Agenda

Updated April 1, 2024

Tuesday, April 2

8:30 – 11:15 a.m.

Advocacy Steering Committee Meeting (Invitation Only)

Lunch will be available at 11:15 a.m.

9 – 11 a.m.

Operations & Technology Senior Steering Committee (Invitation Only)

Lunch will be available at 11 a.m.

9:30 a.m. – Noon

Retirement Research Committee Meeting (Invitation Only)

Lunch will be available at Noon

Noon – 1:30 p.m.

Compliance & Implementation Committee Meeting (Invitation Only)

Lunch will be available at 11:15 a.m.

Noon – 1:30 p.m.

Operations & Technology Joint Session with Digital First Carrier & Distributor Steering Committees (Invitation Only)

Lunch will be available at 11 a.m.

Tuesday, April 2

2 – 2:15 p.m.

Welcoming Remarks

Wayne Chopus
Wayne Chopus

President & CEO
Insured Retirement Institute

Bio

2:15 – 3:15 p.m.

A View from the Top: CEO Fireside Chat

Start your conference experience with this informative discussion and a macro view from some of the top industry leaders. Our lead-off session convenes three industry CEOs to provide a broad, strategic overview of the insured retirement industry’s most pressing challenges and most significant opportunities.

Bruce Donaldson
Bruce Donaldson

President & Chief Executive Officer
Simplicity Group

Bio

Jasmine Jirele
Jasmine Jirele

President & CEO
Allianz Life Insurance Company

Bio

Andrew Schlossberg
Andrew Schlossberg

President & CEO
Invesco Ltd. (USA)

Bio

Wayne Chopus
Wayne Chopus
MODERATOR

President & CEO
Insured Retirement Institute
Bio

3:15 – 3:30 p.m.

IRI Award Presentation

IRI’s awards program acknowledges leaders who make valuable contributions to the insured retirement industry. During this presentation, IRI will be honoring the recipient of the Leadership Award.

3:30 – 4 p.m.

Networking Break

4 – 5 p.m.

The Music of Business

The mysterious and dangerous world of jazz is a cauldron of spontaneous creativity. And in times of radical change and uncertainty, it serves as the perfect model for modern leadership.

Professional jazz guitarist and prolific entrepreneur Josh Linkner connects the dots between jazz and business, helping to unlock the secrets of some of the world’s most creative geniuses. Using live jazz as a metaphor for collaborative innovation, this session is entertaining, inspiring, and directly applicable to the daily challenges we face in business.

SPONSORED BY Global Atlantic
Josh Linkner
Josh Linkner
KEYNOTE SPEAKER

Serial Entrepreneur, New York Times Bestselling Author, and Venture Capital Investor

Bio

Donnie Atis
Donne Atis
INTRODUCTION

Senior Vice President, Business Relationship Management, Broker Dealer
Global Atlantic Financial Group

Bio

5 p.m.

Closing Remarks

Dan Zielinski
Dan Zielinski

Chief Strategic Communications Officer
Insured Retirement Institute

Bio

5 – 6:30 p.m.

Welcome Reception

Did you know Nashville is known for its speakeasy scene? Join us for an evening of networking, refreshments, and fun at IRI’s exclusive speakeasy. Access the hidden door with your passcode, and help us kick off a great conference at the Welcome Reception sponsored by Jackson.

SPONSORED BY Jackson

Wednesday, April 3

7:30 – 9 a.m.

Sponsored Thought Leadership Presentation & Legal Forums

Innovating for Annuities: Why Evolutions in Indexing Matter

As the market for indexed annuities has grown meaningfully since the introduction of the first fixed index annuity in 1995, so too has the volume and complexity of the indices used within these products. While indexing’s evolution beyond benchmark equity indices like the S&P 500 has helped drive value for policyholders, the growing complexity demands more education to ensure there is a high degree of confidence in and understanding of the relationship between the index and product. This session will explore:

  • What role indices play within the annuity market
  • How and why indexing for insurance has evolved over time
  • Why index providers and insurance carriers need to focus on education
SPONSORED BY S&P
Christina Brady
Phillip Brzenk, CFA

Managing Director, Global Head of Multi-Assets Indices
S&P Dow Jones Indices

Bio

Christina Brady
Kelsey Stokes

Sales Head, Insurance
S&P Dow Jones Indices

Bio

Replacement Automation Round Table Discussion

What can 1035YellowPages provide to remove friction from the Financial Professional experience and streamline the back-office replacement process? Distributor, IMO, Carrier New Business Replacement Management, and Financial Professional Partners share YOUR THOUGHTS — which are ESSENTIAL to model future 1035YellowPages replacement process enhancements. Topics dictated by participants could include eSignature conditional acceptance triggers, back-office officer stamped signature automation or carrier search enhancements.

SPONSORED BY Cooperative Technologies
Beth Maziad
Beth Maziad

Senior Vice President, Operations & Administration
Raymond James

Bio

Jeremy Stephenson
Jeremy Stephenson

AVP, Head of Business Development Operations
Sammons

Jeremy Stephenson
Cheri DeBoer-Stinson
MODERATOR

Director of Business Development
Cooperative Technologies

Bio

The SEC Regulatory Landscape: New Cases, New Rules

Three Carlton Fields attorneys — all former SEC attorneys — will share their insight in untangling a host of new SEC rules and proposals dealing with RILAs, climate disclosures, tailored shareholder reports, updates to the custody rule, Reg BI, and Conflicts of Interest Related to Predictive Data Analytics and Similar Technologies.

SPONSORED BY “Carlton
Christina Brady
Justin Chretien

Shareholder
Carlton Fields, P.A.

Christina Brady
Tom Conner

Shareholder
Carlton Fields, P.A.

Christina Brady
Harry Eisenstein

Attorney at Law
Carlton Fields, P.A.

Bio

Christina Brady
Ann Furman
MODERATOR

Shareholder
Carlton Fields, P.A.

7:30 – 9:10 a.m.

Networking Breakfast

SPONSORED BY UBS

9:10 – 9:15 a.m.

Opening Remarks

Christina Brady
Christina Brady

Chief Operating Officer
Insured Retirement Institute

Bio

9:15 – 10:15 a.m.

Playing at Your Peak: Performance Principles for Workplace Success

A seasoned sports psychologist who serves as director of performance and mental health for the Chicago Bulls, Dr. Wendy Borlabi shares new and customized approaches to high performance on the individual and team levels rooted in mission, purpose, and a deep understanding of mindset and its role in achievement. In this session, Dr. Borlabi opens audiences’ eyes to the mental barriers that stand in the way of success. She provides the same tools and strategies she has shared with elite athletes and Fortune 500 companies to help anyone in any industry adopt an athlete’s mindset. Dr. Borlabi helps individuals to identify strengths and weaknesses within themselves and their teams, set meaningful goals, capitalize on opportunities for innovation and growth, and challenge themselves to perform beyond their best when the lights are shining brightest.

We are pleased to have Dr. Borlabi speak as part of our Women in Leadership Initiative. All attendees are invited to attend this session.

SPONSORED BY Symetra
A woman wearing a suit.
Dr. Wendy Borlabi
KEYNOTE SPEAKER

High-Performance Expert, Director of Performance and Mental Health, Chicago Bulls

Bio

Man standing against a glass wall in a dark suit with blue shirt and red tie.
Andrew Farrell
MODERATOR

Senior Vice President, Retirement Sales, Distribution, & Marketing, Retirement Division, Symetra Financial

Bio

10:15 – 11 a.m.

Be-Labor-ing the Point: The Never-Ending DOL Fiduciary Rule Saga

For nearly a decade and a half, the Department of Labor has been trying to significantly expand the reach of its fiduciary rule. The fourth go-around is now underway and yet another final rule is seemingly inevitable. In anticipation of a final rule, a panel of experts from across the industry will discuss the proposal’s potential impact on existing distribution models, compensation practices, compliance policies and procedures, and more. Join us as we cut through all the noise to explore how the DOL’s latest fiduciary rule proposal will shape the future of the industry.

Tom Roberts
Jamie Ohl

President, Individual Solutions
Transamerica and IRI Board Member
Bio

Tom Roberts
Tom Roberts

Principal
Groom Law Group
Bio

Joseph Toledano
Joseph Toledano

Managing Director, Head of Insured Solutions Group
Morgan Stanley Wealth Management and IRI Board Member

Bio

Brian Williams

Co-Chief Executive Officer
Financial Independence Group

Bio

Jason Berkowitz
Jason Berkowitz
MODERATOR

Chief Legal & Regulatory Affairs Officer
Insured Retirement Institute

Bio

11 – 11:30 a.m.

Networking Break

11:30 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.

Concurrent Sessions

 Digital First 

Future Proofing the Annuity Market with Digital First

Carrier, distributor, and solution provider panelists will discuss IRI’s Digital First for Annuities initiative and provide their perspectives regarding what is needed to future-proof our industry. Industry leaders will discuss IRI efforts to support a scalable future that ensures firms can easily meet financial professionals and consumers in the tools they use to manage their business.

Katherine Dease
Adam Ducorsky

Product Manager
iPipeline

Bio

Katherine Dease
Susan Fiengo

Managing Director, Head of Customer Experience & Analytics
Global Atlantic Financial Group

Bio

Katherine Dease
Keren Herzberg

Senior Vice President, Strategic Solutions
Symetra Life Insurance Company

Bio

Katherine Dease
Sean Hurd

Vice President, Merrill Annuity and Insurance Operations
Bank of America, Merrill Lynch

Bio

Katherine Dease
Jordan Jackson

Head of Institutional Annuity Distribution
Raymond James/PCN

Bio

Katherine Dease
Katherine Dease
MODERATOR

Chief Technology & Innovation Officer
Insured Retirement Institute

Bio

 Annuity Market 

Speaking Their Language: Communicating the Value of Annuities

How we speak to advisors and consumers about annuities can make a tremendous difference in how annuities are perceived … and received. Panelists will discuss the real-world implications of findings from recent research that will increase the effectiveness of our communications around annuities. This can help financial professionals and consumers alike better understand annuities, moving past jargon and words with negative connotations and focusing on annuities’ unique and powerful features and benefits.

Katherine Dease
Michael Lee

Financial Advisor
Prudential

Bio

Katherine Dease
Ann Nanda

Head of Future Growth Initiatives & Distribution Enablement
Prudential

Katherine Dease
Adam Rivituso, CIMA®, CFP®

National Director, Sales & Business Development
Invesco U.S.

Bio

Katherine Dease
Tiffany Westover-Kernan
MODERATOR

Executive Vice President & Managing Director
The Alliance for Lifetime Income

 Legal & Regulatory 

Leading from the Front Lines: Standards of Conduct Across the States

Over the last few years, the state regulatory landscape has evolved as over 40 states have now adopted the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) Best Interest Model updates, and companies are implementing this enhanced standard of conduct requirement. Panelists will discuss compliance and implementation of best practices and challenges related to the NAIC Best Interest Model updates, and continued advocacy efforts on the NAIC Best Interest Model, North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA), and other potential state fiduciary proposals.

Katherine Dease
Sara Bodnar

Assistant Director Annuity Compliance
Principal

Bio

Katherine Dease
Courtney Hess

Associate General Counsel
Corebridge Financial

Bio

Katherine Dease
Jesse Hill

Principal, Policy, Regulatory and Government Relations
Edward Jones, and Chair, IRI Advocacy Steering Committee

Bio

Katherine Dease
Matt Ahmann
MODERATOR

Senior Director, State Government & Policy Affairs
Transamerica, and Vice Chair, IRI State Affairs Committee

Bio

12:15 – 12:30 p.m.

Transition Break

12:30 – 1:15 p.m.

Concurrent Sessions

 Legal & Regulatory  and  Digital First 

Exploring AI: Use Cases, Opportunities, Ethical Frameworks, and the Regulatory Landscape

Industry experts will explore how the different types of AI are being used today in their firm and how they may be used in the future. Panelists will share best practices for implementing and evaluating AI from a compliance and risk management perspective and the ethical frameworks in place to guide their strategy. Regulatory impacts such as the NAIC Model Bulletin: Use of Artificial Intelligence Systems by Insurers and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) proposed regulation on Conflicts of Interest Associated with the Use of Predictive Data Analytics (PDA) will also be discussed.

Katherine Dease
Megan Claypool

Senior Vice President & Chief Compliance Officer
Athene

Bio

Katherine Dease
Kaitlin Elliott

Head of the Wealth Management Generative AI Solutions Team
Morgan Stanley

Bio

Katherine Dease
Aaron Witt

Vice President, Chief Digital & Data Officer
Sammons Financial Group

Bio

Katherine Dease
Heidi Kaiser
MODERATOR

Vice President & Chief Compliance Officer
Jackson and Vice Chair, IRI Compliance and Implementation Committee

 Legal & Regulatory 

Lost in the Maze? Navigating Federal Regulation of the Annuity Industry

As annuities continue to play a crucial role in retirement planning, this session will address the complex labyrinth of proposed federal rules impacting the annuity industry. A panel of legal and regulatory experts will discuss federal proposals, revealing regulators’ lack of comprehension of the annuity industry they seek to regulate. Examples include the DOL’s newest iteration of its fiduciary rule, the SEC’s PDA conflicts, custody proposed rules, and the SEC’s Registered Indexed-Linked Annuities (RILA) related activity, illustrating a profound misunderstanding and misinterpretation of the annuity industry and its products.

Katherine Dease
Joe Caruso

Assistant Vice President, Government Relations and Public Policy
Jackson, and Vice Chair, IRI Securities Committee

Bio

Katherine Dease
Harry Eisenstein

Shareholder
Carlton Fields

Bio

Katherine Dease
Ben Marzouk

Partner
Eversheds Sutherland

Bio

Katherine Dease
Keith Mancini
MODERATOR

Vice President, Government Affairs
Empower

Bio

 Annuity Market 

Annuity Innovations

At their core, annuities offer investors the opportunity to save for retirement on a tax-deferred basis and generate lifetime guaranteed income for retirement. Fixed, variable, fixed indexed, and registered index-linked annuities, especially when paired with living benefits in a more normalized interest rate environment, continually evolve to meet the needs of changing investment and economic environments and shifting advisor and consumer demand. Product development experts will discuss innovations in annuity products, underlying investment options, and opportunities driven by new markets such as in-plan annuities and contingent deferred annuities.

Frank O'Connor
Stefan Buchanan

Technical Director Annuity Product
Nationwide Financial

Bio

Frank O'Connor
Tom Haines

Executive Vice President, Capital Markets & Index Solutions
Annexus

Bio

Frank O'Connor
Kim Plyler

Senior Vice President, Distribution and Product Strategy
Jackson

Frank O'Connor
Daniel Yem

Executive Director, Head of Retirement Income
J.P. Morgan Asset Management

Frank O'Connor
Frank O’Connor
MODERATOR

Vice President, Research
Insured Retirement Institute

Bio

1:15 – 2:15 p.m.

Networking Lunch

2:30 – 3:15 p.m.

Concurrent Sessions

 Digital First  and  Annuity Market 

Creating Holistic Financial Plans with Insured Products

The current and future state of holistic financial planning as it relates to the inclusion of insurance products will be discussed. Industry leaders will explore major obstacles and barriers to incorporating insured income in financial plans and suggest a pathway forward to address these barriers. Join this distinguished group to find out how we can make it easier for financial professionals to include insurance products in their plans and discussions with consumers.

Frank O'Connor
Michael Herron

Vice President, Sales Operations
Lincoln Financial Distributors

Bio

Frank O'Connor
Greg Jaeck

Senior Product Leader Annuities
Edward Jones

Bio

Frank O'Connor
Kelly A. Tate, CFP®, ChFC®, CLU®

Financial Advisor
Edward Jones

Bio

Frank O'Connor
Daniel Gutman
MODERATOR

Vice President, Platform Strategy
Prudential Financial

Bio

 Legal & Regulatory 

Decision 2024: Electoral Consequences for the Future of Retirement Security

The November 2024 presidential and congressional elections are fast approaching, and our nation’s political environment remains volatile. There are unique political and legislative dynamics at play between an incumbent Democratic President seeking re-election and a Congress where the control of the slim majority of the Democrats in the Senate and Republicans in the House may be in jeopardy of changing following the election. As a result, the insured retirement industry faces challenges and opportunities to accomplish its legislative and regulatory priorities. During this session, a panel of inside-the-beltway political and industry experts will share their views on how the industry can defend and advance its policy and political priorities.

Jason Berkowitz
Jason Berkowitz

Chief Legal & Regulatory Affairs Officer
Insured Retirement Institute

Bio

Paul Richman
Rick Murphy

Partner
Forbes Tate Partners

Bio

Paul Richman
Paul Richman

Chief Government & Political Affairs Officer
Insured Retirement Institute

Bio

Paul Richman
Kelley Williams

Partner
Forbes Tate Partners

Bio

Frank O'Connor
Rachel Stanley Nguyen
MODERATOR

Assistant Vice President, Federal Government Relations
Principal, and Vice Chair, IRI Government Affairs Committee

Bio

3:15 – 3:30 p.m.

Transition Break

3:30 – 5 p.m.

Charity Rock Band

Join us for a rockin’ and rollin’ good time assembling guitars and gifting to deserving teens in the Nashville area. We can’t think of a better way to make a meaningful impact during our time in Music City. We hope all attendees will join us for this fun give-back activity, and for the musicians in attendance, we may have a fun surprise for you!

SPONSORED BY Pacific Life Insurance Company
Frank O'Connor
Jennifer Cook
WELCOME REMARKS

Vice President, Marketing, Consumer Markets Division
Pacific Life Insurance Company

5 – 6:30 p.m.

Sponsored Thought Leadership Presentation & Legal Forums

Increasing Producer Speed to Market in a Digital Age

Facilitated by a RegEd subject matter expert, a leading insurance carrier and distributor will discuss how modern, streamlined processes to achieve real-time and near-real-time “can-sell” can eliminate NIGOs and speed producer time to market.

SPONSORED BY RegEd
Frank O'Connor
Lana Nelson

Vice President, Insurance Operations Support
Athene Annuity & Life Assurance Company

Frank O'Connor
Angela Pace

Chief Operating Officer
RegEd

Frank O'Connor
Katie Sprouse

Vice President, Customer Experience Transformation
Group 1001

Introducing the Insurance Exchange Powered by FIDX and iCapital: Your One-Stop Shop to Place and Manage Annuity Business

Join FIDX and iCapital to learn how our integrated platforms are reshaping the annuity technology landscape. We’ve fulfilled our promise of a unified solution by eliminating the need for multiple platforms. Several distributors are already on board.

Broker-dealer representatives, discover how our platform streamlines all annuity operations in one place and enhances an advisor’s day-to-day business. Insurance companies, learn how you will finally benefit from significant cost savings and efficiencies that other technology platforms have only been able to promise in the past. Don’t miss this opportunity to be at the forefront of this big leap forward in the annuity industry.

SPONSORED BY Insurance Exchange
Paul Richman
Scott Bowers

Chief Strategy & Distribution Officer
FIDX

Bio

Paul Richman
Scott Stolz, CFP, RICP

Managing Director, Annuities Solutions
iCapital

Bio

Innovations in Annuities: Strategies for RILAs, FIAs, buffered funds, and more

Striking the right note with your product lineup and distribution strategy may produce a hit. Join us for live music and conversation on our latest investment innovations and distribution techniques to help optimize your products. We’ll discuss how you can leverage the power of Invesco QQQ ETF in index design for RILAs and FIAs, as well as use buffered funds and structurally defensive strategies to potentially enhance client outcomes within variable annuities. Stick around after the discussion for live music from Mac Watts & Colin Cross.

SPONSORED BY Invesco
Paul Richman
Michael Eustic

Head of US Insurance & Subadvisory
Invesco and IRI Board of Directors

Bio

Ryan Kagy
Ryan Kagy

Senior Strategic Account Manager
Invesco

Bio

Paul Richman
Adam Rivituso

National Director, Sales & Business Development
Invesco

Bio

Thursday, April 4

8 – 8:45 a.m.

Breakfast

8:45 – 8:50 a.m.

Opening Remarks

Jason Berkowitz
Jason Berkowitz

Chief Legal & Regulatory Affairs Officer
Insured Retirement Institute

Bio

8:50 – 9:10 a.m.

IRI Awards Presentations

IRI’s awards program acknowledges leaders who make valuable contributions to the insured retirement industry. During this presentation, IRI will be honoring the recipients of the following awards: Chairman and Rising Star.

9:10 – 10:10 a.m.

Political Analysis with Chuck Todd

Chuck Todd will provide a comprehensive picture of the ever-changing political landscape, interpreting the most pressing issues facing the country today and offering his insight and analysis into Washington politics and the current administration. As a seasoned journalist and TV veteran, he has an unparalleled perspective on the media’s relationship with Washington and balanced scrutiny of politicians and current events giving audiences an entertaining and edifying experience they won’t soon forget.

SPONSORED BY Equitable
Chuck Todd
Chuck Todd
KEYNOTE SPEAKER

NBC News’ chief political analyst and the former moderator of Meet The Press

Man in dark suit and red tie with a smile
Steve Scanlon
MODERATOR

Managing Director, Head of Individual Retirement, Equitable and IRI Board of Directors

Bio

10:10 – 11 a.m.

Leadership in Action: A Conversation with IRI Board Officers

IRI’s 2024 Annual Conference finale is a conversation with officers of the IRI Board of Directors. This interactive session using audience polling will explore the value of trade associations, the importance of the Board of Directors and member engagement, and how the Board measures organizational success and accountability. Also, IRI will announce next year’s conference destination and dates.

Paula Nelson
Paula Nelson

Managing Director & Head of Strategic Growth Global Atlantic Financial Group and Treasurer & Secretary, IRI Board of Directors

Bio

Phil Pellegrino
Phil Pellegrino

Managing Director, Head of Wealth Planning & Insured Solutions, UBS Financial Services, Inc., and Chair, IRI Board of Directors

Bio

Corey Walther
Corey Walther

President, Allianz Life Financial Services, LLC, and Vice Chair, IRI Board of Directors

Bio

Wayne Chopus
Wayne Chopus
MODERATOR

President & CEO
Insured Retirement Institute

Bio

Thank You To Our Sponsors

ACORD
Allianz
Athene
BlackRock
Brighthouse Financial's logo with a green and teal gradient sunrise logomark
Carlton Fields
Coalition for Equity in Wholesaling's gold logo
Conning
Cooperative Technologies logo with interlocked CT in a blue oval.
Corebridge Financial
Corebridge Financial
Purple and blue DFIN logo
DTCC
Eagle Life
Ebix's logo
Ebix's logo
Fare
Fidelity
FIDX
Franklin Templeton
Global Atlantic
Hexure
iCapital
Invesco's blue mountain logo
iPipeline's logo
Jackson
LIDP
Lincoln Financial's logo
Morgan Stanley
Nationwide's flying eagle logo
Pacific Life
Prudential
RegEd
S&P Dow Jones
Sammons Financial's green leaf logo
Simplicity Groups's logo
SPARK IPS
SuccessCE
Symetra
T.Rowe Price's teal bighorn sheep logo
Transamerica
UBS
Vertafore
Symetra