FSI Exchange Virtual Event on July 18-20 to Update Industry on Changes and Legislative and Regulatory Developments and Explore Solutions to Common Issues
Ask any independent financial advisor to name the top industry advocacy group and their consistent answer will be the Financial Services Institute (FSI). Indeed, since its founding nearly two decades ago, the organization has cemented its place in the industry as a hub for regulatory advocacy and connection.
Over the years, FSI’s efforts successfully guarded the industry and championed beneficial outcomes for advisors and their clients in a variety of areas, including financial literacy, taxes, standard of care and independent contractor status.
During the pandemic, FSI tilted towards virtual and hybrid or virtual-only events to keep the industry engaged in advocacy efforts, including many virtual meetings between legislators and industry participants.
In keeping with that, this year FSI will host a new virtual event, FSI Exchange, which will take place on July 18-20. The event will update participants on changes in the industry and legislative and regulatory developments, demonstrate what is working for other independent advisors and showcase potential solutions to common issues.
To learn more about FSI Exchange, we caught up with Dale Brown, President and CEO of FSI, to ask him about the event, what attendees can expect and how it fits with FSI’s advocacy mission.
WSR: What can attendees expect that they wouldn’t get from other industry events?
Brown: With historic inflation, volatile markets, geopolitical unrest and evolving regulatory requirements, it’s important to come together as an industry and assess the months ahead. FSI Exchange is a virtual mid-year event bringing FSI members together to not only discuss business challenges but to explore solutions.
The event program has content designed specifically for independent financial advisors and firm executives. Financial advisors will learn more about how to be effective advocates for their businesses and build relationships with elected officials. In addition, they can participate in roundtable discussions focused on issues related to cybersecurity, succession planning and the pending generational transfer of wealth.
The program for firm executives will explore SEC and FINRA enforcement developments, as well as the evolving workplace and its impact on recruitment and retention, while the firm-focused roundtables will cover the SEC marketing rule, examination experiences, work automation and more.
There will also be a dedicated roundtable discussion for firm member CEOs, which will build off the conversations during the CEO discussion at OneVoice and the virtual CEO roundtable in May.
Financial advisors and firm executives will come together for joint sessions, including a Washington update from Andy Friedman and an advancing women in leadership workshop on creating effective sponsorship programs.
WSR: This is a virtual event. Why did FSI make that decision versus an in-person gathering?
Brown: We want this to be accessible to all our members. During the summer months, we know many people are on vacation or busy with other activities and commitments. By making FSI Exchange a virtual event that lasts no more than three hours each day, attendees can participate wherever they are and are not required to devote days to travel and a full conference schedule.
WSR: At the core, FSI is about advocacy. How do you use these events to rally members to the causes that are important to your mission?
Brown: FSI events provide our members with insights into the latest regulatory and legislative developments and give them the opportunity to network and talk about the challenges they are facing in their businesses. These events also allow us to hear directly from our members about their challenges, which helps us identify the role FSI can play in providing a solution.
WSR: In the past, FSI has held an event at Capitol Hill each year. Is FSI Exchange replacing that on the calendar?
Brown: No, FSI Exchange is not replacing our Capitol Hill Day. Due to the pandemic and increased security measures at the Capitol, we have been unable to bring groups of our members to the Hill. In 2020, we swiftly transitioned to virtual meetings with lawmakers and their staff. We’ve had tremendous success with these virtual meetings, including a virtual Capitol Hill Day, and we have seen increased participation among our members.
This year, we will conduct a series of virtual and in-district roundtables with federal legislators on key committees during Congress’ August recess. We hope to start bringing smaller groups to the Hill soon and look forward to eventually holding another in-person Capitol Hill Day.
Michael Madden, Contributing Editor & Research Analyst at Wealth Solutions Report, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org