investors have increased their appetite for non-traditional passive and active investments. Enter low volatility strategies, which have emerged as a way to not only lower risk, but also to increase return at the same time. But are there really free lunches? What risks are involved in low volatility investing?

In this session, experts from New Frontier Advisors and MacroRisk Analytics will take a look at these questions. New Frontier Advisors will first take a look at how traditional low volatility strategies may be riskier than you think. This includes a look at how low volatility funds will underperform in rising markets, the challenges this presents to building a diversified portfolio, and risk of leverage. Then MacroRisk will cover how general economic conditions should be considered when investing and managing trust assets. They will compare several alternative portfolios to demonstrate that superior performance is attainable when fiduciaries address economic exposure. The session will conclude with an opportunity for Q&A.

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Speaker: Anders Smith
Title: Economics of Retirement Plan Profitability

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Description: How many of your plans are actually profitable? As a business leader, maintaining a profitable practice is critical to your long-term success and future business growth. In the session, you will learn how to factually analyze your retirement plan business using a plan evaluation tool including revenue potential, cost of servicing the business, creating a disciplined approach to shaping your prospective efforts, and analyzing new business opportunities. You also will gain insights into the variable elements that impact potential revenues or costs and the relative "weight" impact on the overall profitability picture.

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Speaker: Lee Topley
Title: Fees have been Disclosed, but are they Understood?

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Description: Fee disclosures will meet the DOL requirement for reporting, but will plan sponsors and participants be able to easily understand what they receive?

This session will help add some clarity to the new fee disclosures, both at the sponsor and participant level. Fee disclosure requirements became effective in July and August of 2012 and were intended to provide more clarity (transparency) to the recipients for the fees actually being paid. Advisors can add to their value proposition by better understanding and helping the sponsors and participants with the interpretations of these disclosures.

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BREAKOUT SESSIONS



Speaker: Daniel Bernstein
Title: Trending Legal and Regulatory Issues for Investment Advisers

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Description: Regulatory noise has become a constant for investment advisers.  While it’s important to know what changes are impending or at least on the horizon, it is equally vital to filter out what is just noise so you don’t suffer from paralysis by analysis.  The Dodd Frank Act and its mandates to the SEC continue to create most of the headlines.  Will the SEC improve its examinations of advisers through requiring an SRO or user fees?  Will a fiduciary duty be extended to broker-dealers, and will this open a floodgate of “harmonization” that will further blur the distinctions between investment advisers and broker-dealers?  The SEC has been slow to move on these important questions, and a recent mass exodus of leadership at the agency may or may not help.  In this session, Dan Bernstein of MarketCounsel will provide an update on what regulatory initiatives have been passed, those that look like they are moving forward, and those that may be dead which will help you focus your attention where it needs to be.

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Speaker: Trisha Brambley and Liz Davidson
Title: Adding Participant Education to Your Advisory Practice

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Description: How and why adding participant education to your advisory practice can be a revenue generator or major differentiator.

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Speaker: Dan Cassidy and David Kershner
Title: Getting a DB Plan Out of Neutral

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Description: Many defined benefit plans have made little progress toward improving their funded status over the past decade. Even if interest rates spike and markets improve, many companies are not prepared to act accordingly and are unlikely to understand the compliance hurdles of the termination process. This session introduces the best practices from an actuarial, asset allocation and legal standpoint that companies can use to move their plans toward ongoing sufficiency – and eventual termination.

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Speaker: Jeff Cleveland
Title: What can the Human Body Teach us about the Economy?

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Description: This session will provide a macro economic review of the global economy. In particular, the presentation will draw comparisons between the human body and the economy in order to think through the post-recession landscape. 

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Speaker: Troy Doles, Al Otto, W. Scott Simon, and Duane Thompson,
Title: ABB v. Tussey Case Study

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Description: Little more than a year ago, in one of the few ERISA cases to reach trial on the reasonableness of the 401(k) plan's administrative costs, a U.S. District Court ruled that ABB, a manufacturing company with a $1.4 billion plan, failed to monitor recordkeeping fees and ignored its own IPS, awarding plaintiffs nearly $37 million in damages and $15.2 million in attorneys’ fees and costs. During the month-long bench trial, expert witness Al Otto, AIFA®, was interrogated by plaintiff's counsel about his reliance on the Prudent Practices for Investment Stewards. That the expert witness was pressed repeatedly over his use of a prudent process was evidenced by the attorney’s unflattering characterization of the Prudent Practices as the "great book" numerous times. Join Al Otto, Troy Doles, and Fi360 Senior Policy Analyst Duane Thompson as they review the case, and the hard lessons to be learned by plan fiduciaries when they deviate from the IPS. We also will examine with special interest how well the Prudent Practices stood up under one of its first legal tests. With Tussey now set for appeal, please join us and learn more about this groundbreaking case.

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Speaker: Charles Goldman
Title: Marketing the Fiduciary Standard to the Mass Market

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Charles Goldman will address one of the most important issues facing consumers and true fiduciary advisors today: how to find each other.  In today's media saturated world, consumers do not know who to trust or what questions to ask to find an advisor that they should trust.  Advisors find themselves competing against well funded marketing campaigns and have no capital or brand with which to fight for consumer mind share.  Goldman will argue that advisors have an option: create a brand that stands for putting the consumer first!

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Speaker: Jason Gordo
Title: Step by Step Guide to Growing Your Practice using the Fi360 Toolkit

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Description: This session is for Advisors who want to learn how to double their business. By demonstrating the method used by our firm, Valley Wealth, Inc., we will show how establishing a strong community presence via specific event hosting (not seminars) can build credibility and brand recognition. Establishing this credibility leads to new prospects. Learn how to use the Fi360 toolkit, specifically the scatter plot, scoring tool, and model portfolio system when meeting with prospects to win significant business and establish yourself as the subject matter expert. This session will be fun, energetic, and rewarding.

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Speaker: Joe Gordon and Mario Giganti
Title: How to Help your Plan Sponsors / Responsible Plan Fiduciaries Build a Risk Management Moat around their ERISA Plans

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Description: AIFA designees Joe Gordon and Mario Giganti will discuss their experiences in launching the CEFEX Service Provider Disclosure Review Program (SPDR) to help plan sponsors/RPFs use a Socratic means of evidence-based documentation to determine that the service provider fees meet the "reasonableness" test for the services rendered under ERISA section 408(b)(2). Moderated by CEFEX's Carlos Panksep, the speakers will discuss the use of the SPDR, the challenges and time constraints in gathering and verifying data, the limitations of various benchmarking databases, and the actual certification submitted to legal at Drinker Biddle for the issuance of the legal opinion. We will also discuss the pricing for existing clients versus new clients, how to market this service, and its evolving adaptation in an environment whereby the DOL now asserts they want evidence of fiduciary training in plan audits.

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Speaker: Robert Higgins
Title: Plan Corrections Programs: Recognizing Client Problems and Finding Solutions

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This session is for advisors, TPAs, and consultants of ERISA plans on how to avoid and/or resolve fiduciary/plan operation violations. The session will go over a series of case studies to demonstrate how you can help client plan sponsors identify potential problems and their immediate solutions, including self-correction solutions, professional assistance, and available IRS and DOL programs.

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Speaker: Dr. Greg Kasten
Title: Prudent Benchmarking of Target Date Funds

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Description: Target date funds are becoming common in most 401(k) plans, yet standardized benchmarking has proved to be elusive. Some studies suggest as much as half of all assets in 401(k) plans will reside in target date funds in a few years. Are target date funds the best QDIA, or are they just easy? Advisors must be able to understand target date indexes and be able to deliver a prudent process to select and monitor these funds. Most importantly, advisors should determine if target date funds produce the best retirement success outcomes and offer alternative strategies if needed.

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Speaker: Dr. Johann Klaassen
Title: Conflicts of Interest: Discovery, Mitigation, and Disclosure

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Description: Fee-only advisors like to believe that we have, by our choice of compensation structure, eliminated all conflicts of interest with our clients. But it's just not true! In this session, we will discuss the types of conflict of interest that we all face, what we can do to minimize those conflicts, and what kind of disclosures we must make.

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Speakers: Brian Lakkides, Ed Lynch
Title: Building a Virtual Fiduciary Organization

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Building a full service fiduciary consulting practice requires a range of skills and expertise not possessed by any one person and which would be prohibitively expensive to staff up to provide.


Speaker: Mark Mensack

Title: Retirement Plans, the Wizard of Oz, and You: Understanding the Ethical Imperative of Fiduciary Responsibility

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Description: Many people do what’s legal because they fear punishment; some people do what is ethical because of concern for others. While fiduciaries face numerous legal requirements, very few appreciate the ethical imperative underlying those requirements. Based upon the speaker’s 401k Ethicist column in the Journal of Compensation & Benefits, and utilizing principles of bio-medical ethics, this presentation will explore the ethical imperative underlying fiduciary responsibility including: ethical aspects of the fiduciary vs. suitability standards; negative vs. affirmative ethical obligations; uninformed voluntary consent and ethical salesmanship, and the moral hazard of fiduciary responsibility.

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Speaker: Alan Norris
Title: Pitfalls, Traps, and Best of Practice Considerations in the 401(k) Front Lines

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Description: What are the key areas of building a practice that is dedicated solely for the benefit of the 401(k) plan beneficiaries? How do investment fiduciaries get tripped up in building service model teams? How does this impact the faces of retirement? This session provides some thought provoking insights on how you may want to approach the challenges of connecting with the small 401(k) market place from both a plan service and marketing perspective.

Learn what the faces of 401(k) plan participants represent

Evaluate how you are connecting with plan sponsors

Appreciate what it means to earn your clients trust and how it can impact their lives

If you are a relatively new AIF or AIFA designee searching for insights in connecting with plan sponsors, an investment fiduciary looking for the missing pieces to growth and expansion, this session may just make a difference on how you proceed.

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Speaker: Scott Reed and Sharon Pivirotto
Title: About to Get the Best of Me

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Description: If you are at this conference you are one of those in our industry who are committed to doing what is right. Is the lack of structure in the process about to get the best of you? Scott Reed will share some initial meeting successes and failures and will give you a list of do's and don'ts that will increase your chance of success and Sharon Pivirotto will lay out the process for getting out of the boardroom and into the relationship.

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Speaker: Fred Reish
Title: The Adviser’s Role in A 408(b)(2) Prudent Process . . . and in the Implementation of Decisions

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Description: While most of the attention regarding new 408(b)(2) rules focuses on the disclosures themselves, the law is really about the due diligence obligations of the plan sponsor. And yet many plan sponsors are not ready for this responsibility. This session is for advisers who are assisting plan sponsors in engaging in a prudent process to evaluate 408(b)(2) disclosures and the steps that should be taken when compensation is found to be unreasonable.

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Speaker: Fred Reish
Title: Participant Disclosures: Where Advisors Need to be Involved

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Description: Fee and services disclosures have been making the headlines, but what are the other plan disclosure and participant disclosures that are not as well understood or not being complied with? For example, under the participant disclosure rules, there are certain disclosures that must be made by the ERISA plan administrators concerning asset allocation models (if the plan doesn’t intend for the asset allocation models to be considered to be designated investment alternatives). Furthermore, there are distribution issues, as the disclosures will need to be handed out initially and annually thereafter.

Drawing from his experience preparing RIAs for new disclosure rules, Fred Reish will highlight some of the disclosures most advisers are not paying attention to.

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Speaker: Dr. Ron Rhoades
Title: Brokers Were Fiduciaries in 1930’s, and Remain Fiduciaries Now

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Description: Often overlooked in all of the conversation regarding Section 913 of the Dodd Frank Act, and the authority granted to the SEC to extend fiduciary duties to brokers (and their registered representatives) who provide "personalized investment advice," is the state common law application of fiduciary status. Early on in the 20th Century state courts recognized that brokers were fiduciaries with respect to their clients – either in a limited fashion (best execution) or more broadly (when investment advice was offered). Even the SEC and NASD (now FINRA) recognized this status. Even today, claims for breach of fiduciary are the number one claim asserted in FINRA proceedings. Ron explores these early cases, recent cases imposing broad fiduciary status, and examines the possible effect of DOL/EBSA's proposed extension of fiduciary duties to IRA accounts.

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Speaker: Jason Roberts
Title: Regulatory Compliance: Targeting Solutions for Your Clients’ Greatest Challenge

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Description: The Department of Labor (DOL) has increased its examination and enforcement capabilities and is committed to a "strong, vigorous and comprehensive enforcement policy." Indeed, investigations are on the rise, and the DOL has recently issued a number of rules that will significantly affect sponsors of ERISA-covered retirement plans.

Many plan sponsors are not aware of these changes and lack the time or experience to adequately prepare and will require assistance to develop and implement processes to properly intake, evaluate and report the required information. While most plans rely upon financial professionals for help with investment-related issues, the majority of financial professionals are not equipped to provide actionable guidance when it comes to other fiduciary duties. By implementing scalable solutions to manage plan governance challenges, experienced plan advisors can differentiate themselves and enhance client retention and prospecting opportunities.

This session will explain how advisors can develop consistent and repeatable processes to manage information-gathering, evaluation, reporting, and documentation functions for the plan’s fiduciaries. By streamlining fiduciary decision-making, advisors can save themselves and their clients valuable time and energy – leaving more opportunities to focus on helping participants maximize their benefits under the plan.

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Speaker: Knut Rostad
Title: The Weakened Fiduciary Standard in 2013 in Regulatory Rulemaking and the Public Square: How we Got Here, What We can Do About It

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Description: Under an Administration that takes pride in curbing Wall Street excesses, it is particularly disheartening that the position of the fiduciary standard in regulatory rulemaking is weaker and the position of fi duciary skeptics and opponents is stronger today compared to 2009. Rulemaking at the DOL and the SEC has stalled under opposition; the outlook in each agency is uncertain. So many statements about the fi duciary standard from skeptics or opponents were, generally, unsubstantiated or dubious on their face, or just plainly inaccurate. But they worked in Washington. This session describes how we got here; what we can do to reverse course.

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Speaker: Douglas Rothermich, Ero Johnson, and Kevin O'Leary
Title: Fiduciary Strategies to Protect and Grow Your Foundation

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Description: This session will focus on two common and increasingly critical concerns for fiduciaries in the current environment: (a) fiduciary considerations impacting foundation and endowment board members, including how your directors can protect themselves and your organization while making dynamic decisions, and (b) leveraging recent tax law developments for the benefit of your donors and your institution.

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Speaker: Tom Schrandt, Jason Roberts, Gary Sutherland, and Ed Lynch
Title: Evaluating & Vetting Advisors: A Mock Plan Sponsor Committee Meeting

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Description: Sales oriented service providers are always interested in finding out why a sponsor is seeking new service providers. On the other hand, did you ever wonder what happens after the RFPs have been submitted and the presentations have concluded? This mock committee meeting will provide insight into why and how the decision makers are seeking to evaluate their incumbent advisor and or seek a new advisory relationship. If you ever wanted to be a fly on the wall, this is your opportunity. Takeaways will include a list of Top Ten Tips to help you win the next RFP contest.

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Speaker: Craig Watanabe
Title: Enhancing Fund Selection and Monitoring

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Description: This session will address retirement advisers who handle the selection of fund lineups and perform fiduciary monitoring. Academic research will be cited from "Mutual Funds: 50 Years of Research Findings" by Seth Anderson and "Fund Spy" by Russell Kinnell. In particular, research on the Morningstar Star Ranking System, the new MS Analyst Ratings and "active share" will be discussed. How predictive are expense ratios, 3 year track records, manager tenure and a host of other commonly used metrics? This presentation will provide the answers. Specialized methods will be presented for selecting and monitoring stable value funds and target date funds. The session will conclude with suggestions on how to enhance point scoring methods by incorporating proven factors and how to demonstrate results to plan sponsors and investment committees.

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Speaker: Fi360 Tools Team
Title: Create and deliver comprehensive model portfolio reports

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Discover how to build investment specific models and track changes in them over time. We will cover the various model options, benchmarks and re-balancing choices that can affect the report output. Lastly, we will review a basic model portfolio report and factsheet.

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Speaker: Fi360 Tools Team
Title: Build seamless investment proposals to win new business

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Find out how to efficiently create on-demand investment proposals using Fi360 Toolkit features such as a client record, a strategic model and a recommended investment list. We will also cover the various mapping alternatives and review a basic proposal report.

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Speaker: Fi360 Tools Team
Title: How the Fi360 Toolkit has helped my firm

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Hear directly from an existing user how the Fi360 Toolkit has helped them grow and optomize their business movel.

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Speaker: Fi360 Tools Team
Title: Efficiently manage your watch list as a global and client-specific level

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Learn how to streamline your watch list management process using a number of firm-wide settings. We will specifically cover the Watch List Summary, manual watch list decisions, investment commentary and client notes sections.

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Speaker: Fi360 Tools Team
Title: Manage and report service provders fees and services as a value-add or for a 404(a)(5) or 408(b)(2)

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Discover ways to manage service providers, their fees and the services being performed for those fees. We will then review the optimal way to link this information into your client to create a multitude of reporting alternatives.

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Speaker: Fi360 Tools Team
Title: Develop and maintain a recommended investment list

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Description: Learn how to build approved investment lists using the search fi lters and platforms available in the Investment Analyzer. You will also learn how to manage your lists including a feature that re-orders investments within their categories based on your selected criteria.

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