Conferences

This section contains news and coverage about the dozens of conferences held in the advisory industry every year. Those conferences range from annual events put on by the big custodians to small hands-on workshops hosted by law firms, consultants and tech companies, among others. RIABiz can't cover all the conferences, but this page includes our stories about those we have written about.

We hope that getting a flavor of the different gatherings helps you decide which are worthwhile attending and — if you're in the conference business yourself — what clicks with attendees and what doesn't. Have a suggestion for a conference we should cover? Email me, Brooke Southall at brooke@riabiz.com.


Neesha Hathi says Schwab micro-arranged how its engineers work.

Wild role swaps at InVest 2018 as Schwab recasts its engineers into micro teams and Acorns founder talks macro corporate partnerships

The giants like Fidelity, BlackRock and Envestnet come to get down with the innovators and the startups strut like giants

July 17, 2018 — 10:23 PM UTC by Graham Thomas

Brooke's Note: The waitress is practicing politics as the businessman slowly gets... You know the rest. In RIA land, the corporations are playing small ball and the digital dudes are trying to play grown-up. We get it. It  should be healthy. But after years ...

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Anton Kuzmanov: Private equity understands us.

Why Financial Engines undid its IPO, and what it says about the succession-phobia still paralyzing the RIA business

DeVoe & Co.'s annual event in San Francisco featured RIA-merger rock stars-- Mercer, CAPTRUST and Financial Engines -- whose comments revealed not a note of gloat

July 2, 2018 — 2:47 AM UTC by Brooke Southall

Brooke's Note: David DeVoe led off his conference with a great anecdote about his partner, Tim Kochis, who merged his RIA, Kochis Fitz, with Quintile, to form Aspiriant and immediately and intentionally deserted the scene for six months. Tim Kochis retires, months earlier than scheduled ...

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Lisa Dolly: Bigger is better.

Pershing CEO Lisa Dolly flaunts size and software at INSITE 2018

The new leadership continues to push RIAs to see the custodian as less niche but more nimble

June 11, 2018 — 7:33 PM UTC by Guest Columnist Timothy D. Welsh

Brooke's Note: The message from Pershing was always to judge the book not by its industrial cover but by the pages within. But as time passes and the quality of competitors rises, Pershing is necessarily taking on a more refined look. For RIAs, it ...

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Joel Bruckenstein: MoneyGuidePro is looking to grow into the more complicated planning space with larger RIAs and family offices, where eMoney has been the tool of choice.

At T3 eMoney and MoneyGuidePro redraw the lines of battle and post-API-era blockchain discussion begins

Financial planning software giants zig to each other's zags, Ric Edelman rips the robos and Joel Bruckenstein bobbles

February 12, 2018 — 10:29 PM UTC by Graham Thomas

Brooke's Note: The buzz surrounding technology rises and falls like the recent stock market. Right now it seems muted -- but for RIA software vendors it's always on full blast. See: How tech vendors pierced the glare generated by Fidelity's uni-bundle to get their message ...

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Not a dry eye after "Fearless Girl" spoke.

TD Ameritrade brings tears and cheers to RIAs in Orlando

A little girl blindsided attendees with heart and TD's Veo Village took on a life of its own

February 5, 2018 — 6:13 AM UTC by Guest Columnist Timothy D. Welsh

Brooke's Note: From afar I just can't help noticing three big things about TD Ameritrade. One is the way Veo and its open API has made it connect as closely to a wide swath of RIA vendors as it does to RIAs. Another thing ...

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Tim Hockey: In the industry, retail has a higher return on client assets on a higher revenue base. But both businesses have a strong operating margin.

Tim Hockey goes to Florida with an RIA 'problem' that's not RIAs

The TD Ameritrade CEO relies on 6,000 registered investment advisors for 80% of growth -- skewed by big, big 'bus drivers' like Ric Edelman and Ron Carson

February 1, 2018 — 11:17 PM UTC by Oisin Breen

Brooke's Note: Virtually every RIA custodian is a B2B company behind the scenes and a retail firm for all the world to see (even Pershing Advisor Solutions is pretty closely tied to a big bank.) But TD Ameritrade finds itself in the more unusual position of depending ...

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Tim Buckley: With mutual fund fees coming down, the highest fee is the advisory fee itself.

At Inside ETFs, Vanguard CEO skipped over ETFs to get to a hotter topic -- mass delivery of financial advice

In his first public speech, Tim Buckley warned that asset managers no longer have the target on their backs -- but advisors do

January 30, 2018 — 10:13 PM UTC by Graham Thomas

Brooke's Note: It was stunning to see a new Vanguard Group CEO go to an ETF conference and not talk ETFs, despite having the mother lode of inflows product arsenal to crow about. Tim Buckley talked in great detail about financial advisors -- mostly RIAs, mostly ...

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Shirl Penney (2nd from r., flanked by Rich Gill, Marty Bicknell and John Furey): ​Breakaways should expect to 'pay a 25% settlement fee moving forward.'

An RIABiz advertising exec derives hard meanings from soft comments made by big shots at MarketCounsel Summit

Post-TD Tom Bradley, post-refinanced Elliot Weissbluth, post-divorce David Bach and Ric Edelman, post-protocol Shirl Penney and post-windfall Marty Bicknell were among execs who tipped their hands and hearts about where they are headed

December 12, 2017 — 2:18 PM UTC by Graham Thomas

Brooke's Note: The most overused theme for an RIA speech is "the future of wealth management." Typically, such talks are neither about wealth management nor the future, unless platitudes about digital wealth count. But RIABiz marketing exec Graham Thomas's listening skills, powers of ...

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Greg Fleming: I love the Rockefeller name and brand and family. I'm fixated on it.

How Greg Fleming got props from his 90-year-old uncle by ankling the wirehouses after 25 years and joining a 'small' family concern

From his perch atop Rockefeller Capital Management, the Ex-Morgan Stanley and Merrill exec derives lessons for profitably serving the 'Vanguard set'

December 6, 2017 — 5:38 PM UTC by Dina Hampton

Brooke's Note: You shouldn't stereotype people. You should probably make an exception to the rule for former wirehouse chiefs. Dina Hampton makes that point here in this article with a feathery touch.

A long day of sessions was -- almost -- on the books of ...

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Bernie Clark: We are at an inflection point where new technology craves data, a scenario where incumbents have the advantage.

Bernie Clark uses Schwab IMPACT 2017 as pulpit to preach Schwab scale as firewall to blaze of dystopian big-data future

With no RIA deliverable to pitch, Charles Schwab & Co. execs presented their go-big, 'no goals' vision for managing accelerating external change

November 17, 2017 — 10:45 PM UTC by Guest Columnist Timothy D. Welsh

Brooke's Note: Tim Welsh artfully draws a picture of what happened to 4,000 people in Chicago over a three-day stretch by reducing it to a few broad strokes. Schwab IMPACT 2017 hammered home the point that Charles Schwab & Co. is very, very ...

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Brian Hamburger worked the phones until headliners signed on in droves.

After Brian Hamburger scores Greg Fleming, Tom Bradley, Elliot Weissbluth and other A-list whoppers, MarketCounsel Summit fees will rise

Speakers fresh off making RIA headlines, including ex-Morgan Stanley president who is launching Rockefeller-backed RIA, will address uncomfortable issues, which sends demand up; $1,000 tickets til Monday

November 10, 2017 — 11:09 PM UTC by Brooke Southall

Brooke's Note: The MarketCounsel Summit hit a heat-check peak in 2014 when it got Tony Robbins and Mark Cuban to show up in Las Vegas. Until this year with the booking of former Morgan Stanley ex-CEO Greg Fleming -- a coup calculated to answer the unanswered question in every RIA ...

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Joel Bruckenstein (w/Brian McLaughlin): This can become a de facto industry standard by providing something that does not exist today: true end-to-end protection, as well as a baseline of due diligence.

The T3 Enterprise Conference showed the dark side of the RIA software business in Vegas

RIAs may be reaching a point of diminishing returns in buying software unless RIA custodians can join them in the reinvention process -- with the tenuous fate of cleverDome hanging in the balance

November 7, 2017 — 1:00 AM UTC by Graham Thomas

Brooke's Note: Feel sympathy for our correspondent on the ground, Graham Thomas, as he navigated three cross-currents at T3 -- the enormous potential of technology, the even more gargantuan inertia of RIA custodians and independent brokers-dealers and the all-encompassing jargon and the enveloping hype-cloud thrown ...

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Graham Thomas interviewed Michael Kitces about the elephant in the FPA tent.

The 2017 FPA conference leans heavily on a Michael Kitces unimpressed with the group's 'silence' on the CFP Board

Although its theme was elusive, the Denver-based advocacy group and standard-setter drew 1,800 advisors to the Country-Western capital

October 9, 2017 — 7:57 PM UTC by Graham Thomas

Brooke's Note: Any successful system of governing and accountability starts with checks and balances. At the practice level, firms are undergoing a pretty radical uptick in accountability as RIAs take hold and the DOL rule begins to make its mark on brokers. The CFP Board is also ...

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Mike Durbin draws the brightest lights at his old firm.

eMoney -- with an immense Fidelity presence -- pulls out stops to debut RIA robo AMP, which shared buzz bandwidth with Envestnet M&A

The Radnor, Pa.-based software firm drew 800 attendees with advisors knowing they'd get sun, fun and Mike Durbin thrown in for good measure

October 4, 2017 — 9:10 PM UTC by Guest Columnist Jason Lahita

Brooke's Note: The Fall of 2017 is crackling without much of a spark from the world of robo-advice. That's not because automation or its players are going away. Just the opposite. Yesterday, we showed how far Schwab has come. See: Exploding to near ...

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Greg Friedman (r., with Doug Fritz):This used to be a much more collaborative industry.

Greg Friedman rallies RIAs at Junxure conference -- then news of Envestnet-FolioDynamix deal turns up the heat

The $2-trillion platform consolidation stunned open architecture-minded CRM-users who suspect bundling's advantages may quickly turn to diminishing returns

October 2, 2017 — 9:00 PM UTC by Guest Columnist Timothy D. Welsh

Brooke's Note: Tim Welsh's conference reviews become more fun to edit with each passing week because they are so dang loaded with hard and breaking news. He may be an industry consultant but the UC Berkeley grad is also an accomplished bloodhound when it comes to nosing ...

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