2018 Speakers

Graham M. Day

Chief Sales Officer, Senior Vice President and Managing Director, AXA Distributors, LLC

Graham Day is a Senior Vice President and Managing Director with AXA Distributors, LLC. He is the National Sales Manager for the Individual Annuity business across all channels of distribution which includes wirehouses, independents, regionals, banks, career agency and P&C divisions. He oversees 5 Divisional Vice Presidents, over 80 field wholesalers, the AXA Distributors Sales Desk, Advanced Markets, and all sales training functions.

Graham has over 17 years of experience in the financial services industry and regularly speaks at industry conferences on insurance distribution, risk management, retirement income, and financial planning.

Graham has been with AXA Distributors since 2002, and prior to his current role, was both a divisional sales manager and an annuity wholesaler covering relationships across banks, wirehouses and independent financial firms. Before joining AXA Distributors, Graham was an institutional sales professional at Donaldson, Lufkin, and Jenrette with a concentration in option strategies and equity capital markets. He obtained a Bachelor Degree in Government & Law from Lafayette College in 1999.

Graham currently resides in Raleigh, North Carolina with his wife and two daughters.


David Blanchett, PhD, CFA, CFP®

Head of Retirement Research, Morningstar Investment Management LLC 

David Blanchett, PhD, CFA, CFP® is head of retirement research for Morningstar Investment Management LLC. In this role, he works to enhance the group’s consulting and investment services and serves as the chair of the Advice Methodologies and Automated Strategies subcommittee, which is the working group responsible for developing and maintaining all methodologies relating to wealth forecasting, general financial planning, automated investment selection, and portfolio assignment for Morningstar Investment Management LLC. His research has been published in a variety of industry and academic journals and received a number of awards, most recently the Journal of Financial Planning’s 2014 and 2015 Montgomery-Warschauer Award, the Financial Analysts Journal’s 2015 Graham and Dodd Scroll Award, and the best paper in investments award at both the 2017 CFP Board Academic Research Colloquium and the 2017 Academy of Financial Services Annual Conference. He is currently an Expert Panelist for the Wall Street Journal and an Adjunct professor of Wealth Management at The American College. He holds a master’s degree in financial services from the American College, a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, and a doctorate in personal financial planning program from Texas Tech University.


Dr. Bill Breen

Senior Product Research Specialist, Horizon Investments

Dr. Breen brings the rm decades of fundamental, economic, and quantitative research with the ability to innovate his experiences with today’s current investment problems. Before Horizon, Dr. Breen was chairman and a founding director of Disciplined Investment Advisors, an equity manager with over $2 billion under management.

Dr. Breen is Emeritus Professor of Finance at the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University, where he was also chairman of the Finance Department and head of Doctoral Studies. He has published more than 40 articles and academic papers and has coauthored several books on investment strategy, corporate nance, asset pricing, and econometric theory. He has served on the boards of The LaSalle Trust Company, Barton-Ashmann, X10ion Inc., and the Evanston Community Foundation. Dr. Breen received a BA in economics and mathematics from Ripon College, completed graduate work at the London School of Economics as a Rotary International Fellow, and received a Ph.D. in economics from Cornell University.


Mark Bruno

Associate Publisher, InvestmentNews

Mark Bruno is the Associate Publisher at InvestmentNews. He is an award-winning journalist, author and researcher who has written and edited for a number of financial publications over the last decade, including InvestmentNews, Financial Week and Pensions & Investments. Mr. Bruno has been recognized with multiple accolades for his writing and reporting, including the American Business Media's prestigious Jesse H. Neal awards, and has also received awards from The Society of American Business Editors and Writers for his breaking news coverage and analysis of the financial services industry. In his current role as the head of digital and research, InvestmentNews has won multiple awards for its website design and databases, in addition to being named one of the top ten business-to-business websites in the media industry. Mr. Bruno is the author of Save Now or Die Trying: Achieving Long-Term Wealth In Your 20s and 30s, one of the top-selling retirement planning books of 2007. He also been featured frequently on television and radio as an expert on investing and retirement, and has also been quoted in numerous newspapers and magazines, including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Daily News, The Chicago Tribune and Investor's Business Daily.


Robbie Cannon

CEO, Horizon Investments

Robbie Cannon is the President and CEO of Horizon Investments, an asset management and consulting rm that specializes in active asset allocation, risk mitigation and generating a steady stream of retirement income. During his tenure, which began in 1999, Horizon has grown from a small retail RIA rm to a multi-billion dollar third-party investment management group with a national footprint based on its strong relationships with independent advisors, independent broker/dealers and institutional clients.

His career in nance began in 1994, and has encompassed various aspects of portfolio management including asset allocation, equity analysis and risk management. He graduated from Furman University and lives in Charlotte, NC. Robbie is a national speaker on topics ranging from asset allocation and risk management to market dynamics.


Lance K. Carlson

Head of Sales Distribution, Great-West Financial

Lance Carlson is a divisional sales manager at Great-West Financial. In his role, Lance is responsible for managing a team of professional wholesalers providing life and retirement income solutions. Lance, who joined the organization in 2016, has extensive experience in sales/marketing, operations, and P&L general management.

Lance earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Georgia. He holds the following qualifications: FINRA Series 7* and 24*; State Securities Series 63; State Life and Health Insurance Licenses.

*Registered as Series 6 and 26 to coincide with sponsoring broker dealer’s registration.


Natalie Choate, Esq.

Attorney, Nutter, McClennen & Fish

Natalie Choate is an attorney with the Boston law firm of Nutter, McClennen & Fish. Her practice is limited to estate planning for retirement benefits. Her two books, Life and Death Planning for Retirement Benefits and The QPRT Manual, are leading resources for estate planning professionals.

Ms. Choate is the founder and former chair of the Boston Bar Estate Planning Committee; a former chair of the Boston Bar Employee Benefits Committee; and a member and former officer of the Boston Probate and Estate Planning Forum. She is a fellow and former Regent of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel and former chairman of its Employee Benefits Committee. Named "Estate Planner of the Year" by the Boston Estate Planning Council, Ms. Choate is listed in The Best Lawyers in America. The National Association of Estate Planners and Councils has awarded Natalie the "Distinguished Accredited Estate Planner" designation.

Her articles on estate planning topics have been published in ACTEC Notes, Estate Planning, Trusts and Estates, Tax Practitioners Journal and Tax Management. She is a contributing author and co-editor of the book Drafting Wills and Trusts in Massachusetts published by Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education, Inc., and an editorial advisor for Trusts and Estates magazine. She writes a monthly web column and "podcast" for MorningstarAdvisor.com.

Ms. Choate has taught professional-level courses in estate planning in 45 states, and has spoken at the Heckerling, Notre Dame, Heart of America, New England, Southern California, Mississippi, Tennessee, Washington State and Southern Federal Tax Institutes. Her comments on estate and retirement planning have been quoted in The Wall Street Journal, Money, Bloomberg Wealth Manager, Newsweek, Kiplinger's Personal Finance, Forbes, Financial Planning and Financial World.A Boston native, Ms. Choate is a graduate of Radcliffe College and Harvard Law School.


Robert DeChellis

President and Chief Strategist, Allianz Exchange

As president and chief strategist for the Allianz Exchange, a division of Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America (Allianz Life®), DeChellis is responsible for uniting strategic relationships, technology and intellectual capital to identify uncommon financial solutions and thought leadership. In this role, DeChellis collaborates with the global family of Allianz companies as well as outside partners to address the growing demand for holistic financial advice.

Most recently, DeChellis was president and CEO of Allianz Life Financial Services, LLC. Prior to joining Allianz Life in 2006, DeChellis was EVP of Travelers Life & Annuity’s retail annuities division. Before that, he served as EVP and national sales manager for Jackson National Life Distributors Inc., managed sales for a broad range of product lines and distribution channels at Goldman Sachs, and was a regional manager for Lord Abbett & Co.

DeChellis earned a BS in finance from the University of Colorado Boulder and holds an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management. He is also currently serving as Chairman of the Insured Retirement Institute.


Dr. Mike Dickson

Director, Structured Financial Solutions, Horizon Investments

Dr. Dickson joined Horizon Investments in March 2015. He focuses on new product development and innovation, with an emphasis on retirement income strategies. He also supports Horizon’s investment process through the development of quantitative methods and strategies.

Dr. Dickson specializes in the areas of return predictability, portfolio optimization, and factor models. Previously, he taught undergraduate nance at UNC Charlotte and worked in nancial analysis support roles at Premier, Inc., and Global Compliance. Dr. Dickson received his BS in Chemistry from Winthrop University and both an MS in Economics and Ph.D. in Finance from UNC Charlotte.


Robert C. Doll

Senior Portfolio Manager, Chief Equity Strategist, Nuveen Asset Management

Bob Doll is Senior Portfolio Manager and Chief Equity Strategist at Nuveen Asset Management. Bob manages the Large Cap Equity Series, which includes traditional large cap equities, specialty categories and alternative strategies. He is a highly-respected authority on the equities markets among investors, advisors and the media. As the author of widely-followed weekly commentaries and annual market predictions, Bob provides ongoing, timely market perspectives.

Prior to joining Nuveen Asset Management, Bob held similar roles at other large asset management firms, including serving as chief equity strategist at BlackRock, president and chief investment officer of Merrill Lynch Investment Managers (MLIM) and chief investment officer of OppenheimerFunds, Inc. He has 37 years of portfolio management experience, received a B.S. in accounting and a B.A. in economics from Lehigh University and an M.B.A. from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He is a Certified Public Accountant and holds the Chartered Financial Analyst designation from the CFA Institute. Bob appears regularly on CNBC, Bloomberg TV and Fox Business News discussing the economy and markets. He has also been quoted in major business publications such as The Wall Street Journal, Barron’s and Financial Times.


Paul W. Ewing, CFP®

President, Prosperity Advisory Group

Paul Ewing, CFP® is an Advisor to Advisor… as well as to clients. He serves as the CEO of a Branch Office of over 150 members that are registered with Cetera Advisors. The everyday experiences Ewing encounter as an accomplished advisor help drive value to his members. Ewing is the Principal of an advisor ensemble practice that is responsible for $400 in AUM. Prosperity Advisors has been recognized in the Financial Times 400 in 2015, 2016 and again in 2017.

Ewing is also an innovator as the author of the on-line tool Fit To Retire, MyDucks.org and the ENGAGE, Client Service Offering Tool.

Ewing is a father of four young men, Husband to one incredible wife and involved in the community through Boy Scouts, as founder of Living Waters Canoe Ministry, part of the founders of Mission Southside, President of UP Global in addition to a number of community Board positions.


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.


Tom Hegna

Keynote Speaker, Economist Author Retirement Expert

Tom Hegna CLU, ChFC, CASL, is an author, speaker, and economist. He has been an incredibly popular industry speaker for many years and is considered by many to be THE Retirement Income Expert! As a former Senior Executive Officer at New York Life, retired Lieutenant Colonel, and economist, Tom has delivered over 5,000 seminars, helping Baby Boomers and seniors retire the “optimal” way. He has condensed a large chunk of his considerable knowledge into four of his books: (1) Paychecks and Playchecks: Retirement Solutions for Life, which is in the top 1% of any book ever sold, (2) Retirement Income Masters: Secrets of the Pros that compiles the very best practices from the top retirement experts in the country. (3) Paycheques and Playcheques, Retirement Solutions for Canadians, And most recently, (4) Don’t Worry, Retire Happy! Seven Steps to Retirement Security, which is based on his popular Public Television Special that has played in over 40 million homes in the US and Canada. Tom specializes in creating simple and powerful retirement solutions based on math and science – not opinions. He has the unique ability to pump up a crowd, make people laugh, and solve complex financial problems using easy-to- understand words, ideas and stories. He is available to speak to businesses, government organizations, professional associations, financial professionals, and their clients all across the globe.


Jamie Patrick Hopkins

Associate Professor of Taxation, The American College of Financial Services

Jamie P. Hopkins, ESQ., MBA, LLM, CLU®, ChFC®, RICP® is an associate professor of taxation at The American College of Financial Services in the Retirement Income program, and he is the co-director of the New York Life Center for Retirement Income. Professor Hopkins has helped co-author three text books and has two ebooks on Retirement Planning, is a regular contributor for InvestmentNews, Forbes, and MartketWatch. Additionally, he serves on the Board of Directors of a technology company that helps serve the retirement income and housing industry, ReverseVision, which was recognized as a Deloitte’s 2015 Technology Fast 500 Company.


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.


Daniel Latham

Account Manager, MoneyGuidePro®, Created by PIEtech

With over 16 years of experience in financial planning, Daniel Latham brings meaningful industry knowledge to PIEtech, Inc., the creators of the industry leading financial planning software, MoneyGuidePro.

Daniel’s background in banking, financial planning, and fintech software creates a valuable resource to advisors and firms looking to create a client centered financial planning practice. 

Prior to joining PIEtech, Daniel spent over ten years as a financial planner with two local community banks in Richmond, VA.  Daniel graduated from Hampden-Sydney College and currently resides in Richmond, Virginia with wife and children.


Christopher Mayer

CEO, Longbridge Financial

Chris has been with Longbridge Financial since its founding in 2012, serving as CEO since 2013. Longbridge is a reverse mortgage lender committed to working with financial planners and advisors to help seniors responsibly utilize their home equity for a more financially secure retirement. The company has a suite of materials and webinars to educate advisors and consumers, and has developed highly compliant programs with its partners. Chris earned a PhD in economics from MIT and serves as Paul Milstein Professor of Real Estate at Columbia Business School. Previously, he served as Senior Vice Dean at Columbia and as a professor at the Wharton School. Chris has spent more than 20 years writing on housing and mortgages, testifying six times before Congress during the financial crisis, and has frequently appeared in the media, including: The New York Times, Bloomberg, The Wall Street Journal, and National Public Radio.


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.


Abraham Okusanya

M Sc., Founder and Director, FinalytiQ

Abraham is founder of investment and retirement research consultancy, FinalytiQ and creator of Timeline.co, an innovative online application for illustrating sustainable withdrawal strategies in retirement portfolios. He has authored several industry papers and delivered talks to the FCA, Chartered Insurance Institute, Personal Finance Society and several conferences across the country. He holds a Master’s degree from Coventry and an alphabet soup of designations, including the IMC, CFP, Chartered Financial Planner and Chartered Wealth Manager. But of course, no one really cares.

Abraham was one of 5 finalists for the Professional Adviser Personality of Year Award 2015, alongside the then Pensions Minister Steve Web but the award went to a more deserving winner, obviously!


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®).


Stephen Resch

Vice President of Retirement Strategies, Finance of America

Stephen brings more than 20 years of experience incorporating home equity into retirement planning as a managing partner and investment advisor at both S. J. Resch Company and ProEast Asset Management. At Finance of America Reverse, Stephen is responsible for developing programming and resources for financial advisors that help them integrate home equity into their clients’ retirement planning and wealth management discussions. Stephen also leads educational sessions with financial advisors, tax and estate attorneys and CPAs across the country. Stephen is a frequent speaker on leveraging home equity in retirement and has been quoted in Kiplinger’s Personal Finance, Reverse Review and other media outlets.


Jack Sharry

EVP, Strategic Partnerships, LifeYield

Jack Sharry, LifeYield’s EVP, Strategic Partnerships, has been a financial industry innovator for nearly 30 years as an executive at Morgan Stanley, Putnam Investments and The Phoenix Companies serving as a senior leader in sales, marketing, product development and distribution strategy. While at Phoenix, Jack led a team which developed the first multi-manager wholesale distribution model for advisory platforms and the first income guarantee on an advisory program. Jack is Chairman of the Money Management Institute's (MMI) Digitally Enhanced Advice Committee. He is the author of a series of research papers on Goals-based Wealth Management. Jack has been recognized as an MMI Pioneer, a select group of industry leaders and was awarded the 2013 MMI Chairman's Award for retirement income thought leadership. Jack has a B.A. from the University of Connecticut.


Dr. Katy Votava, Ph.D., RN.

President, GOODCARE.com

Dr. Katy Votava is the President and founder of GOODCARE.com®, a unique fee-for-service consulting firm working with financial advisors, individuals and small business all over the United States, to help them save money on healthcare now and in retirement.

Dr. Katy is the author of Making the Most of Medicare: A Guide for Baby Boomers now in it’s 5th edition. She is a Medicare journalist for InvestmentNews and has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, CNBC, Money magazine, Fox News and PBS’s WealthTrack. Dr. Katy is a sought-after speaker on retirement healthcare finance, Medicare and Long Term Care.

Dr. Katy Votava is a Registered Nurse with a PhD in health economics from the University of Rochester where she completed a pre-doctoral fellowship in community and preventive medicine. Dr. Katy did a post-doctoral fellowship at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Katy’s uses her unique background as a nurse practitioner, healthcare economist, and researcher to help people plan for and manage healthcare in retirement.


Ross Znavor

Managing Director, BlackRock Digital Wealth

Managing Director, is the Head of Business Development for BlackRock’s Digital Wealth group and a member of its Executive Committee. His responsibilities include commercialization strategy, driving new technology partnerships and innovation, as well as relationship management at the enterprise level. From 2013 to 2016, Mr. Znavor served as Head of Business Development for U.S. 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. In this role, he was responsible for strategy within MLIM’s Institutional group and also held roles with the Equity and Fixed Income Portfolio Management teams. 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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