Transformational Trends

2020 was an extraordinary year, in ways we likely have yet to fully understand, and 2021 is proving to be a worthy successor. Join us for a one-day digital seminar on March 24, where we will explore key lessons learned from this extraordinary time for the retirement planning industry.

2020 was an extraordinary year, in ways we likely have yet to fully understand, and 2021 is proving to be a worthy successor.

The pandemic highlighted economic discrepancies as unemployment and food lines grew while the stock market saw record highs. Changes to offices and client service models were made for safety. Meanwhile, new legislation and regulations kept many in the retirement industry busy, amending their plans and practices, and will provide for new opportunities such as pooled employer plans (PEPs) in 2021. Join us as we examine and discuss four elements of business operations with the potential to transform your practice this year.

Sign up for the event here. Additionally, there are a few speaking spots left for interested advisers. If you are interested in speaking on one of these topics, contact John Manganaro ( 

Opening Remark & Keynote: Addressing the K-Shaped Recovery and Persistent Economic Inequality

Since the global financial crisis of 2008 and 2009, U.S. households in aggregate have come a long way in strengthening their balance sheets. Yet, the distribution of wealth here is highly unequal—about as unequal as it has ever been. Each household in the top 1% of wealth distribution has, on average, $25 million in assets, including nearly $10 million of equities. The next 9% of the distribution holds an average of $3.5 million each, supported by more than $1 million of pension entitlements, including defined contribution (DC) and defined benefit (DB) plans. In marked contrast, the bottom half of households has only $20,000 of net worth, on average, less than 0.1% of the assets of a household at the top. Such figures may not seem professionally relevant to financial service executives, who tend to be well-compensated, but in fact they are. This keynote address will present the facts about economic inequality in the U.S., with the goal of engaging advisers and financial professionals in the critical dialog about solving this vexing and longstanding societal challenge.

Panel 1: What 2020 Taught Us About Selling

LIMRA SRI [Secure Retirement Institute] data show that, in the last three years, only 51% of “core” plan advisers, 40% of “medium” advisers, and 30% of “occasional” advisers have sold at least one brand new plan. Core advisers are defined as those making most of their income advising defined contribution (DC) plans, while medium advisers earn between 20% and 49%, and occasional advisers less than 20%, of total income in the DC marketplace. This panel will ask what sales lessons have been learned over the last year and help advisers identify where and how they should conduct their business development efforts.

Panel 2: Building a Talented Team

What are the best strategies for securing new talent? What experiences have advisers had recruiting young people from colleges and other professions? What are the keys to attracting an experienced and dedicated partner with a shared vision for the future? How do you identify the right staff to take on management roles and become the next generation of leaders? From what new types of skills and talents can advisory firms most benefit?

Panel 3: Can PEPs, MEPs and In-Plan Lifetime Income Be Profit Centers?

Much has been said about the SECURE—or Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement—Act and its support of pooled employer plans (PEPs) and in-plan lifetime income solutions. Many expect that such solutions will help overcome some of the key challenges hindering the U.S. retirement system—namely issues of access and sustainable spending. But what does the rise of these solutions actually mean for an adviser’s business? Are they likely to become important profit centers? Perhaps an occasional area for advisers to address? Or will such solutions more likely be served up—and profited from—by other providers, such as recordkeepers or asset managers?