Speakers

Heather Kelly, HIA, RHU, MHP, CLU, ChFC

Senior Vice President, United Capital Risk Management

Heather has been in the insurance industry over twenty five years. Her experience, at some of the most venerable financial institutions in America, spans many facets of the industry. She has received recognition and numerous awards for her accomplishments in these roles. Heather is also a fierce advocate for education and is a continual student.

The desire to give back is a driving force for Heather. She has served on industry and philanthropic boards and committees. Athena International recognized her as their first nationwide recipient of The Young Professional Honor, recognizing Heather for professional excellence, community service and for actively assisting women in their attainment of professional excellence and leadership skills.

Heather is responsible for the leading United Capital Risk Management, LLC. Her responsibilities include fostering a platform that promotes integrating unbiased insurance based risk management strategies into the planning process. Her expertise is educating advisers and clients on how properly designed, executed and managed insurance based products can augment global planning and financial stability. Her acumen and experience uniquely positions her to improve the lives of United Capital’s clients, advisers and employees she works with.

Heather resides in Florida with David, her husband of twenty three years, and Nathaniel, their ten year old son. In addition to being a mom and wife, Heather’s passions include reading, fishing and spending time outdoors with her family.

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Joseph F. Coughlin,Ph.D.

founder and Director of the AgeLab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Joseph F. Coughlin, Ph.D., is founder and Director of the AgeLab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His research seeks to understand the impacts of global demographic change, social trends and technology on consumer behavior, innovations in business, and public policy. Dr. Coughlin teaches in MIT's Department of Urban Studies & Planning and the Sloan School's Advanced Management Program. He is the author of The Longevity Economy: Inside the World's Fastest Growing, Most Misunderstood Market, and is a regular contributor to Forbes. He is currently at work on a new book about the future of retirement. A researcher, teacher and speaker, Dr. Coughlin is a frequent guest on news programs; his work has been featured in both print and on television, including ABC, BBC, CBS, CNN, NBC, News Asia, The Economist, Financial Times, The Times, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and other media outlets throughout the world.

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Mary Beth Franklin, CFP®

Contributing Editor, InvestmentNews

Mary Beth Franklin is a contributing editor at InvestmentNews, writing a column for the print edition and a blog for the website. Relying on more than decade of experience as a senior editor of Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine and editor of the Kiplinger's annual Retirement Planning Guide, Ms. Franklin aims to bridge the gap between what consumers want and what financial advisers can provide. An award-winning journalist, Ms. Franklin covers retirement planning and distributions, tax planning, Social Security issues and the health-care aspects of retirement planning. She is a frequent public speaker, addressing both financial industry and consumer groups, and she has appeared on numerous national and local television and radio programs including NBC's Today show and Meet the Press, the CBS Early Show, CNN and PBS's Wealthtrack program.

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Michael R. Harris

Senior Educatin Advisor, Alliance for Lifetime Income

Michael R. Harris, CFP, CLU, ChFC, is a senior education advisor for the Alliance for Lifetime Income, a nonprofit organization founded to help Americans address the risk of outliving their retirement income. For almost 30 years, he worked as a senior executive in the life insurance industry, collaborating closely with financial advisors, insurance agents, CPAs, attorneys and their clients to help design financial strategies and solutions for the “new” American retirement.

As an Alliance senior education advisor, Michael provides strategic guidance, thought leadership and educational resources and speaks at industry events to help increase awareness among financial professionals and consumers of protected lifetime income solutions, including annuities, and how they fit into a comprehensive retirement plan.

In his previous role as vice president and head of the Advanced Solutions Group at Lincoln Financial Distributors, Michael was a key member of a team tasked with supporting Lincoln’s extensive network of wholesalers, helping contacts all over the country develop creative, holistic financial strategies to meet the goals of distributors, advisors, agents and their clients.

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Igor Jonjic

Senior Product Manager, Investment Services, Fiserv

Igor Jonjic has dedicated his career to helping financial advisors better serve their clients and grow their business through innovative technology. As a former financial advisor, Igor Jonjic is quite familiar with the work it takes to build a successful practice and help clients reach their financial goals. His experience as an advisor led him to where he is today — a specialist in financial technology and advice solutions.

In his current role, Igor leads all facets of product strategy and development for financial planning and retirement income solutions at Fiserv. He’s helped bring new tools to market that enable advisors to work more efficiently and better collaborate with clients to guide them through retirement planning and all other financial goals.

Prior to joining Fiserv, Igor spent 8 years as a technology consultant where he worked directly with individual advisors and senior management at one of the nation’s largest independent broker-dealers.

Igor earned an M.B.A specializing in Business Systems and Data Analytics from LaSalle University and a B.S. in Computer Information Systems from Rider University.

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Michael Kitces

Partner and Director, Pinnacle Advisory Group and Co-Founder, XY Planning Network

Michael E. Kitces, MSFS, MTAX, CFP®, CLU, ChFC, RHU, REBC, CASL, is a partner and the Director of Research for Pinnacle Advisory Group, a private wealth management firm located in Columbia, Maryland that oversees approximately $1.8 billion of client assets. In addition, he is a co-founder of the XY Planning Network and New Planner Recruiting, the former Practitioner Editor of the Journal of Financial Planning, and the publisher of the popular financial planning continuing education blog Nerd’s Eye View through his website www.Kitces.com, dedicated to advancing knowledge in financial planning.

Beyond his website, Michael is an active writer and editor across the industry and has been featured in publications including Financial Planning, the Journal of Financial Planning, Journal of Retirement Planning, Practical Tax Strategies, and Leimberg Information Services, as well as The Wall Street Journal, BusinessWeek, CNBC PowerLunch, NBC Nightly News, and more. In addition, Michael has co-authored numerous books, including “The Annuity Advisor” with John Olsen (now in 3rd edition), the first balanced and objective book on annuities written for attorneys, accountants, and financial planners, and “Tools & Techniques of Retirement Income Planning” with Steve Leimberg and others.

Michael is one of the 2010 recipients of the Financial Planning Association’s “Heart of Financial Planning” awards for his dedication to advancing the financial planning profession. In addition, he has variously been recognized as financial planning's "Deep Thinker," a "Legacy Builder," an "Influencer," a "Mover & Shaker," part of the “Power 20,” and a "Rising Star in Wealth Management" by industry publications. These awards were presented to honor Michael’s active work in the financial planning community, which currently includes serving as a member of the Editorial Review Board for the Journal of Financial Planning, national chair of the Financial Planning Section for the Society of Financial Services Professionals, and numerous other boards and committees for the Financial Planning Association and the Society of Financial Services Professionals at the local and National levels. Michael is also a co-founder of NexGen, a community of the next generation of financial planners that aims to ensure the transference of wisdom, tradition, and integrity, from the pioneers of financial planning to the next generation of the profession.

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Ryan W. Neal

Technology Reporter, InvestmentNews

Ryan W. Neal covers financial technology for InvestmentNews. Originally from Northern California, he received his undergraduate degree at UC Santa Barbara and began his career in journalism at the Santa Barbara Independent. After a few years freelancing, bartending and snowboarding in Colorado, he moved to New York and earned a master’s degree from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. Ryan started covering the fintech beat in 2014, and also enjoys writing about sports, music, Star Wars, politics, arts and entertainment.

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Angie O’Leary

Head of Wealth Planning, RBC Wealth Management

Angie O’Leary is head of Wealth Planning at RBC Wealth Management-U.S. In this role, O’Leary and her team are focused on helping clients live life with more clarity and confidence through goals-based planning delivered by skilled financial advisors.

O’Leary is a 25-year veteran of the financial services industry, most recently serving as the head of investment solutions for U.S. Bank Wealth Management where she was responsible for investment product management, desktop tools and digital investment capabilities. She also oversaw the business line’s mutual fund and insurance product distribution relationships. Prior to her career at U.S. Bank, O’Leary previously held leadership positions at UBS and Piper Jaffray.

She sits on several industry roundtable and advisory boards and is often asked to contribute her expertise. O’Leary has authored numerous white papers, published articles and is active in the media and press. She has a passion for financial literacy and is an advocate for women and their financial success.

O’Leary holds a bachelor’s degree in business finance from San Jose State University and has completed coursework toward a master’s in accounting from Santa Clara University. She is active in her community, serving as an executive board member for the Wayside Recovery Center, a treatment center for women and their families recovering from substance abuse, and has a passion for family mission work in Haiti.

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Wade Pfau, Ph.D.

Professor of Retirement Income, The American College of Financial Services

Dr. Wade Pfau, is a Professor of Retirement Income in the Ph.D. in Financial and Retirement Planning program at The American College of Financial Services. He is also a contributor to The College's Retirement Income Certified Professional® (RICP®) designation program curriculum.

Dr. Pfau is a co-editor of the Journal of Personal Finance. He has spoken at the national conferences of organizations for financial professionals such as the CFA Institute, FPA, NAPFA, AICPA-PFP, and AFS. He also publishes frequently in a wide variety of academic and practitioner research journals. He hosts the Retirement Researcher blog, and is a monthly columnist for Advisor Perspectives, a RetireMentor for MarketWatch, a contributor to Forbes, and an Expert Panelist for The Wall Street Journal. His research has been discussed in outlets that include print editions of The Economist, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and Money Magazine.

Dr. Pfau was a selectee for the InvestmentNews "Power 20" in 2013 and "40 Under 40" in 2014, the Investment Advisor 35 list for 2015, the IA 25 list for 2014, and Financial Planning magazine's Influencer Awards. He is a two-time winner of the Journal of Financial Planning Montgomery-Warschauer Award, a two-time winner of the Academic Thought Leadership Award from the Retirement Income Industry Association, and a best paper award winner in the retirement category from the Academy of Financial Services.

Dr. Pfau holds a doctorate in economics and a master's degree from Princeton University, and Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees from the University of Iowa. He is also a Chartered Financial Analyst® (CFA®).

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Kathleen M. Rehl

Rehl Wealth Collaborations

Kathleen M. Rehl, Ph.D., CFP®, CeFT® wrote the multi-award-winning book, Moving Forward on Your Own: A Financial Guidebook for Widows. Having experienced widowhood herself, Dr. Rehl empowers widows financially™ and inspires their advisors. Her work has been featured in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, AARP Bulletin, CNBC, USA Today, U.S. News & World Report, Journal of Financial Service Professionals, Journal of Financial Planning, Investment News and many other publications. Rehl owned an independent financial planning firm for 17 years before retiring to her “encore career”—speaking, writing, mentoring and researching widow’s financial issues.

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Stephen Resch

VP of Retirement Strategies, Finance of America Reverse

As VP of Retirement Strategies at Finance of America Reverse, Steve leads education and training programs about the role of home equity and reverse mortgages within a comprehensive retirement plan for financial professionals across the country. Steve also designed a proprietary illustrator software that allows advisors and their clients to simulate asset distribution strategies with or without home equity, to better visualize the potential long-term net benefit of leveraging home equity in a retirement plan.

Steve is an Investment Advisor and began his financial services career in 1987 as a fixed income analyst for T.E. Desmond Company, an Institutional Broker Dealer. During his tenure, he designed and implemented both straddle and hedging software programs to balance risk for the company’s managed portfolios. In 1994, he founded S.J. Resch Investments which provided wealth management services for both retail and institutional clients. In 2011, S.J. Resch Investments merged with ProEast Asset Management and Steve continues to design and manage equity and income portfolios that combine macro fundamentals with technical analysis.

Steve majored in Business Administration at St. John Fisher College and holds FINRA Series 7, 63 and 65 securities licenses as well as Insurance Producer licenses in Connecticut and Tennessee. Steve is a frequent speaker and expert source and has been quoted in Kiplinger’s Personal Finance, HousingWire, Reverse Mortgage Daily and other publications.

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Suzanne Siracuse

CEO/Publisher, InvestmentNews

Suzanne Siracuse is CEO and publisher of InvestmentNews and Investmentnews.com where she oversees the business, editorial strategies and operations for the brand. Published weekly, InvestmentNews is the leading information source for financial advisers. Her leadership responsibilities include the newspaper, website, e-newsletters, webcasts, research, data and conferences.

Ms. Siracuse has been with InvestmentNews since its launch in 1998, and formerly held the position of Advertising Sales Director and Associate Publisher before being named Publisher in January of 2006.  Her experience within the financial advisory industry has garnered wide renown and respect through her top-level relations with broker-dealers, custodians, financial advisers, mutual fund companies, insurance firms and industry associations.

Ms. Siracuse is also the Chairperson of the Board for the Invest in Others Charitable Foundation.

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Ed Slott, CPA

President, Ed Slott & Co.

Ed Slott was named “The Best” source for IRA advice by the Wall Street Journal.

He is a nationally recognized professional speaker and has starred in several nationally aired public television specials including the most recent, “Retire Safe & Secure! with Ed Slott (2018).

Slott created The IRA Leadership Program and Ed Slott’s Elite IRA Advisor GroupSM which were developed specifically to help financial professionals earn recognition as leaders in the IRA marketplace.

Mr. Slott is an accomplished author of many financial and retirement-focused books, including most recently Ed Slott’s Retirement Decisions Guide: 2018 Edition (IRAHelp, 2018) and Fund Your Future: A Tax-Smart Savings Plan in Your 20s and 30s (IRAHelp, 2018). Slott also publishes d Slott's IRA Advisor a monthly IRA newsletter. He is a personal finance columnist for numerous financial publications.

As a thought leader in the retirement industry, Slott is often quoted in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Money, Kiplinger’s, USA Today, Investment News and a host of additional national magazines and financial publications. He has appeared on numerous national television and radio programs. Mr. Slott is also a consultant to financial information websites.

He is a past Chairman of the New York State Society of CPAs Estate Planning Committee and editor of the IRA planning section of the CPA Journal. Mr. Slott is the recipient of the prestigious “Excellence in Estate Planning” and “Outstanding Service” awards presented by The Foundation for Accounting Education. He is a former Board member of The Estate Planning Council of New York City and an Accredited Estate Planner (AEP) distinguished.

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Phil Walker

VP of Strategic Partnerships, Finance of America Reverse

As VP of Strategic Partnerships at Finance of America Reverse, Phil is responsible for building long-term partnerships within the financial community. Over the course of his nearly 25 year career, Phil has held roles in the mortgage and investment advisory industries. In 2006, he began to focus on leveraging home equity in retirement planning as senior vice president of Network Source Funding. Phil also served as national sales manager for the reverse division of First Horizon Home Loans, a Fortune 500 company which was acquired by MetLife in 2009.

Phil is the author of the “Boomer Effect,” which was published by FA magazine and highlights the impact Boomers will have on the economy, Medicaid and the families across the country. Phil is a frequent presenter and has spoken at FA Magazine’s Retirement Symposium and the Financial Planning Association’s national conference.

Phil studied at Fullerton College and has served as a board member for the Visalia Education Foundation.

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Corey J. Walther

Senior Vice President, Head of Distribution Relationship Management and Business Development, Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America

As SVP and Head of Distribution Relationship Management and Business Development, Corey Walther is responsible for leading business development and relationship management for all distribution channels at Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America (Allianz Life®). He also manages the onboarding of new market opportunities.

Walther has more than 25 years of experience in financial services. Most recently, he was chief operating officer for Allianz Life Financial Services, LLC. Prior to joining Allianz Life in 1998, Walther was an investment executive at RBC Dain Rauscher, where he built a financial planning practice focused on small-business owners and high-net-worth individuals.

Walther holds an MBA from the University of Minnesota, Carlson School of Management, as well as a BS from Moorhead State University. His professional designations include the CLU® (Chartered Life Underwriter), ChFC® (Chartered Financial Consultant), RICP® (Retirement IncomeCertified Professional), and Wealth Management Certified Professional (WMCP®). Walther is a member of the Allianz Financial Literacy Committee, which works closely with Junior Achievement and BestPrep. As an advocate for greater diversity in the workplace, he also serves on the Allianz Inclusion and Diversity Committee. Walther is chairperson and a member of the board for the nonprofit Twin Cities in Motion. Walther enjoys spending time with his wife, Janeen, and three children, and is an avid runner.

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Ross Znavor

Managing Director, BlackRock

Ross Znavor, Managing Director, is the Head of Commercialization for BlackRock's Digital Wealth Solutions Group and a member of the firm's Global Retail Technology Executive Committee. His responsibilities include business development, overall platform strategy and relationship management for Institutional, Retail and Insurance clients. From 2013 to 2016, Mr. Znavor served as Head of Business Development for US Retirement and was a member of the innovation team that developed both iRetire and the CoRI Retirement indexes. Prior to these roles, Mr. Znavor was a senior member within BlackRock's Institutional Client Business Group.

Mr. Znavor's service with the firm dates back to 2000, including his years with Merrill Lynch Investment Managers (MLIM), which merged with BlackRock in 2006. At MLIM he was responsible for strategy within MLIM Institutional and held roles in the Equity and Fixed Income Portfolio Management Groups. Mr. Znavor began his investment career in 1998 in Merrill Lynch's Global Private Client Group.

Mr. Znavor earned a BS degree in finance from the University of Central Florida. He is a Board Member and Treasurer of the National Arts Club in New York City.

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