Francois Gadenne, executive director of the Retirement Income Industry Association (RIIA), kicked off the organization’s spring conference in Chicago on Monday with a look back at the organization's five-year history, highlighting changes and outlining its goals for the near future.
“The trade group was set up to function much like Switzerland,” Gadenne said during his opening keynote presentation. “There was to be no pre-determined outcomes and we were to be completely agnostic in the information we provide.”
Referring to a 2006 whitepaper that was the genesis for the organization’s founding, he noted the focus was on effective market segmentation and delivery channels. High-net-worth, affluent and mass market clients were all examined from the perspective of the manufacturer, intermediary and distributor, but as time wore on, the organization realized it was lacking an important voice—the customer. Adding overfunding, constrained or underfunding elements to the focus (with client input) helped round out the organizations core mission.
“Our goal now is not to expose clients to the upside, but to first build a solid floor using reasonable expectations,” Gadenne said. “If we have anything left over we can talk about exposure to the upside, but not at the expense of additional downside risk.”