When Chris Paulitz started planning the Financial Services Institute’s inaugural conference he wanted to set it apart from others.
“We decided that this conference has to be unique compared to all the other conferences out there,” said Paulitz of the conference for financial advisors scheduled for September. “One of the ways we did that,” said Paulitz, senior vice president for membership and marketing for the independent broker-dealer group, “is that only financial advisors would create the conference” agenda. Ten members of FSI’s advisor council were chosen to program the conference, he says, ensuring that “the majority of what they get at this conference they can’t get elsewhere.”
So far, reports Paulitz, “well more than 200” advisors have registered and paid for their attendance, a number that he expects to increase as the conference draws nearer, citing the intent of a number of independent broker-dealers to pay for some of their representatives to attend the conference, which runs from the evening of Sept. 9 to midday Sept. 11 in Washington, D.C., at the Washington Hilton. “Some are paying part of the registration fee; some are paying the whole fee, some are even paying” for their advisors’ airfare and hotel accommodations.”
Moreover, he expects that some IBD reps will decide to join FSI prior to the FSI Financial Advisor Summit to get the discounted member rate.
A highlight of the conference will be the appearance of Phyllis Borzi (left), the assistant secretary of the Department of Labor’s EBSA, who will be interviewed on stage by Dale Brown, CEO of the FSI, and who will also take questions from attendees at a Sept. 10 session.
Borzi is leading DOL’s fiduciary reproposal for retirement plan advice, which is expected to be issued in October. The issue is of particular concern to FSI and its independent broker-dealer and 35,000 advisor members, though Paulitz worried that “most people don’t get” the impact of the DOL’s upcoming ruling “that they won’t be able to charge commissions” on retirement plans. “To her credit,” Paulitz says, “she wants to be sure that our members can interact with her.”
Other general session speakers include retired Marine General Peter Pace, NEFE President Ted Beck, and ChangeLabs’ CEO Peter Sheahan.