LPL Financial (LPLA) is hosting its first stand-alone women’s conference this week in the greater San Diego area for about 100 female registered reps and 75 other guests.
“Like the program we share with female advisors during our annual Focus conference, this is about building community first and foremost,” said Susan Fargo, head of business consulting for LPL, during an interview. “We surveyed our female advisors and they [specifically] wanted a conference tailored [just] to them.”
A central theme of this week’s event – the Women Advisors’ Leaders Forum – is getting more women into the financial services industry.
“We’re having an advisor panel featuring those who are in different stages of bringing woman advisors and associates into the business,” Faro explained. “We are super excited to help advisors learn a lot from each other.”
Advisors on the panel include Lisa Bodine, Sally Ng and Erin Pentz. Members of the panel will share tips on training and bringing family members into the practice.
“There’s an interesting dynamic, when you bring a daughter – who has seen an advisor build a practice – into the business,” said Fargo. “Members of the panel will how what they’ve done to succeed and how they’ve done it – through the different stages of development and the bumps along the way.”
One session will focus on leadership. “How [women advisors] can brand ourselves as leaders, both in the community and in the business,” she explained.
Speaker Judy Smith, founder and president of the crisis-communications firm Smith & Co., author of “Good Self, Bad Self” and the inspiration for the hit TV show “Scandal” (set in Washington, D.C.) “will tell those attending how to navigate and establish themselves within the community in a leadership role,” according to Fargo.
The conference will have a lighter side, as well.
“Our survey of women advisors has told us that wellness and [work/life] balance are topics” that they would like to learn more about, said Fargo.
The LPL event is taking place at Omni La Costa Resort & Spa in Carlsbad, California, which is home to the Chopra Center, started by wellness gurus Dr. Deepak Chopra and Dr. David Simon.
“We’ll have sessions on topics like stress management, which all of us can benefit from and relate to,” the LPL executive said. Plus, there will be wellness activities (such as yoga) each morning.
One evening, advisors can join a “paint and sip” session.
“We know it’s important to take care of the brains, including the parts we don’t use during the work day, and to take ourselves out of the normal activities and put our mind elsewhere,” explained Fargo.
She says that LPL aimed to “weave in the theme of wellness theme throughout” the conference, including a wellness walk led by the Chopra Center on Friday.”
Sponsor John Hancock is hosting “vitality-themed sessions,” Fargo adds, and has made sure guests have a pedometer during the conference. There will be recognition for the advisor who takes the most steps at the event.
“It’s about having fun and highlighting wellness,” she explained. “We plan to host another [stand-alone] event women advisors and will announce the location at the close of this year’s conference. LPL wants to continue to support women. We are committed to this as a firm. It’s very important to us.”