Vice President, Intermediary Consulting & Personal Financial Solutions, American Century Investments
Don Bonder is Vice President, Intermediary Consulting & Personal Financial Solutions for American Century Investments in Kansas City, Missouri. He is responsible for managing the Internal Sales Division covering Independent/Regional Broker/Dealer, Wirehouses, Registered Investment Advisors and Defined Contribution channels, in addition to the Sales Coordinators and Fund Analysts.
Prior to joining American Century in 2013, Don was a Vice President at Fidelity Financial Advisor Solutions (FFAS). Don was responsible for leading internal sales, covering the Wealth Advisor Group serving Registered Investment Advisors, Fidelity Investments Liquidity Management Services focusing on institutional clients, the Bank Trust channel, and Inbound Sales. He also focused on developing sales desk strategy for the client experience and career development initiatives.
Don earned a Bachelors of Science Business Administration, with a dual major in Finance and Accounting, from Northeastern University. Additionally, he has his Master of Business Administration, with a concentration in Marketing, from Assumption College. Don holds FINRA/NASD Series 7, 24, 51, 63 licenses and the CIMA designation.
Managing Director, Associate Publisher, InvestmentNews
Mark Bruno is the Managing Director, 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.
Co-founder and CEO, FiComm Partners, LLC
Megan Carpenter is co-founder and CEO of FiComm Partners, LLC, a company widely respected for delivering thoughtful, strategic communications programs to clients via public relations, digital marketing, branding, social media and creative services. Under Megan’s leadership, FiComm has experienced rapid growth, opening three regional offices across the United States in Los Angeles, New York City and San Diego. Megan’s strong management and organizational leadership is founded on over 15 years of experience providing exceptional client service. Her unwavering commitment to doing right by clients is one of FiComm’s greatest competitive advantages.
A regular blogger and spokesperson in the media on topics related to financial services marketing and communications, Megan is also a sought-after speaker at a wide range of industry events, including Pershing INSITE, Bob Veres’ Insider’s Forum, the ECHELON Partners Deals and Deal Makers Summit, the Riskalyze Fearless Investing Summit, Disrupt|Advice, FPA NorCal, the MarketCounsel Summit, and the CFA Institute.
Megan was drawn to the world of business and finance at a young age, beginning as an intern at John Hancock while still finishing undergrad. She was soon managing the marketing and business development departments at two of Signator Investors’ (formerly John Hancock Financial Network) largest hybrid career agencies, which ultimately led her to start her own business, Caritative Wealth Consulting, focused on helping independent financial advisors to better market themselves and grow their businesses. In 2014, Caritative merged with FiComm Partners, and the new FiComm began offering both marketing and PR services to the independent financial community.
Megan graduated from the University of Southern California with a B.S. in Business Administration, with an emphasis in Global Management. She is a proud supporter of the USC Alumni Association, the USC Marshall School of Business Scholarship Fund, and the American Red Cross. When not concentrating on driving FiComm’s strategic vision, evolution and continuous improvement as a business, she enjoys spending time with her husband Scott, her son Keenan and their extended family.
COO, Private Ocean
Susan Dickson is the organizational backbone of Private Ocean Wealth Management, responsible for business finance and administration–including risk, human resource and facilities management, along with financial projections and budgets. As a member of the leadership team, she contributes to strategic planning for business and employee development.
Susan has more than 40-years of experience in business management across several industries including, wealth management, aerospace, wine, food services, and education. She is frequently a participant on panels addressing leadership and issues around the impact of mergers and acquisitions on culture.
In addition to her work with Private Ocean she is a certified Birkman® consultant, has been an adjunct professor in the MBA program at Dominican University of California and currently serves as a presenter, mentor, and judge for the G2 Leadership Institute, a national program working with the next generation of leaders in the financial service industry. She is also past president of Junior League Napa-Sonoma and presently a member of the Financial Women's Association of San Francisco and the American Association of University Women (AAUW). She currently serves as president of the Women, Leadership & Philanthropy Council (WLPC) at Dominican University of California.
Susan’s holds an Ed.D. in Organization and Leadership from the University of San Francisco, an MBA in Strategic Leadership, and a BA in Human Resource Management from Dominican University of California.
Senior Research Analyst
James is a Senior Research Analyst at InvestmentNews. He leads InvestmentNews Research's flagship practice management benchmarking studies on financial performance, compensation, staffing and technology. James also manages custom client research projects, maintains the RIA and Independent broker-dealer data centers and contributes to Numbers Game, a blog highlighting market research & data trends in the financial advice industry.
Owner, COO & Chief Compliance Officer, Balasa Dinverno Foltz LLC
Susan Korin champions BDF’s culture of transparent and open communication, which supports the firm’s mission of helping people live a full life.
As COO, Chief Compliance Officer and Owner, she optimizes internal processes for efficiency and compliance while creating an infrastructure and working environment that fuels the client-centered culture. She also works with the firm’s President and Director of Client Service to identify and implement operational best practices across the firm.
Susan brings a fresh perspective and unparalleled business savvy to the BDF leadership team. She has systemized BDF’s hiring process and developed an interviewing process that ensures candidates are evaluated for cultural fit. As Chief Compliance Officer, she facilitates ongoing education that drives a culture of compliance and keeps all staff up-to-date on SEC rules and requirements.
She was strongly influenced by her early experiences working in her family’s publishing business, Dana Chase Publications, Inc., where she rose through the ranks to the role of CEO. “Because I wore a lot of hats, I understood how the whole business worked and how everything was connected.” She applies her broad business perspective and ownership mentality to her work at BDF, always making sure operations are optimized with client service in mind. Her understanding of interconnectivity among the firm’s internal processes ensures that BDF’s strong, mission-driven culture is retained as the firm grows, that work isn’t done in silos but in collaborative teams, and that clients reap the benefits of highly efficient operations.
Susan holds a BA in Business Administration from St. Mary’s University. Prior to joining BDF in 2011, she served as President of the Institute of Personality and Ability Testing, Inc., a publisher of psychometric assessment tools. Susan recently participated in TD Ameritrade’s Breakout Growth Webcast Series, speaking on two topics – The Right Time to Make a Strategic Hire and Sourcing & Onboarding. Susan’s 20-plus years of experience managing people and operations have strengthened her skills as a mentor, teaching her the importance of providing staff with challenging opportunities, the freedom to run with a new assignment and make mistakes, and constructive feedback to fuel professional growth.
EVP, Small Business Banking, Live Oak Bank
Mike McGinley is an Executive Vice President and the head of advisory lending at Live Oak Bank. Mike joined the team in 2013 as a senior loan officer, contributing to the over $700 million in loan originations that Live Oak Bank has made to advisors since its inception. As the head of the advisory lending team, Mike consults with advisors and their executive teams on acquisition and loan structuring, succession plan strategies and how to finance them, and how capital can help fuel growth for their businesses.
Prior to joining Live Oak Bank, Mike was a vice president of business development for PNC Bank, where he originated small and middle market commercial loans throughout the Mid-Atlantic region.
Mike has an MBA with a focus on accounting from Drexel University and a bachelor’s degree in finance from the Smeal College of Business at Pennsylvania State University.? He is a native of New Jersey and currently resides in Wilmington, North Carolina.
Partner and Director of Business Consulting at The Ensemble Practice
As Partner and Director of Business Consulting, Brandon Odell works directly with clients on strategy development and growth planning and serves as faculty for the Ensemble Management Institute, the company’s intensive program of business management classes for independent advisory firms. Brandon also contributes his research expertise to our ongoing efforts to benchmark the growth of the industry, including participating in the leading advisor compensation and staffing study, which Ensemble conducts in partnership with InvestmentNews.
With ten years of business consulting experience, Brandon has spent the past six years working directly with financial industry clients – including independent advisors, broker-dealers and solution providers – focusing on strategic planning, equity assessment and transfer, technology utilization and operational efficiency. Most recently, Brandon was a senior consultant and vice president at Envestnet | Tamarac, where he delivered practice management consulting and led the team for reporting and outsourced services. Prior to that, as a senior analyst at Moss Adams Business Consulting, he worked with many firms on practice management issues and concentrated on industry research and analysis. Brandon is a CFA charterholder and has an MBA from Thunderbird School of Global Management.
Special Projects Editor, InvestmentNews
Liz Skinner became Special Projects Editor for InvestmentNews in 2017 to expand the range of editorial-based projects produced in print and online. Previously, she was a reporter for InvestmentNews for six years, writing many of the cover stories and special report features she now oversees. Liz covered many different beats over the years, but most recently she focused on financial advice technology and practice management. She joined InvestmentNews after five years as a reporter for Bloomberg News in Washington, where she covered the Securities and Exchange Commission and other policy issues.
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