Not sure which of the seemingly endless wealth management industry conferences you should attend this year? That’s why WSR launched our new Guide To Industry Conferences!
We explain when and where the crucial events are scheduled to be held in 2023, along with who attends and why they show up. Most of these have been praised by both Michael Kitces of Nerd’s Eye View in his 2023 list of the best industry conferences, and a 2022 U.S. News & World Report list of the best conferences for financial advisors.
Our first entry in the series, on Wealthtech, covers Orion Ascent, the T3 Advisor Conference, WealthStack, Future Proof and the Riskalyze Fearless Investing Summit.
Orion Ascent will be held from Feb. 27 to March 2 in Orlando. It gathers more than 1,500 advisors, fintech providers, wealth management leaders, broker-dealers and tech-focused enterprise firms on its platforms. Hosted by Orion Advisor Solutions, the event aims to provide advisors with the digital tools and training to innovate and grow their businesses, from CRM and marketing to financial planning and portfolio management to billing and reporting.
Attendees have the opportunity to network with industry peers and meet with dozens of vendors such as sponsors including Amazon Web Services, Allianz, Fidelity, BlackRock, Schwab, Docupace, Envestnet’s MoneyGuide, Morningstar, Vanguard and FP Transitions. Attendees also can interact with executives from the Orion subsidiaries Orion Advisor Tech, Orion Portfolio Solutions, Brinker Capital Investments, Redtail Technology and TownSquare Capital. Orion CEO Eric Clarke will deliver a state of the industry update on the evolution of wealthtech.
Publications such as InvestmentNews and Wealth Management have covered big news that emerged at its past conferences. This year’s Orion Ascent also is scheduled to feature live pop music from the cover band Alter Ego, performing hits from Madonna, Lady Gaga, Michael Jackson, Bon Jovi and other pop legends.
The T3 Advisor Conference will be held March 13-16 in Tampa, Florida. Since 2006, the annual event has been produced by Joel Bruckenstein. He has described T3 as “the only conference that focuses exclusively on bringing independent financial advisors and the technology professionals that serve them together for multiple days to discuss using technology to build, maintain and streamline today’s high performing financial advisory practice.”
T3 (Technology Tools for Today) is seen as a must-attend event for many wealthtech insiders. In a recap of last year’s event, which approximately 1,000 people attended, financial services industry commentator and T3 collaborator Bob Veres observed that “advisors and operations professionals attend T3 because the exhibit hall provides them with a chance to do a year’s worth of tech due diligence in a couple of afternoons, and also check out what’s new.”
Past sponsors include AdvisorEngine, Envestnet, Fidelity, Morningstar, FMG, Orion, Riskalyze, LPL Financial, Snappy Kraken and Schwab. This year’s conference includes sessions featuring several of those companies. During the event, Bruckenstein and Veres will reveal the results of the 2023 T3/Inside Information Software Survey – whose findings on market share and user satisfaction have been known to impact the industry standing of technology providers.
WealthStack will be held May 21-24 in Hollywood, Florida. Hosted by WealthManagement.com parent company Informa Connect, it is part of the broader Wealth Management Edge event that more than 2,000 people attended last year. More than 275 C-level executives attended WealthStack. Their firms ranged from $25 million in assets under management (AUM) to over $50 billion. More than half of the RIAs attending had at least $500 million in assets.
One company that sponsored last year’s conference was ReachStack, a data powered communication, content sharing and lead nurturing service for financial advisors and RIAs. It competes with marketing platforms such as Snappy Kraken and FMG. “WealthStack 2022 was our first event sponsorship in 3 years,” ReachStack CMO Brendan Kenalty is quoted as saying on WealthStack’s website. “Great energy and vibe. Lots of the right people, partners and information to help our business. We’d definitely recommend.”
Sponsors this year include Allianz, Fidelity, AdvisorEngine and Smarsh. Agenda topics include “Building the Ultimate Client Experience through Tech” and “Navigating Risk using FinTech Innovations.” Speakers include Shannon Rosic, Head of Content and Solutions at WealthStack; Kevin Corbett, Corporate Development & Strategy at Mariner Wealth Advisors; Louis Diamond, President of Diamond Consultants; and David DeVoe, CEO of DeVoe & Company.
Future Proof will be held Sept. 10-13 in Huntington Beach, California. It is the brainchild of Advisor Circle, a content and product studio for the financial services industry, and Ritholtz Wealth Management. Billed as “the world’s largest wealth festival,” Future Proof premiered last year – and was held outdoors – with more than 1,700 attendees representing over 800 wealth management firms whose collective verified AUM surpassed $680 billion.
“If you’re exposed to and attending the same ‘major’ conferences year in and year out, you’re not getting uncomfortable and having radical and frank discussions about how to improve the wealth management industry,” Matt Middleton, CEO and Co-Founder of Advisor Circle, told WSR last year. “It’s our opinion that Future Proof’s audience is the most engaged multi-generational investor audience ever to gather. It is purposely not limited to traditional finance and is meant to challenge the conference status quo, to the benefit of all participants.”
Sponsors included Allianz, Orion, Envestnet, Fidelity, Goldman Sachs, Morningstar, Docupace, FMG, Snappy Kraken, Vanguard and FP Transitions. Speakers included Market Counsel President and CEO Brian Hamburger, Dynasty Financial Partners President and CEO Shirl Penny, Ritholtz Wealth Management CEO Josh Brown and F2 Strategy President Doug Fritz. Future Proof is looking for speakers from diverse backgrounds and lifestyles for its 2023 event.
The Riskalyze Fearless Investing Summit will be held Oct. 2-4 in Miami. It brings together nearly 1,000 financial advisors and other wealth management industry leaders. Many attendees use Riskalyze’s array of digital tools, which span risk management, portfolio analytics, financial planning, compliance, client engagement, marketing and reporting.
Last year’s conference featured Riskalyze CEO Aaron Klein conducting a fireside chat with Orion CEO Eric Clarke and Redtail CEO Brian McLaughlin, as well as the announcement of several enhancements and growth initiatives for its platform. “We have always believed that if we could equip you to help your clients understand how to react to volatility appropriately, we could transform that fearful investor who makes bad decisions into a fearless investor who makes great decisions,” Clarke said during his keynote.
In 2022, its sponsors included Allianz, BlackRock, Fidelity, Schwab, Redtail, Snappy Kraken, FMG, MarketCounsel and Carson Group. As occurred in 2022, the conference also will co-host the Fearless Women’s Summit in partnership with the networking and advocacy group Females & Finance. At last year’s summit, Klein was the first signatory of the Females & Finance Fearless Pledge to hire, mentor, train and advance 100,000 women in the industry by 2025.
Chris Latham, Deputy Managing Editor at Wealth Solutions Report, can be reached at email@example.com