What keeps these executives up at night?

Real talk about real industry concerns

May 18, 2019 @ 6:00 am

By Ellie Zhu

David Reich, national president of retirement services, Hub International

The regulatory change. When I look at the regulators when they come in and try to drive something, I think they drive value out of the space. ... Also, are we fighting to make sure we're keeping our clients? Are we growing? If I ever felt like our growth was slowing, those are the kind of things that I think about.

Jay Laschinger, senior vice president and national practice leader, Alliant Retirement Consulting

Staying ahead of our competition. ... A competitor comes in and is talking about something you haven't brought up for whatever reason with your client and then you're sort of fighting to regain that confidence. You want to make sure you're delivering that value and not just get complacent.

Jeff Cullen, managing partner, Strategic Retirement Partners

If we don't collectively execute on behalf of the American worker, we will either be legislated out or somebody else like Amazon will see this as an opportunity to get into it. So I think it's incumbent upon all of us in this room to do whatever we can to execute collectively and individually to make sure that we deliver the promise that we created.

Scott Colangelo, managing partner, Prime Capital Investment Advisors

The thing that concerns me, I really worry about all the time, is am I investing enough back into my practice to allow to be successful? Am I spending those dollars in the right places? Because I have a lot of people that, candidly, their lives depend on our leadership and good decisions.

David Hinderstein, president, Strategic Retirement Group Inc.

It's really a combination of what Fielding and Randy said. It's if we don't execute, and not just execute for our clients, execute for all Americans, the government's going to figure out a way to help us. I work tirelessly to prevent that from happening because I don't think that they can do better than the people in this room.

Gary Josephs, founder and managing partner, Retirement Benefits Group

It's the model. We do it one way, CapTrust does it another way, Pensionmark does it another way, SageView does it another way. Everyone has variations of that model. Are we in the right model? ... I still have not figured out if any one model is better than the other.

Joseph DeNoyior, chief executive, Washington Financial Group

Two things I think about. One, adapting to market conditions properly so we're making the right decisions. The second thing is distribution from the data. ... We all say the key is data and we're holding data from each other. The record keepers are trying to protect it, whoever has the data is trying to protect it and the one that has data that actually makes a difference is a distribution company like Amazon, that actually knows my behavior before I know.

John Cunningham, senior vice president, Alliant Retirement Consulting

I think you have a deficit that continues to keep growing, right? So somebody who makes $250,000 a year that has $350,000 in debt, spends $300,000 of income because his debt keeps going and you have an economy that long-term is not on a good path. ... There's some definite things in the economy that could certainly hurt and a regulatory action by taking away a tax deduction to pay for the ills of the past, the deficit, could certainly hurt the industry.

Fielding Miller, chief executive, Captrust

What keeps me up at night is missing the fat pitch that we don't execute. We get distracted. We fumble. The complexity that we deal with in running the business we have today versus 10 years ago is multiples. It does get more complicated. More things can go wrong, and so what I think about is just execution.

Jamie Greenleaf, principal, Cafaro Greenleaf

Am I really delivering the right solutions? Have I gotten people to retire with dignity, and if I haven't, how can I? That's what our industry is still missing. We still haven't figured that component out. ... It's the people over age 45 I'm concerned about.

Geoff White, chief executive, GRP Financial

I think we kind of talked about the record keepers encroaching on the business, financial wellness, giving advice, managed accounts, income strategies they're all developing. All this stuff kind of replaces the adviser.

Vincent Morris, president, Resources Investment Advisors

It's technology. I don't want to get caught in the middle. If I was a million-dollar practice, I might be able to survive forever in that space, right? But running a practice the size that we are now, am I going to be able to keep up with the leaders in the marketplace?

Michael Woods, executive vice president, Pensionmark Financial Group

Is there something missing? I agree with everything everybody said, those are all concerns. That doesn't keep me up. It's, is there something out there that we missed?

Randy Long, managing principal, SageView Advisory Group

Are we reinvesting in the right areas as the industry changes. Obviously, technology. Technology breaches, that type of thing is keeping me up at night.


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