Agenda

Updated November 6, 2023

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

Jasmine Jirele
Jasmine Jirele

President & CEO
Allianz Life Insurance Company

Andrew Schlossberg
Andrew Schlossberg

President & CEO
Invesco Ltd. (USA)

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

5 p.m.

Closing Remarks

Dan Zielinski
Dan Zielinski

Chief Strategic Communications Officer
Insured Retirement Institute

5:30 – 7 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

SPONSORED BY Cooperative Technologies    “Carlton

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
SPEAKERS

Phillip Brzenk, CFA, Managing Director, Global Head of Multi-Assets Indices, S&P Dow Jones Indices
Kelsey Stokes, Sales Head, Insurance, S&P Dow Jones Indices

SPONSORED BY S&P

7:30 – 9 a.m.

Networking Breakfast

SPONSORED BY UBS

9 – 9:15 a.m.

Opening Remarks

Christina Brady
Christina Brady

Chief Operating Officer
Insured Retirement Institute

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.

SPEAKERS

Jamie Ohl, President, Individual Solutions, Transamerica and IRI Board Member
Tom Roberts, Principal, Groom Law Group
Brian Williams, Co-Chief Executive Officer, Financial Independence Group

MODERATOR

Jason Berkowitz, Chief Legal & Regulatory Affairs Officer, Insured Retirement Institute

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.

SPEAKERS

Adam Ducorsky, Product Manager, iPipeline
Jordan Jackson, Head of Institutional Annuity Distribution, Raymond James
Sean Hurd, Vice President, Merrill Annuity and Insurance Operations, Bank of America, Merrill Lynch
Susan Fiengo, Managing Director, Head of Customer Experience & Analytics, Global Atlantic Financial Group

MODERATOR

Katherine Dease, Chief Technology & Innovation Officer, Insured Retirement Institute

 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.

SPEAKERS

Michael Lee, Financial Advisor, Prudential
Ann Nanda, Head of Future Growth Initiatives & Distribution Enablement, Prudential
Adam Rivituso, CIMA®, CFP®, National Director, Sales & Business Development, Invesco U.S.

MODERATOR

Tiffany Westover-Kernan, 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.

SPEAKERS

Sara Bodnar, Assistant Director Annuity Compliance, Principal
Courtney Hess, Associate General Counsel, Corebridge Financial
Jesse Hill, Principal, Policy, Regulatory and Government Relations, Edward Jones

MODERATOR

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

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.

SPEAKERS

Megan Claypool, Senior Vice President & Chief Compliance Officer, Athene
Kaitlin Elliott, Head of the Wealth Management Generative AI Solutions Team, Morgan Stanley
Aaron Witt, Vice President, Chief Digital & Data Officer, Sammons Financial Group

MODERATOR

Heidi Kaiser, 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.

SPEAKERS

Joe Caruso, Director, Government Relations, Regulatory Policy Lead, Jackson, and Vice Chair, IRI Securities Committee
Harry Eisenstein, Shareholder, Carlton Fields
Ben Marzouk, Partner, Eversheds Sutherland

MODERATOR

Keith Mancini, Vice President, Government Affairs, Empower

 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.

SPEAKERS

Stefan Buchanan, Technical Director Annuity Product, Nationwide Financial
Kim Plyler, Senior Vice President, Distribution and Product Strategy, Jackson
Tom Haines, Executive Vice President, Capital Markets & Index Solutions, Annexus
Daniel Yem, Executive Director, Head of Retirement Income, J.P. Morgan Asset Management

MODERATOR

Frank O’Connor, Vice President, Research, Insured Retirement Institute

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.

SPEAKERS

Michael Herron, Vice President, Sales Operations, Lincoln Financial Distributors
Greg Jaeck, Senior Product Leader Annuities, Edward Jones
Kelly A. Tate, CFP®, ChFC®, CLU®, Financial Advisor, Edward Jones

MODERATOR

Daniel Gutman, Vice President, Platform Strategy, Prudential Financial

 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.

SPEAKERS

Kelley Williams, Partner, Forbes Tate Partners
Rick Murphy, Partner, Forbes Tate Partners
Jason Berkowitz, Chief Legal & Regulatory Affairs Officer, Insured Retirement Institute
Paul Richman, Chief Government & Political Affairs Officer, Insured Retirement Institute

MODERATOR

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

3:15 – 3:30 p.m.

Networking 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

5 – 6:30 p.m.

Sponsored Thought Leadership Presentation & Legal Forums

SPONSORED BY RegEd

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.

SPEAKERS

Scott Bowers, Chief Strategy & Distribution Officer, FIDX
Scott Stolz, CFP, RICP, Managing Director, Annuities Solutions, iCapital

SPONSORED BY iCapital    FIDX

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.

SPEAKERS

Michael Eustic, Head of US Insurance & Subadvisory, Invesco and IRI Board of Directors
Adam Rivituso, National Director, Sales & Business Development, Invesco
Ryan Kagy, Senior Strategic Account Manager, Invesco

SPONSORED BY Invesco

Thursday, April 4

8 – 8:45 a.m.

Breakfast

8:45 – 8:50 a.m.

Opening Remarks

Paul Richman
Paul Richman

Chief Government & Political Affairs Officer
Insured Retirement Institute

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

10:10 – 10:55 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
Coalition for Equity in Wholesaling's gold logo
Conning
Cooperative Technologies logo with interlocked CT in a blue oval.
Corebridge Financial
Purple and blue DFIN logo
DTCC
Eagle Life
Ebix's logo
Ebix's logo
Fare
Global Atlantic
Hexure
FIDX and iCapital's Insurance Exchange
Invesco's blue mountain logo
iPipeline's logo
Jackson
Lincoln Financial's logo
Nationwide's flying eagle logo
Pacific Life
Prudential
RegEd
S&P Dow Jones
Sammons Financial's green leaf logo
SuccessCE
Symetra
T.Rowe Price's teal bighorn sheep logo
Transamerica
UBS
Vertafore
Symetra