Four days.
Endless value.

Here’s
How

Tuesday, November 14

8:00 a.m.-7:30 p.m.

Conference Registration

12:30 p.m.-3:30 p.m.

Pre-Conference Education Sessions

Avoiding Your Firm's Expiration by Creating a Sustainable Business

180mins

James Blair

Moneta Group Investment Advisors

Patrick McGinnis

Moneta Group Investment Advisors

Thomas O'Meara

Moneta Group Investment Advisors

Kate Pexa

Charles Schwab & Co., Inc.

Current Developments in Estate Planning

75mins

Samuel Donaldson

Georgia State University College of Law

Becoming the Whole Family Advisor

180mins

Richard Orlando, Ph. D.

Legacy Capitals, in partnership with OppenheimerFunds, Inc.

1:15 p.m.-3:45 p.m.

Pre-Conference Education Session

Women's Pre-Conference Think Tank

150mins

Suzanne Siracuse

InvestmentNews

4:00 p.m.-5:15 p.m.

Pre-Conference Keynote Session

Politics, the Markets and Your Clients

75mins

Jeffrey Kleintop

SVP - Chief Global Investment Strategist
Charles Schwab & Co., Inc.

Liz Ann Sonders

SVP, Chief Investment Strategist
Charles Schwab & Co., Inc.

Greg Valliere

Horizon Investments

5:15 p.m.-6:45 p.m.

Welcome Reception in The Exchange

7:00 p.m.-9:30 p.m.

Regional Dinners

Wednesday, November 15

7:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m.

Conference Registration

7:00 a.m.-8:00 a.m.

Breakfast in The Exchange

8:00 a.m.-8:30 a.m.

Keynote Session Opening Remarks

Keynote Session Opening Remarks by Bernie Clark, A Conversation with Walt Bettinger

30mins

Walt Bettinger

President & CEO
The Charles Schwab Corporation

Bernie Clark

EVP
Charles Schwab & Co., Inc.

8:30 a.m.-9:30 a.m.

Keynote Session

9:45 a.m.-11:45 a.m.

Extended Education Session

9:45 a.m.-11:00 a.m.

Education Sessions

Growing Firms: The Evolution of Technology, Operations, and the Client Experience - An Advisor Panel

75mins

Mike Capelle

UNITED CAPITAL

Dan Jurgovan

JMG Financial Group, LTD.

Ed Obuchowski

Charles Schwab & Co., Inc.

Karen Sandnes

Mariner Wealth Advisors

Outlook for Fixed Income in 2018

75mins

Kathy Jones

Charles Schwab & Co., Inc.

Competing in The Age of Vanguard

75mins

Joe Duran

United Capital

Limiting Downside Risk: Modernize Your Approach to Portfolio Construction

75mins

Brett Mossman

BlackRock

Mark Peterson

BlackRock

Salim Ramji

BlackRock

Advanced Roth Conversion Strategies

75mins

Michael Kitces

Nerd's Eye View | Pinnacle Advisory Group

Can We Talk?

75mins

Deena Katz

Texas Tech University

Preparing for Inter-Generational Transfer

60mins

Zinovy Iosovich

Focus Financial Partners

Douglas Lane

Douglas C. Lane & Associates

Michael Nathanson

THE COLONY GROUP LLC

Neal Price

Strategic Wealth Partners

Smart Beta: Marketing Term or Investment Opportunity?

75mins

Sharon French

OppenheimerFunds

Mo Haghbin

OppenheimerFunds

David Mazza

OppenheimerFunds

Are We Really Worse Off?

60mins

Hal Ratner

Morningstar Investment Management

Stephen Wendel

Morningstar, Inc.

Developing Talent Through Mentorship and Coaching

75mins

Nikolee Turner

Charles Schwab & Co., Inc.

9:45 a.m.-10:45 a.m.

Technology Education Sessions

Creating Impactful Client Proposals

60mins

Matthew Peake

Charles Schwab & Co., Inc.

Dustin Sventy

HANTZ FINANCIAL SERVICES INC

11:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.

Lunch and Learn in The Exchange

11:15 a.m.-11:45 a.m.

Showcase Stage Presentations

Do Advances In Technology Condemn Commodities?

30mins

Kurt Nelson

SummerHaven Investment Management

The New Tamarac Platform

30mins

Ashley Dahl

Envestnet | Tamarac

Technology: A Positive Disruption in the RIA Industry

30mins

Jeff Comstock, CFP

RedBlack Software

Kevin Winn

RedBlack Software

A Contrarian View of Global Markets

30mins

Rupal Bhansali

Ariel Investments

12:00 p.m.-12:30 p.m.

Showcase Stage Presentations

12:15 p.m.-2:15 p.m.

Extended Education Session

Using Strategic Planning to Build a High-Performance Business

120mins

Jerry Cobb

Charles Schwab & Co., Inc.

1:00 p.m.-2:15 p.m.

Education Sessions

Make Banking Your Tool for Success in Holistic Wealth Management

60mins

William Bell

Charles Schwab & Co., Inc.

Tim Oden

Charles Schwab & Co., Inc.

Ed Reznick

Charles Schwab Trust Company of Delaware

Christian Rodriguez

Charles Schwab Bank

Paul Woolway

Charles Schwab & Co., Inc.

Six Themes Driving the Next 5-Years

75mins

Bob Browne, CFA

Northern Trust

Michael Hunstad, Ph.D.

Northern Trust Asset Management

Developing the Next Generation of Talent through Internships

75mins

Benjamin Hayes

Wipfli Hewins Investment Advisors

Deena Katz

Texas Tech University

Linda Lepe

University of Wisconsin - Madison

Bradley Losson

Charles Schwab & Co., Inc.

John Salter

Evensky & Katz

Is Your Firm Ready for the Fintech Wave?

75mins

Lex Sokolin

Autonomous Research

Protecting Your Firm from the Latest Fraud Schemes

75mins

Peter Campbell

Charles Schwab & Co., Inc.

Mike Ethridge

Canterbury Consulting Inc

Greg Ruppert

Charles Schwab & Co., Inc.

Michelle Thetford

Charles Schwab & Co., Inc.

China: Too Risky to Invest in or Too Big to Ignore?

75mins

Tiffany Hsiao

Matthews Asia

Kenneth Lowe

Matthews Asia

Andy Rothman

Matthews Asia

Valuations: What is Your RIA Really Worth?

75mins

John Furey

Advisor Growth Strategies, LLC

Todd Thomson

Dynasty Financial Partners

Stock Specifics: From Small to Large Companies and the Growing Relevance of ESG

75mins

Christopher Desmarais

GAMCO Investors, Inc.

Sarah Donnelly

GAMCO Investors, Inc.

Kevin V. Dreyer

GAMCO Investors, Inc.

Fiduciary (R)Evolution

75mins

Blaine Aikin

Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc.

Karen Barr

Investment Adviser Association

Christopher Gilkerson

Charles Schwab & Co., Inc.

Ira Hammerman

Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association

1:00 p.m.-2:00 p.m.

Technology Education Sessions

SEC Custody Rule: How Does the New Guidance Impact My Firm?

60mins

Joseph Scully

Charles Schwab & Co., Inc.

What’s on the Horizon for Schwab Performance Technologies®

30mins

Charles Covin

Charles Schwab & Co., Inc.

Gail Romano

Schwab Performance Technologies

1:45 p.m.-2:15 p.m.

Technology Education Sessions

Promoting an Efficient Practice with Integrated Workflows

30mins

Kartik Srinivasan

Charles Schwab & Co., Inc.

2:45 p.m.-4:00 p.m.

Education Sessions

Compliance Update: Protecting Your Firm in a Complex Environment

75mins

John Walsh

Eversheds Sutherland (US) LLP

Virtual Reality Tour of International Opportunities

75mins

Rajiv Jain

GQG Partners

John Tousley

Goldman Sachs Asset Management

Outsmarting Beta: Insights From a Low Volatility Investing Maven

75mins

Harin de Silva

Analytic Investors

George Matthews

Analytic Investors

The Case for Global Asset Allocation

75mins

Anthony Davidow

Charles Schwab & Co., Inc.

Institutional Finals: Preparation and Execution

60mins

Patrick Schussman

Aristotle

Biagnostics™: Where Behavioral Finance Meets Client Experience

75mins

Omar Aguilar, Ph.D.

Charles Schwab Investment Management

Greg Laurence, CFP, CIMA, AIF

Charles Schwab Investment Management

How Client Engagement is Being Disrupted

75mins

Julie Littlechild

Absolute Engagement

Reaching Millennial Clients with Millennial Employees

60mins

Andrew Hall

Narwhal Capital Management

Maximizing Employee Output with a Strong Compensation Plan

75mins

Kelli Cruz

Cruz Consulting Group

2:45 p.m.-3:15 p.m.

3:30 p.m.-4:00 p.m.

Technology Education Sessions

Introducing Schwab Advisor StreetSmart Edge(TM)

30mins

Heath Batz

Charles Schwab & Co., Inc.

Putting Clients on a Digital Path

30mins

Lauren Wheeles

Charles Schwab & Co., Inc.

4:00 p.m.-4:45 p.m.

Break in The Exchange

4:00 p.m.-4:30 p.m.

Showcase Stage Presentations

Global Portfolio Management: Building In Currency Valuations

30mins

Richard Lawrence

Brandywine Global Investment Management

Understanding ESG In Fixed Income Investments

30mins

Tim Coffin

Breckinridge Capital Advisors

The New Albridge Wealth Reporting Experience for RIAs

30mins

Paul Camuto

Albridge Solutions, Inc.

Adapting Schwab Technology to Broaden Your Retirement Planning Practice

30mins

Benjamin Lee

Schwab Retirement Technologies

4:45 p.m.-5:45 p.m.

5:45 p.m.-7:00 p.m.

Reception in The Exchange

Thursday, November 16

7:00 a.m.-8:00 a.m.

Breakfast in The Exchange

7:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m.

Conference Registration

7:15 a.m.-7:45 a.m.

Showcase Stage Presentation

8:00 a.m.-8:30 a.m.

Keynote Session Opening Remarks

12th Annual IMPACT Awards Presentation with Jon Beatty and Bernie Clark

30mins

Jon Beatty

SVP, Advisor Services Sales & Relationship Management
Charles Schwab & Co., Inc.

Bernie Clark

EVP
Charles Schwab & Co., Inc.

8:30 a.m.-9:30 a.m.

Keynote Session

The Seventh Sense

60mins

Joshua Cooper Ramo

Vice Chairman
Kissinger Associates

9:45 a.m.-11:00 a.m.

Education Sessions

What’s Your Story? Communicating Your Vision to Clients

60mins

Pattie Sellers

SellersEaston Media and Veteran Fortune Writer and Editor

Accumulating Wealth through Health Savings Accounts

75mins

Peter Stahl

Bedrock Business Results

Pardon the Interruption: On the Markets Edition

75mins

Brian Ahrens

PGIM Investments

Edward Keon

QMA

Michael Lillard

PGIM Fixed Income

Investment Solutions for High-Net-Worth and Ultra-High-Net-Worth Families

75mins

Stephanie Diamond

Schwab Charitable

Howard Nifoussi

Goldman Sachs Asset Management

James O'Hanlon

Charles Schwab & Co., Inc.

SEC Expectations for Cybersecurity Incident Response Plans

75mins

Michelle L. Jacko

Jacko Law Group, PC

Alternative Income with Private Real Estate

75mins

A.J. Agarwal

Blackstone

Two Sides to One Coin: How Ownership and Management Relate at Advisory Firms

75mins

David DeVoe

DeVoe & Company

Tim Kochis

Special Advisor, DeVoe & Co.

Modern Wealth: It’s Not Just About Money

60mins

Lilah Koski

Koski Research

9:45 a.m.-11:45 a.m.

Extended Education Sessions

Interactive Ethics

120mins

Dan Candura, CFP

Candura Group LLC

9:45 a.m.-10:45 a.m.

Technology Education Sessions

SEC Custody Rule: How Does the New Guidance Impact My Firm?

60mins

Joseph Scully

Charles Schwab & Co., Inc.

Charles Schwab’s Fixed Income Platform: It’s All About You

30mins

Jeffrey Flynn

Charles Schwab & Co., Inc.

Robert Malone

Charles Schwab & Co., Inc.

11:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.

Lunch and Learn in The Exchange

11:15 a.m.-11:45 a.m.

Showcase Stage Presentations

12:00 p.m.-12:30 p.m.

Showcase Stage Presentations

Why Emerging Markets Now: Evolution And Transformation

30mins

Rex Mathew

Thomas White International

A Blueprint For The Future Of Financial Planning®

30mins

Chad Crouch

MoneyGuidePro, created by PIEtech, Inc.

The New Albridge Wealth Reporting Experience for RIAs

30mins

Paul Camuto

Albridge Solutions, Inc.

Real Estate and Sustainability: Is There a Green Premium?

30mins

Jacques Gordon

LaSalle Investment Management

1:00 p.m.-2:00 p.m.

Education Sessions

Modern Wealth: It’s Not Just About Money

60mins

Lilah Koski

Koski Research

Promoting an Efficient Practice with Integrated Workflows

30mins

Kartik Srinivasan

Charles Schwab & Co., Inc.

Cyberattacks: Are You and Your Firm Protected Against the Threat?

60mins

Gen. Peter Pace, USMC (Ret.)

Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff (2005-2007)

Markets, Central Bank Policy and Your Portfolio

60mins

Jeffrey Gundlach

Doubleline

Personalized Finance: Save More Tomorrow™

60mins

Shlomo Benartzi

UCLA Anderson School of Management

Inspiring and Influencing Others Around You

60mins

Suzanne Peterson

CRA Inc.

1:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m.

2:30 p.m.-3:45 p.m.

Education Sessions

Asset Acquisition through Community Involvement and Charitable Planning

75mins

Susan Kay

MFS Fund Distributors

Kim Laughton

Schwab Charitable

Finding Today’s Top Talent to Build for Tomorrow’s Success

75mins

Deena Katz

Texas Tech University

Pattie Sellers

SellersEaston Media and Veteran Fortune Writer and Editor

Jocelyn Wright

The American College

Jon Yankee

FJY FINANCIAL

Using Social Influence to Turn Clients into Fans

75mins

Jonah Berger

Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania

Striking a Balance: Unearthing Potential in Equities and Fixed Income

75mins

John Bellows

Western Asset Management

Frances Cashman

Legg Mason

Sam Peters

ClearBridge

Does International Investing Still Make Sense?

75mins

Joanna Jonsson

Capital Group, home of American Funds

Sunder Ramkumar

Capital Group, home of American Funds

Navigating the Changing Landscape with Senior and Vulnerable Clients

75mins

Cayla Culver

Charles Schwab & Co., Inc.

Yonhee Gordon

JMG FINANCIAL GROUP LTD

Michelle L. Jacko

Jacko Law Group, PC

Michelle Thetford

Charles Schwab & Co., Inc.

Gray Divorce: Threat or Opportunity

75mins

Haleh Moddasser

Stearns Financial Group

Merger and Acquisitions Panel

75mins

Rush Benton

CAPTRUST Financial Advisors

Nick Georgis

Charles Schwab & Co., Inc.

David Selig

Advice Dynamics Partners

Neal Simon

Bronfman Rothschild

2:30 p.m.-3:00 p.m.

Technology Education Sessions

What’s on the Horizon for Schwab Performance Technologies®

30mins

Charles Covin

Charles Schwab & Co., Inc.

Gail Romano

Schwab Performance Technologies

3:15 p.m.-3:45 p.m.

Technology Education Sessions

Putting Clients on a Digital Path

30mins

Lauren Wheeles

Charles Schwab & Co., Inc.

Introducing Schwab Advisor StreetSmart Edge(TM)

30mins

Heath Batz

Charles Schwab & Co., Inc.

3:45 p.m.-4:30 p.m.

Break in The Exchange

3:45 p.m.-4:15 p.m.

Showcase Stage Presentations

The New Tamarac Platform

30mins

Ashley Dahl

Envestnet | Tamarac

College Savings and the Planning Conversation

30mins

Winnie Sun

Sun Group Wealth Partners

Showcase Stage Presentation by eMoney Advisor

30mins

Rob Aita

eMoney Advisor

Brad Frey

eMoney Advisor

4:30 p.m.-5:30 p.m.

Keynote Session

7:00 p.m.-10:00 p.m.

Final Night Event Experience timeless Chicago as the convention center transforms into our version of Chicago Social Club headlined by rising superstar Leon Bridges, Grammy Award-nominated R&B artist and singer, songwriter.

Friday, November 17

7:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m.

Conference Registration

8:00 a.m.-8:30 a.m.

Breakfast in The Exchange

8:30 a.m.-9:45 a.m.

Education Sessions

Dysfunction and Distress in Illinois: A Tale of Caution and Opportunity

75mins

John Humphrey

Gurtin Municipal Bond Management

Michael Johnson

Gurtin Municipal Bond Management

Simple Money: The Science of Client Motivation

60mins

Tim Maurer

The BAM Alliance

Social Security: Spouses, Widows & Divorcees

60mins

Mary Downing

Pioneer Investments

Integrating Responsible Investing into Client Portfolios

60mins

Marcus Velasco

Nuveen Investments

Stop Self-Sabotaging Your Referral Process

75mins

Michelle R. Donovan

Asentiv of Western PA

9:45 a.m.-10:45 a.m.

Brunch in The Exchange

10:45 a.m.-11:45 a.m.

Keynote Session

What Losing Teaches about Winning

60mins

Theo Epstein

President, Baseball Operations
Chicago Cubs

11:45 a.m.-11:45 a.m.

Conference Close and Boxed Lunch

Gain valuable insight from today’s leading voices.

This year’s strong speaker lineup includes the former prime minister of the United Kingdom, plus other globally recognized personalities, academicians, and industry experts.

Meet our speakers
Bernie Clark

Bernie Clark

Executive Vice President and Head of Schwab Advisor Services™

Charles Schwab & Co., Inc.

The opportunity and optimism that surround us today, in both the business environment and the RIA profession, are palpable.

Bernard Clark brings more than 30 years of financial industry experience to his role as head of Schwab Advisor Services. He is also a member of Charles Schwab’s Executive Committee. Mr. Clark oversees the business that provides custodial, operational, and trading support to almost 7,000 independent investment advisory firms with $1.1 trillion in assets under management. He has been named by Investment Advisor magazine as one of the 25 most influential people in the industry.

Previously, Mr. Clark worked for Schwab on the advisor side as leader of the sales and relationship management organization. Before that, he oversaw the retail business as head of the client services organization. He began his career at Schwab in 1998 as senior vice president of trading and operations for Schwab Institutional.

Prior to joining the company, Mr. Clark was with the London office of Deutsche Morgan Grenfell, where he was managing director in charge of global sales support, hedge fund operations, and technology, which included managing client service support in Asia, Europe, and the United States. He also spent 13 years with Salomon Brothers as a member of the Executive Committee responsible for North American operations.

Outside of work, Mr. Clark serves on the board of the Foundation for Financial Planning and the Center for Services Leadership at the Arizona State University W. P. Carey School of Business. He is president of the Saguaro High School Football Foundation and is an active supporter of Phoenix Children’s Hospital.

Mr. Clark holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from St. John’s University in New York.

Walt Bettinger

Walt Bettinger

President and Chief Executive Officer

The Charles Schwab Corporation

Walter Bettinger II is president and chief executive officer of The Charles Schwab Corporation, where he leads almost 15,000 full-time employees at headquarters in San Francisco and branch offices in more than 325 locations globally. He is credited with leading Schwab through the financial crisis: From 2009 through 2012, the company grew client assets by $530 billion.

Mr. Bettinger serves on the boards of directors of The Charles Schwab Corporation; Charles Schwab & Co., Inc.; and Charles Schwab Bank®. Additionally, he is a trustee of several registered investment companies belonging to Schwab. Prior to his current role, he was president and chief operating officer of The Charles Schwab Corporation. Mr. Bettinger began working for Schwab in 1995 after it acquired the Hampton Company, which he founded to provide retirement plan services to corporations and their employees.

Mr. Bettinger is widely recognized as an industry leader. In 2014 Fortune magazine named him one of the top 20 businesspersons of the year. In 2012 Tiburon Consulting presented him with its CEO Summit Award. In 2010 SmartMoney magazine named Mr. Bettinger to the Power 30, its list of the world’s most influential players. For his contributions to the retirement security of working Americans, PLANSPONSOR magazine recognized him in 2009 with its lifetime achievement award.

In addition to his professional duties, Mr. Bettinger is active in numerous charitable and philanthropic efforts. He and his wife, Teri, are founders of the Walt & Teri Bettinger Foundation and are the parents of five children. Mr. Bettinger holds a bachelor of business administration degree in finance from Ohio University. He also completed the general management program at Harvard Business School.

Mark Coffrini

Mark Coffrini

Senior Vice President

Retirement Business Services, Charles Schwab & Co., Inc., and Charles Schwab Bank®

Mark Coffrini oversees Retirement Business Services and is chief operating officer of the Business Trust Division of Charles Schwab Bank. He brings more than 25 years of experience in the retirement services industry, with a focus on trust, custody, and recordkeeping services.

Before joining Schwab, Mr. Coffrini was responsible for operations, servicing, and project management for the MasterWorks bundled 401(k) developed by Wells Fargo, which was later acquired by Merrill Lynch. He previously managed operations for the Business Retirement Programs Division at Wells Fargo and was responsible for overseeing the company’s trust and investment planning for various defined contribution plans and defined benefit plans.

Mr. Coffrini has a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of California, Davis. He holds FINRA Series 7, 24, and 63 licenses.

Susan Forman

Susan Forman

Senior Vice President

Institutional Services Marketing, Charles Schwab & Co., Inc.

Susan Forman leads Institutional Services Marketing at Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. Ms. Forman has been with Schwab for more than five years and is responsible for overseeing the marketing strategy, planning, and execution for the division of Schwab that serves independent investment advisors, retirement plan sponsors and participants, and other institutional clients. Specifically, she manages a team specializing in advertising, digital content, field, acquisition, and client marketing for Schwab’s Institutional Services businesses; she also manages a team responsible for service and crisis communications for all of Schwab.

Prior to her current role, Ms. Forman was head of public relations for Schwab Advisor Services™ and led Schwab’s corporate reputation management efforts. Prior to Schwab, she was head of corporate communications at Bank of the West, and she held several corporate communications leadership roles at Visa USA.

Ms. Forman has a bachelor’s degree in English and American literature from Scripps College in Claremont, California, and a master’s degree in English Renaissance literature from the University of York in England. She holds a Series 7 license.

Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. (“Schwab”) and Charles Schwab Bank are separate but affiliated companies and subsidiaries of The Charles Schwab Corporation (“Charles Schwab”).

Nick Georgis

Nick Georgis

Senior Vice President

Business Consulting and Field Experience, Charles Schwab & Co., Inc.

As a member of the Schwab Advisor Services™ management team, Nick Georgis oversees Schwab’s practice management consulting and field experience teams. The business consulting team helps advisors run and grow their firms more effectively by addressing key business, operational, and organizational issues through one-on-one consulting engagements. The field experience team provides Schwab’s sales and service teams with the necessary insight, tools, and skills to deliver an outstanding experience to advisors. Mr. Georgis also manages the strategic business development team for Schwab Advisor Services and sales for Schwab Performance Technologies®.

With more than 25 years of experience in the financial services industry serving fee-based advisors and investors, Mr. Georgis has held several positions at Schwab and was previously responsible for the Schwab Advisor Services sales and relationship management organization.

He has a bachelor’s degree in finance from California State University, Sacramento, and has served on the CFP® Board of Governors.

Ian Muir

Ian Muir

Senior Vice President

Advisor Services Trading & Operations,, Charles Schwab & Co., Inc.

Ian Muir is senior vice president of the Advisor Custody and Trading Group at Schwab Advisor ServicesTM. He brings nearly 30 years of experience in leading global financial services businesses through technology, service, operational, and cultural changes.

Prior to joining Schwab, Mr. Muir served in several capacities with Bank of America Merrill Lynch. Most recently, he led both global wire operations and emerging-markets operations; oversaw client services and operations for Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Canada, and Latin America; and served as the Global Treasury Services chief operations officer for technology and operations. Mr. Muir previously was responsible for the operations and the technology transition after Bank of America acquired Merrill Lynch. Prior to that, he led quality and productivity programs, generating $500 million in efficiency gains and aligning the company’s business processes and technology. Previously, he served as chief information officer for Latin America technology and operations and held a similar role for the Asia global markets. Early in his career, he was the chief information officer for global markets research and development and also a business analyst.

Mr. Muir is a certified Six Sigma Master Black Belt.

Ed Obuchowski

Ed Obuchowski

Senior Vice President

Advisor Services Technology Solutions Charles Schwab & Co., Inc.

Ed Obuchowski is responsible for managing the full suite of technology platforms used by the more than 7,000 RIA firms that work with Schwab.

Before joining Advisor Services, Mr. Obuchowski was senior vice president of Technology Infrastructure Services (TIS). As a leader of TIS, he was accountable for Schwab’s data center operations, workplace technology, cyber security technology and operations, mainframe and distributed hosting, telecom, and global market data.

Prior to TIS, Mr. Obuchowski was senior vice president of Investor Services Technology. In that role, he was responsible for the software engineering and production support operations associated with global market data, help and guidance technology, eCommunications, active trader, global trading, and bank technology.

In March 1998, Mr. Obuchowski joined the active trader brokerage and technology firm CyberCorp (renamed CyberTrader), which was acquired by Charles Schwab in March 2000. During his tenure at Schwab, his responsibilities ranged from systems implementation and integration to customer support and middle-office operations. After integrating the CyberTrader broker-dealer in 2007, he joined Schwab Technology Services as vice president of global market data solutions.

Mr. Obuchowski earned his bachelor’s degree in political science at the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign. He also completed the general management program at the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

Michelle Thetford

Michelle Thetford

Vice President, Client Strategic Solutions

Charles Schwab & Co., Inc.

Michelle Thetford is the vice president of Client Strategic Solutions at Schwab Advisor Services. She is responsible for client support and risk management for Schwab and its clients. Ms. Thetford leads the complex account solutions, business acceptance, premier consultant, advisor enrollment, and alternative investments teams. Previously, she served as vice president—and earlier as senior manager—of compliance for Schwab Advisor Services.

Before joining Schwab, Ms. Thetford was a vice president of operations for three AIG broker-dealers. Previously, she served as managing director of operations at SunAmerica Securities, an AIG broker-dealer. She began her career with a Minneapolis-based brokerage firm, where she learned every facet of serving high-net-worth clients in a multifamily office.

Ms. Thetford holds a bachelor’s degree in advertising from Michigan State University and has FINRA Series 7, 24, and 63 licenses.

Nikolee Turner

Nikolee Turner

Managing Director

Charles Schwab & Co. Inc.

Nikolee Turner is a managing director of business consulting for Charles Schwab & Co. Inc. Ms. Turner has been coaching, consulting, and training leaders for over 10 years and brings more than 15 years of leadership experience in talent management, driving operational efficiencies, and new product development.

Prior to joining Schwab, Ms. Turner was vice president of training and consulting at Kolbe Corp where she worked with companies helping them solve business challenges, increase growth and profitability, and maximize human capital. Additionally, he trained and oversaw more than 500 consultants worldwide. Ms. Turner has worked with financial services professionals, CPAs, and attorneys globally and is a speaker on business management topics at conferences and seminars.

Ms. Turner earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from St. Cloud State University, a master’s degree in education from Northern Arizona University, and a master’s degree in business administration from Arizona State University.

Jon Beatty

Jon Beatty

Senior Vice President

National Sales and Relationship Management, Schwab Advisor Services™, and Charles Schwab & Co., Inc

Jonathan S. Beatty is a member of the Schwab Advisor Services management team and is responsible for leading our sales and relationship management team. He has worked with fee-based advisors for more than 15 years, providing counsel on strategic business issues and identifying solutions to help them meet their unique business needs. Mr. Beatty has held several key sales leadership positions within Schwab Advisor Services during his tenure with the firm and helped shape the sales organization role into one focused on consultative selling.

Prior to joining Schwab, Mr. Beatty was a registered representative with Great Western Securities. He has a bachelor’s degree in political science from Wittenberg University and is registered with the National Association of Securities Dealers, Inc. He holds Series 7 and 9/10 licenses.

Shlomo Benartzi

Shlomo Benartzi

Professor, UCLA Anderson School of Management

Advisor and Chief Behavioral Economist for the Allianz Global Investors Center for Behavioral Finance

Instead of focusing our attention on small daily fluctuations in overall wealth—such changes rarely matter anyway—they should encourage us to think about how our savings will impact our lifestyle in retirement.

Shlomo Benartzi is a professor and co-chair of the Behavioral Decision-Making Group at UCLA’s Anderson School of Management, where he focuses on combining insights from economics and psychology to produce positive change. He is also chief scientist of the California Digital Nudge Initiative, a collaborative effort with the California State Senate with the goal of transforming government-level operations.

Dr. Benartzi co-developed the Save More Tomorrow™ program (SMarT), which helps employees increase their savings rates over time and is now incorporated in the Pension Protection Act of 2006. Dr. Benartzi has also advised government agencies, worked with financial institutions and currently serves as an academic advisor and chief behavioral economist for the Allianz Global Investors Center for Behavioral Finance. He has authored several books: The Smarter Screen: Surprising Ways to Influence and Improve Online Behavior; Save More Tomorrow, and Thinking Smarter. He holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from Tel-Aviv University and a doctorate from Cornell University’s Johnson Graduate School of Management.

Kathy Jones

Kathy Jones

Chief Fixed Income Strategist

Charles Schwab & Co., Inc.

As senior vice president and fixed income strategist at the Schwab Center for Financial Research, Kathy Jones conducts interest rate and currency analysis and oversees fixed income education for investors. She has covered global bond, foreign currency, and commodity markets throughout her career as an investment analyst and strategist.

Prior to Schwab, Ms. Jones was a fixed income strategist at Morgan Stanley, where she specialized in foreign exchange and global-macro strategy covering domestic and international bonds. She previously served as a consultant in the alternative investment area and as executive vice president of the Debt Capital Markets division of Prudential Securities. Ms. Jones has appeared on CNBC, Fox Business News, and NPR, and been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Bloomberg, Reuters, and USA Today. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English literature from Northwestern University and a master of business administration degree in finance from the university’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management.

Lex Sokolin

Lex Sokolin

Global Director of Fintech Strategy and Partner

Autonomous Research

Change is accelerating as artificial intelligence, blockchain, and augmented reality transform our society. It's a spectacular time to harness innovation and be a creator.

Lex Sokolin is the director of fintech strategy at Autonomous Research, a global firm that helps financial services clients understand and benefit from technological innovation. He is on the board of directors of Advisor Engine (formerly Vanare), a digital wealth management technology company at which he was previously chief operating officer.

Previously, Mr. Sokolin was the founder and chief executive officer of NestEgg Wealth, an online wealth management firm that helped pioneer online wealth management using robo advisor technology. He regularly contributes to the Wall Street Journal, the Economist, American Banker, ThinkAdvisor, InvestmentNews, Reuters, and CNBC. He is a regular speaker at technology conferences and has appeared on the InvestmentNews “40 under 40” list.

Mr. Sokolin holds a bachelor’s degree in economics and law from Amherst College and master of business administration and law degrees from Columbia University.

Joshua Cooper Ramo

Joshua Cooper Ramo

Vice Chairman and Co–Chief Executive Officer

Kissinger Associates

Joshua Cooper Ramo analyzes and explains the new era of events that are shaking the world, in turn giving us the power to understand and master what is happening. His latest bestselling book, The Seventh Sense: Power, Fortune, and Survival in the Age of Networks, introduces a new way of seeing the invisible forces that today’s leaders already grasp; that is, the disruptive power of networks in trade, politics, DNA, finance, the Internet, and more. He is also the author of The Age of the Unthinkable: Why the New World Disorder Constantly Surprises Us and What We Can Do About It, which explains the economic and technological shifts that have ushered in an era of unprecedented change and unintended consequences.

Mr. Ramo’s insights come from years of advising generals, business leaders, and politicians. As vice chairman and co–chief executive officer of Kissinger Associates, a strategic global advisory firm founded by former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, Mr. Ramo has worked with some of the largest companies and investors in the world, and he sits on the boards of directors of Starbucks and FedEx. Additionally, he is an expert on China. Considered “one of China’s leading foreign-born scholars” by the World Economic Forum, he has spent more than a decade witnessing firsthand the rise of the country as a superpower.

Trained as an economist, Mr. Ramo previously was a technology editor at Time and the youngest foreign editor in the magazine’s history. He wrote more than 20 Time cover stories and authored the Fortune magazine article “Globalism Goes Backward” on the need for companies and countries to adapt to the rise of the “inside economy.”

Mr. Ramo holds degrees from the University of Chicago and New York University.

Mick Ebeling

Mick Ebeling

Founder and Chief Executive Officer

Not Impossible Labs

Mick Ebeling believes that nothing is impossible. The producer and filmmaker has sparked a movement of pragmatic, inspirational innovation as the founder of Not Impossible Labs, an award-winning social innovation lab, and production company that harvests the power of technology and storytelling to change the world. The company follows the mantra Commit, then figure it out, which has allowed Mr. Ebeling to convene a disparate team of hackers, doers, makers, and thinkers—all of whom are empowered to invent devices that better the world by bringing accessibility to all.

This unconventional approach has generated highly acclaimed initiatives that gave a paraplegic street artist the ability to draw again, developed 3D-printed arms for Sudanese amputees, and brought a “voice” to a patient with Lou Gehrig’s disease who hadn’t spoken in 15 years. Working with an array of Fortune 500 companies, Mr. Ebeling raises the bar on innovation and shares the emotionally resonating stories of overcoming seemingly impossible odds to inspire people to “help one, help many.”

Mr. Ebeling’s book, Not Impossible: The Art and Joy of Doing What Couldn’t Be Done, recounts the life experiences that led to the founding of Not Impossible Labs. He was named one of Wired’s “agents of change,” is a two-time South by Southwest “Innovation of the Year” award winner and a recipient of the Muhammad Ali Humanitarian of the Year award, and is listed among Advertising Age’s Creativity 50—the most influential and innovative creative thinkers and doers.

Jeffrey Gundlach

Jeffrey Gundlach

Chief Executive Officer and Chief Investment Officer

DoubleLine Capital

A well-known expert in bonds and fixed income investments, Jeffrey Gundlach is the chief executive officer and the chief investment officer of DoubleLine Capital. Considered a market visionary with an unconventional approach, he has been featured in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times, Barron’s, Forbes, Fortune, and USA Today for his business strategies.

He has received numerous industry awards, including “Money Manager of the Year” from Institutional Investor. Bloomberg Markets named him to its list of the “50 most influential thinkers and leaders,” Barron’s dubbed him the “King of Bonds,” and he was on Fortune’s “Mutual Fund All-Star Team.”

Mr. Gundlach holds bachelor’s degrees in mathematics and philosophy from Dartmouth College and was a doctoral candidate in mathematics at Yale University.

Julie Littlechild

Julie Littlechild

President

AbsoluteEngagement.com

Julie Littlechild is president of AbsoluteEngagement.com, which conducts ongoing research among financial professionals, their clients, and their teams to uncover the drivers of deeper engagement and the impact on long-term value and growth. Those data are the foundation for engaging keynote presentations, workshops, and thought leadership programs across North America, the United Kingdom, and Europe.

Ms. Littlechild has worked with and studied top-producing financial professionals, their clients, and their teams for more than 20 years. She is a respected researcher, a popular speaker, and a recognized expert on driving deeper engagement and growth.

Prior to launching AbsoluteEngagement.com, Ms. Littlechild established Advisor Impact, where she created The Client Audit, one of the most successful client feedback programs for advisors. She sat on the national board of the Financial Planning Association from 2010 to 2013, was twice identified as one of the 25 Most Influential People in Financial Planning by Investment Advisor magazine, and won the Influencer Award in practice management from Financial Planning magazine. She works in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Europe and holds a master of business administration degree from the University of Toronto.

Sheri Fitts

Sheri Fitts

Founder

ShoeFitts Marketing

Sheri Fitts has more than 25 years of experience in digital leadership and brand marketing. As the founder of ShoeFitts Marketing, she has helped thousands of advisors and industry influencers convey their messages, create meaningful connections, improve sales performance, and scale their digital leadership.

Ms. Fitts regularly speaks about digital marketing and social media at financial services industry events, has been quoted in numerous publications, and is the author of Deconstructing Digital: Simple Ways to Connect with Your Next-Generation Financial Clients.

She has received awards and recognition from the Plan Sponsor Council of America, the National Association of Government Defined Contribution Administrators, the International Association of Business Communicators, and Pensions & Investments. 401kWire.com named her one of the “most influential people” in the defined contribution category.

Ms. Fitts holds bachelor’s degrees in business, psychology, and choice architecture from Marylhurst University.  

General Peter Pace USMC (Ret.)

General Peter Pace USMC (Ret.)

Chairman

Joint Chiefs of Staff (2005–2007)

As our dependency on the digital world becomes greater than ever before, it is crucial that we take steps to assess and address our vulnerabilities on a national, organizational, and personal level.

General Peter Pace (Ret.) served for more than 40 years in the U.S. Marine Corps. He is a member of the Director of National Intelligence Senior Advisory Group, a distinguished research scholar at Fordham University, and an adjunct faculty member at Georgetown University. He also sits on the board of directors of several corporations involved in management consulting, private equity, and information technology security.

Previously, General Pace was the sixteenth chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff under President George W. Bush; before that, he was vice chairman—the first Marine to hold either position. He also served on the President’s Intelligence Advisory Board, as well as on the secretary of defense’s Defense Policy Board. He was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2008.

General Pace graduated from the United States Naval Academy and the National War College and holds a master of business administration degree from George Washington University.

Michael Lewis

Michael Lewis

Bestselling Author and Contributing Editor to Vanity Fair

No one ever made a decision because of a number. They need a story.

Michael Lewis’ nonfiction page-turners chronicle some of the United States’ most significant economic, political, and cultural experiences. The financial journalist and New York Times bestselling author has published 16 books on subjects ranging from politics and Wall Street to sports and parenting. His latest, The Undoing Project: A Friendship That Changed Our Minds, tells the story of the unusual collaboration between two psychologists who founded the field of behavioral economics.

Mr. Lewis’ previous best seller, Flash Boys, revealed the legal but highly questionable practice of high-frequency trading. In The Big Short, which was also made into a movie, he chronicled the Wild West behaviors of Wall Street and feeder markets that underpinned the Great Recession of 2008. The transformative story of Michael Oher from homeless teen to NFL offensive tackle unfolded in The Blind Side, and in Moneyball, Mr. Lewis used the backdrop of baseball to explain the way markets value people. Both books were made into Oscar-nominated films. His other works include Boomerang: The Meltdown Tour; The New New Thing: A Silicon Valley Story; Coach: Lessons on the Game of Life; Losers: The Road to Everyplace but the White House; and Liar’s Poker: Two Cities, True Greed.

Mr. Lewis is a columnist for Bloomberg News and a contributing writer to Vanity Fair. His articles have appeared in multiple publications, including the New York Times Magazine, The New Yorker, Slate, and Sports Illustrated. He has served as editor and columnist for the British weekly The Spectator and as senior editor and campaign correspondent for the New Republic. Mr. Lewis has also filmed and narrated short pieces and documentaries for TV and radio.

 

Theo Epstein

Theo Epstein

President of Baseball Operations

Chicago Cubs

When people do things they weren’t even sure they were capable of, I think it comes back to connection—connection with teammates and the organization and feeling like they belong.

Theo Epstein knows a thing or two about leadership—and winning. He has done the seemingly impossible not once but twice. He engineered two of the biggest comebacks in sports history: turning the Chicago Cubs into World Series champions in 2016 after a 108-year drought and, in 2004, leading the Boston Red Sox to the same title for the first time in 86 years. They clinched the title again in 2007. Earlier this year, Fortune magazine named the Cubs’ president of baseball operations the “World’s Greatest Leader.”

Mr. Epstein transformed the Cubs by emphasizing a combination of analytics, chemistry, discipline, and character as the team acquired new talent. The 2016 championship was the culmination of a five-year rebuilding program in which baseball operations were completely restructured, and the Cubs have increased their total wins every year under Mr. Epstein’s leadership. When he became the general manager (GM) of the Red Sox in 2002, he was the youngest GM in baseball history. Over the next nine seasons, he led the team to six postseason appearances. Before that, he served as assistant general manager of the Red Sox and earlier spent five seasons with the San Diego Padres.

In 2009 Mr. Epstein was named baseball’s “Executive of the Decade” by Sporting News and was third on the Sports Illustrated list of the “top 10 GMs/executives of the decade.” In 2008 he was named “Baseball America Executive of the Year.” In 2003 and 2004, the Boston chapter of the Baseball Writers Association of America honored him as “Major League Executive of the Year.”

Mr. Epstein holds degrees from Yale University and the University of San Diego School of Law.

Suzanne Peterson

Suzanne Peterson

Associate Professor of Leadership

Thunderbird School of Global Management, Arizona State University

Suzanne Peterson, Ph.D., specializes in the development of leadership behaviors that characterize extraordinary leaders. She is an associate professor of leadership at Thunderbird School of Global Management, where she teaches an executive MBA course titled High Impact Leadership and was awarded the 2012 MBA Outstanding Teaching Award. As a consultant to leaders of Fortune 500 companies, Ms. Peterson emphasizes leadership style, communication, relationships, and change leadership as key building blocks for success. Her clients include Apple, Bank of America, Fidelity, JP Morgan Chase, Juniper Networks, McDonald’s, Merrill Lynch, Microsoft, PayPal, Prudential, and State Farm.

Previously, she worked as a change management consultant for Andersen Consulting, now known as Accenture. Her work has appeared in top business and psychology journals, and she has presented her leadership ideas to a variety of audiences worldwide. She has been quoted in or referenced by the Wall Street Journal, Business Inc., and MSNBC and was a columnist for the Arizona Republic. She was also a contributor to The Handbook of Research on Top Management Teams, published by Edward Elgar.

Ms. Peterson holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Southern California and a master’s degree and a doctorate from the University of Nebraska.

Michael Lillard

Michael Lillard

Chief Investment Officer

PGIM Fixed Income

As the head of PGIM Fixed Income and the chief investment officer, Michael Lillard oversees the investment process, leads day-to-day activities for the firm, and manages all of PGIM Fixed Income’s business decisions. He also serves as a member of the U.S. Treasury Borrowing Advisory Committee.

Previously, Mr. Lillard held several positions within PGIM Fixed Income, including senior investment officer for insurance portfolios, liability-driven investment strategies, and hedge strategies for fixed income. He also led the quantitative research and risk management group; was head of PGIM’s fixed income U.S. liquidity team, which managed U.S. government and mortgage-backed securities; and was a portfolio manager.

Mr. Lillard holds a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in computer science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, as well as a master’s degree in management from the MIT Sloan School of Management. He is a Chartered Financial Analyst®.

Edward Keon Jr.

Edward Keon Jr.

Managing Director and Portfolio Manager

QMA

Edward Keon Jr. is a managing director, portfolio manager, co–portfolio manager, and member of the asset allocation team for QMA. In the latter role, he manages a diverse mix of asset allocation funds encompassing U.S., international, and emerging markets stocks and bonds, real estate, commodities, and other asset classes.

Prior to QMA, Mr. Keon was the chief investment strategist and the director of quantitative research at Prudential Equity Group; he also served on the firm’s Investment Policy Committee and Research Recommendation Committee. Before that, he was the senior vice president at I/B/E/S International.

He is a member of the board of directors of the Chicago Quantitative Alliance and sits on the Membership Committee of the Institute for Quantitative Research in Finance.

Mr. Keon holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial management from the University of Massachusetts Lowell and a master’s degree in finance and marketing from the MIT Sloan School of Management.

Joanna Jonsson

Joanna Jonsson

Equity Portfolio Manager

Capital Group

Joanna Jonsson brings 28 years of investment experience to her role as an equity portfolio manager at Capital Group, where she has worked for 26 years. Earlier in her career, Ms. Jonsson was an equity investment analyst, covering insurance, U.S. household and personal care, restaurants, lodging, and cruise line companies.

Before joining Capital Group, she served as an equity research analyst at Fidelity Management & Research Company and as an officer in the Public Finance Division of Irving Trust Company (now the Bank of New York).

Ms. Jonsson holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from Princeton University and a master of business administration degree from the Stanford Graduate School of Business. She is a Chartered Financial Analyst® and a member of CFA Institute.

Sunder Ramkumar

Sunder Ramkumar

Senior Manager of Client Analytics

Capital Group

Sunder Ramkumar is a senior manager of client analytics at American Funds, part of Capital Group. He has 13 years of investment industry experience.

Prior to joining Capital Group, Mr. Ramkumar was a managing director and a portfolio manager on the multiasset portfolio strategies team at BlackRock. His research on asset allocation and optimal investment strategies has been published in several financial journals, including the Financial Analysts Journal, Journal of Portfolio Management, and Journal of Fixed Income.

Mr. Ramkumar holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Mangalore University in India and a master’s degree in management science and engineering from Stanford University. He is a Chartered Financial Analyst®.  

Jonah Berger

Jonah Berger

Marketing Professor


Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania

It’s not random why some things become popular. There’s a science behind it. If we understand that science, we can get any product, service, or idea to succeed.

A world-renowned expert on new product adoption, consumer behavior, word of mouth, and how products, ideas, and behaviors catch on, Jonah Berger, Ph.D., is a professor of marketing at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

Dr. Berger teaches Wharton’s highest-rated online course and has published dozens of articles in academic journals. His work has appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Harvard Business Review. He has written several books, including the best-selling Contagious: Why Things Catch On and Invisible Influence: The Hidden Forces That Shape Behavior. He is a frequent speaker at industry events and conferences.

Dr. Berger holds a doctorate in marketing from the Stanford University Graduate School of Business.

Jon Yankee

Jon Yankee

Partner, Senior Financial Advisor, and Chief Executive Officer

FJY Financial

Jon Yankee is a partner, a senior financial advisor, and the chief executive officer at FJY Financial, which he co-founded in 2006. He oversees the firm’s strategic direction and its human-capital strategy.

Prior to FJY, Mr. Yankee was a financial advisor at Merrill Lynch and a program manager for the Pacific Basin Economic Council in Honolulu, Hawaii. He often speaks at industry events and conferences. Mr. Yankee has been quoted in Investor’s Business Daily and the Wall Street Journal, as well as on Forbes.com, CNBC.com, and in other publications. He has received numerous awards, appeared in Washingtonian magazine’s 2016 list of the “top fee-only financial planners,” and was on Northern Virginia magazine’s list of “top financial professionals” from 2012 to 2015.

Mr. Yankee holds a bachelor’s degree in international studies and Japanese from the University of Richmond and a master of business administration degree in international management from the Thunderbird School of Global Management. He is a Certified Financial Planner™.

Jocelyn D. Wright

Jocelyn D. Wright

Assistant Professor

The American College

Jocelyn Wright has more than 20 years of experience in financial services. She is an assistant professor of women’s studies and the State Farm Chair for Women and Financial Services at The American College. She is also the founder and managing partner of The Ascension Group, where she designs personalized strategies to help clients meet their financial goals.

Previously, Ms. Wright was an equity research analyst in the Global Asset Management Group at JPMorgan Chase and a research assistant at Nomura Securities. She created a financial education series called Debt Boot Camp, has written for such publications as Black Enterprise magazine, and hosted a weekly radio show called “The Bottom Line.” InvestmentNews named her to its “women to watch” list in 2016.

Ms. Wright holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration and finance from the University of Delaware and a master of business administration degree from Howard University. She is a Certified Financial Planner™.

Greg Valliere

Greg Valliere

Chief Political Strategist

Horizon Investments

Greg Valliere cuts through the rhetoric and partisan maneuvering to offer observations about how politics in Washington, D.C., affects financial markets. He brings more than 30 years of experience to his role as chief political strategist at Horizon Investments. Mr. Valliere researches the actions of Congress, the White House, and the Federal Reserve in guiding U.S. economic and monetary policies. He is frequently quoted in the nation’s financial press and is a regular guest on several television and radio news programs.

Before joining Horizon Investments, Mr. Valliere was the chief policy strategist for Potomac Research Group and Soleil Securities Corporation. He previously held strategic roles at Charles Schwab’s Washington Research Group and was the research director at The Washington Forum, a group he co-founded in 1974. He began his career at F-D-C Reports, a trade publication monitoring the pharmaceutical industry.

Mr. Valliere holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from The George Washington University.

David Cameron

David Cameron

Former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom

More of the same will just produce more of the same: less competitiveness, less growth, fewer jobs.

One of the most prominent global influencers of the early 21st Century, David Cameron served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 2010 to 2016, leading Britain’s first Coalition Government in nearly 70 years and, in 2015, forming the first majority Conservative Government for over two decades.

As the UK’s youngest Prime Minister in two centuries, Cameron transformed the UK’s economy. The deficit was reduced by over two-thirds; one million businesses set-up; a record number of jobs were created, and Britain became the fastest-growing major advanced economy in the world. That created the stability Cameron needed to cut taxes, introduce a National Living Wage, transform education, reform welfare, protect the National Health Service, and increase pensions.

Internationally, Cameron developed a foreign policy in the post-Iraq era that addressed the new challenges of the Arab Spring, as well as a more aggressive Russia, while ensuring Britain played a full role in the global fight against ISIS.

Elected Leader of the Conservative Party in 2005 to reform and modernise a party that had lost three elections in a row, Cameron advocated a new and distinctly modern, compassionate agenda. He led the way internationally by passing the UK’s Same Sex Marriage Act; championed environmental issues; and offered constitutional referenda on Scotland’s place within the United Kingdom, and on the United Kingdom’s place within the European Union.

Cameron continues to focus on issues he advanced while in office. He is Chairman of Patrons at National Citizen Service, the UK’s flagship youth development programme; President of Alzheimer’s Research UK; and he is chairing the LSE-Oxford Commission on State Fragility, Growth, and Development.

Deena Katz

Deena Katz

Associate Professor, Department of Personal Financial Planning

Texas Tech University

Dr. Deena Katz is a Professor in the Department of Personal Financial Planning at Texas Tech University and a founding partner of Evensky & Katz/Foldes Financial Wealth Management in Coral Gables, Florida. She is an internationally recognized financial advisor and practice management expert, as well as the author of nine books on financial planning and practice management topics. She has won many awards for her efforts in the profession, including receiving the Alexandra Armstrong Lifetime Achievement Award from InvestmentNews in 2016.

Michael Kitces

Michael Kitces

Partner and Director of Research, Pinnacle Advisory Group

Co-founder, XY Planning Network

Tax-free Roth accounts are powerful tools. And the tax law has more flexibility than most people realize to maximize and optimize how much can be put into them!

Michael Kitces is a partner and the director of wealth management at Pinnacle Advisory Group, a private wealth management firm. He is also a co-founder of the XY Planning Network, NextGen, and New Planner Recruiting; host of the Financial Advisor Success podcast; and publisher of Nerd’s Eye, a continuing education blog for financial planners. His website, Kitces.com, is dedicated to advancing knowledge in the field.

He is an active writer and editor and the recipient of numerous awards. His work has appeared in such publications as Financial Planning, the Journal of Retirement Planning, and the Wall Street Journal. He is the co-author of several books, including The Annuity Advisor and Tools and Techniques of Retirement Income Planning. He has also appeared on CNBC and NBC.

Mr. Kitces holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Bates College, a master’s degree in financial services from The American College, and a master’s degree in taxation from Tulsa University. He is a Certified Financial Planner™.

Jeffrey Kleintop

Jeffrey Kleintop

Senior Vice President and Chief Global Investment Strategist

Charles Schwab & Co., Inc.

As chief global investment strategist at Charles Schwab, Jeffrey Kleintop analyzes and discusses international markets, trends, and events to help U.S. investors understand their significance and financial implications. He provides research, commentary, and insights to Schwab’s client-facing teams and the firm’s Investor Services and Schwab Advisor Services™ clients. Mr. Kleintop is frequently cited in print, appears regularly on television news programs, and is a sought-after speaker.

Prior to joining Schwab, Mr. Kleintop served as chief market strategist at LPL Financial. Before that he was the chief investment strategist at PNC Wealth Management and the senior investment strategist at ARIS Corporation of America. He is the author of Market Evolution: How to Profit in Today’s Changing Financial Markets.

Mr. Kleintop holds a bachelor of business administration degree from the University of Delaware and a master of business administration degree from Pennsylvania State University. He also studied at the London School of Economics and is a Chartered Financial Analyst®.

Pattie Sellers

Pattie Sellers

Co-founder and Partner

Sellers Easton Media

I’ve learned from the best leaders: Reach far and wide across the talent pool—and then enable your people to bring their full talent and full selves to work.

An award-winning magazine writer and multimedia journalist, Pattie Sellers is the executive director of live content for Fortune magazine’s “Most Powerful Women” (MPW) feature, which first appeared in 1998. Ms. Sellers co-founded and directs Fortune MPW Entrepreneurs, the Fortune/U.S. State Department Global Women’s Mentoring Partnership, and the Goldman Sachs–Fortune Global Women Leaders Award. She is also a co-founder and partner at Sellers Easton Media, a content creation company.

Previously, Ms. Sellers was an assistant managing editor at Fortune, a Time Inc. publication. During a three-decade career at the magazine, she wrote more than 20 cover stories and interviewed such business luminaries as Warren Buffett, Rupert Murdoch, Melinda Gates, Ted Turner, and Oprah Winfrey. In 2013 she won Time Inc.’s Most Valuable Performer Award for her work at Fortune and her contributions to its parent company.

Ms. Sellers holds a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Virginia.

Liz Ann Sonders

Liz Ann Sonders

Senior Vice President and Chief Investment Strategist


Charles Schwab & Co., Inc.

Liz Ann Sonders investigates economic trends, reads investor sentiment, and crunches the numbers to analyze the nation’s economic health. As chief investment strategist at Charles Schwab, she is responsible for market and economic analyses, investor education, and other investment strategy activities. Ms. Sonders is a regular contributor to Schwab’s publications and a popular keynote speaker. She is also a senior vice president at Windhaven Investment Management, Inc., and serves on its Investment Committee.*

She is a regular guest and guest host on television news programs and is frequently quoted in financial publications. She has received multiple recognitions, including being named one of SmartMoney’s “power 30,” the “Best Strategist of the Year” by Kiplinger, and one of the “25 most powerful women in finance” by American Banker/US Banker.

Ms. Sonders holds a bachelor’s degree in economics and political science from the University of Delaware and a master of business administration degree in finance from Fordham University.

*Schwab and Windhaven are affiliated companies and subsidiaries of The Charles Schwab Corporation.

The content on the IMPACT® website and in discussions at the IMPACT conference are meant for general informational purposes. The views expressed are not intended to provide specific financial, accounting, compliance, tax, regulatory, or legal advice.

Third-party firms, speakers, panelists, sponsors, and exhibitors are not affiliated with or employed by Schwab. Any mention of third-party firms or individuals is not and should not be construed as a recommendation, endorsement, or sponsorship by Schwab.

The IMPACT Awards® are not a referral to, endorsement or recommendation of, or testimonial for the advisor with respect to its investment advisory or other services.

Independent investment advisors are not owned by, affiliated with, or supervised by Schwab.

Charles Schwab & Co., Inc., receives remuneration from fund companies for recordkeeping, shareholder services, and other administrative services for shares purchased through its Mutual Fund OneSource® service. Schwab also may receive remuneration from transaction fee fund companies for certain administrative services.

Charles Schwab Advisor Services® serves independent investment advisors and includes the custody, trading, and support services of Schwab.

©2017 Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. (“Schwab”). All rights reserved. Member SIPC. PER 0817-767U

IMPACT Awards® FAQ

General

What is the purpose of the IMPACT Awards program?

Independent investment advisors have fundamentally changed the financial services landscape by providing client-centric, independent advice to affluent investors. Established in 2006 by Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. (“Schwab”), the IMPACT Awards honor firms that have advanced the industry and have achieved success through exemplary business practices.

As a response to the integration of the independent investment advisor and independent retirement plan provider communities in 2014, an award was added to recognize the unique achievements this group has brought to the retirement plan industry. In addition to the recognition, the awards program provides independent investment advisors and independent retirement plan providers with an opportunity to learn what leading firms are doing by sharing the winners’ best practices and achievements.

What are the IMPACT Awards categories?

Learn more about each IMPACT Award.

How many awards are given?

One winner is selected for each of the four awards.

Do winners receive any prizes?

Winners of each award category are honored at the ceremony, with each firm receiving a trophy and a $15,000 donation to a charitable organization of the winner’s choice. The selection of each winning firm’s charity is subject to Schwab’s approval.

Eligibility

Who is eligible for the IMPACT Awards?

Learn more about the eligibility requirements.

Must my firm have a relationship with Schwab to be eligible for consideration for an IMPACT Award?

Yes. To be considered for an IMPACT Award, firms must use Charles Schwab, Charles Schwab Advisor Services, or Charles Schwab Bank to custody client assets.

Nominations

How do you participate in the IMPACT Awards program?

Nominations for 2017 are now closed. You can sign up to receive email notification when 2018 IMPACT Award nominations are being accepted.

Is there a limit to how many nominations I can make?

You may nominate your firm once in each category for which you qualify.

If I participated in previous years, can I participate again?

Yes. We encourage you to participate every year. Best-in-Business and leadership award winners, however, will not be allowed to participate in any category for five years; previous Pacesetter Award winners may not participate in the Pacesetter IMPACT Award category again and must wait five years to participate in either of the other three award categories. Winners of the Best-in-Retirement Business IMPACT Award must wait five years before they are eligible for another award in any category.

Is there a fee to participate?

There is no fee to participate in the IMPACT Awards program.

Can I nominate my firm in more than one category?

Yes. You can nominate your firm once in each of the categories for which you qualify. However, multiple nominations for the same firm for the Best-in-Business IMPACT Award, Best-in-Retirement Business IMPACT Award, Pacesetter IMPACT Award, and Trailblazer IMPACT Award are not permitted.

Am I able to provide supplemental materials in addition to the nomination form as part of my award nomination?

At the time of nomination, only a completed form is accepted. Later in the process, Schwab may ask for additional information.

What if I do not complete the data requested on the nomination form?

All fields must be completed for a nomination to be accepted.

May I submit my nomination via regular mail?

No. Only nominations received through the nomination form are accepted.

May my firm use a previously published case study to fulfill the essay portion of the Best-in-Business IMPACT Award, Best-in-Retirement Business IMPACT Award, Pacesetter IMPACT Award, or Trailblazer IMPACT Award nomination?

Yes. Nominations may include previously produced content that is owned by the firm; however, information that is copyrighted by another source cannot be used.

Timeline and Notification

What are the program deadlines?

Nominations for 2017 are now closed. You can sign up to receive email notification when 2018 IMPACT Award nominations are being accepted.

When are the winners of the IMPACT Awards announced?

The IMPACT Awards will be presented at IMPACT 2017, a leading industry conference taking place November 14–17 in Chicago, Illinois. Information about the winners will be posted online after they are announced at the conference.

How are winners notified?

Winners will be notified in September via phone. Winners will be announced at the IMPACT Awards ceremony at IMPACT 2017.

Are runners-up chosen?

Only one winner for each category will be announced. No runners-up are selected.

Judging

How are winners selected?

Entries are reviewed to ensure that they meet all eligibility requirements and Schwab criteria. The remaining finalists are then judged by a distinguished panel of leaders from across the business world and financial services industry who understand the challenges and opportunities facing today’s investors and those who serve them. These judges convene to review finalist nominations and select the winners in each category. Final selection is subject to acceptance of the IMPACT Awards terms and conditions and final approval by Schwab. In granting its final approval, Schwab is guided by the criteria for the IMPACT Awards program and also considers which candidates best exemplify the prestige and purpose of the awards and reflect Schwab’s reputation in the marketplace for integrity, service, and value. Schwab has absolute discretion in approving the winners, and Schwab’s decisions in all matters related to the awards and the IMPACT Awards program are final.

What criteria are used to determine the winners?

Nominations for the IMPACT Awards are evaluated based on each firm’s ability to demonstrate success in the following areas.

Best-in-Business IMPACT Award

  • Business planning
  • Technology strategy
  • Practice management and employee development
  • Client loyalty

Best-in-Retirement Business IMPACT Award

  • Business planning in the retirement industry
  • Technology strategy in the retirement industry
  • Practice management and employee development
  • Client loyalty

Pacesetter IMPACT Award
Demonstrated accelerated growth in tandem with the following:

  • Business planning
  • Technology strategy
  • Practice management and employee development
  • Client loyalty

Trailblazer IMPACT Award
Demonstrated change in helping the industry reach new heights, for example:

  • Focused understanding of the unique needs of a specific client segment and a developed, innovative approach to serving them (i.e., a new business model, marketing strategy, or strategic plan)
  • Made a difference in the community through programs to educate new audiences about financial planning
  • Helped shape the industry’s future through advocacy efforts in Washington, D.C., or involvement with industry associations
  • Made strides in attracting and cultivating the RIA industry’s next generation of talent
  • Awards or other distinctions

How does Schwab use the information provided through the nomination form?

Information you provide is used to review and judge your nomination for the IMPACT Awards program. Schwab and the judging panel maintain the confidentiality of your nomination. Schwab does not sell the information collected. See the IMPACT Awards terms and conditions for more information.

How is objectivity maintained in the selection process?

Schwab uses the eligibility criteria to review all nominations received. Once Schwab confirms the finalists, a judging panel of industry experts selects the winners for all four awards. All IMPACT Award winners are subject to Schwab’s final approval.

Questions?
We’re eager to help.

Nomination process

Leon Bridges

His unique sound has taken him from busing tables to performing for President Barack Obama in the White House and making television appearances on The Late Late Show, Saturday Night Live, and Austin City Limits. Bridges and his band have been on two world tours. He received the 2015 Grulke Prize for Developing US Act at the 2015 SXSW Music Festival, where he was a hot topic among both fans and critics.

When you hear his smooth, melodic voice, it’s easy to compare him to Otis Redding or Sam Cooke, and indeed he feels he must carry on the tradition of soul music, honoring the great artists who came before him. But the 26-year-old native of Fort Worth, Texas, whose fame is quickly growing, has his own unique sound, with echoes of gospel and R&B.

For Bridges soul has a raw and imperfect quality that can come only from deep within. As he riffs on the guitar in his retro fedora and suit, he sings from the heart about family, truth, and love. What comes out of him is “real and life-affirming in a musical way,” says music producer and guitarist Austin Jenkins, who helped Bridges first record his music.

Listen to Bridges’ “Smooth Sailin’.”

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