Key Takeaways from 2017 PAG Conference for Independent Advisors

Key Takeaways from 2017 PAG Conference for Independent Advisors

By: Abby Salameh, Chief Marketing Officer
Published May 17, 2017

As an independent financial advisor, professional development and continuing education is key to the success of the business. To fill that need, there are many opportunities to learn about new technology, the latest in financial advisor marketing, or how to better manage your practice. But the annual PAG conference stands out from the rest because while it is an intimate gathering, the content for each session has been handcrafted specifically to address all the challenges independent financial advisors face. The conference program is tailored made by Abby Salameh, PAG’s Chief Marketing Officer, who draws upon her own experiences along with feedback from advisors attending past conferences, to create sessions customized to what advisors value most. The annual PAG conference serves as a reminder that PAG advisors are never alone; they have a rock-solid support system that has their back. Of course, it’s not all business. The conference is an opportunity for PAG advisors to offer support to one another, share stories, and have some fun.

A Recap of Advisor Conference Sessions

Successful financial advisors are always asking, “How can I make my practice better?” There was a wealth of information in the breakout sessions to help formulate an answer. “The 2017 conference was one of the best PAG has ever delivered” said Tim, an advisor in NYC. There were 16 breakout sessions, 12 with continuing education credits, 6 general and keynote sessions, and plenty of knowledge to go around. Attendance at the conference was complementary to PAG advisors. Each session had a unique offering across a wide range of topics. Here is just a sampling from each category:

Technology. For advisors wanting take their office efficiencies to the next level, the head of LPL’s training team, Teresa Hogan demonstrated the latest technology enhancements to ClientWorks, LPLs newly released and constantly enhanced operating system. The new enhancements showcased will enable advisors to serve their clients more efficiently. There was standing room only during this popular breakout session, and her booth space was busy the entire time!

Retirement. Standard of (k)are along with CEFEX delivered a presentation for retirement plan advisors that validated how this cutting-edge software solution provides transparency, accuracy, and education for retirement plan sponsors and their employees. PAG is a CEFEX certified RIA and any of their advisors that leverage the Standard of (K)are solution are compliant as well. In today’s heighetend fiduciary world, these advisors gain a step ahead.

Practice Management. The Eaton Vance Advisor Institute delivered a practical hands-on training session, asking advisors in the audience to reflect upon their disciplines, processes, and approaches to investing for their clients. Self-reflection and analysis is always the first step to improving your practice!

Product. Allianz Global Investors presented on the scarcity of clean water. In an enlightening session they explained that while other commodities have surrogates, there is no substitute for fresh, clean water. However, there are solutions and opportunities for investors surrounding the clean water challenge.

One of the most popular general sessions was Dale Brown, the president and CEO of the Financial Services Institute (FSI), conversing with Abby Salameh. Advisors wanted to hear directly from him about how the FSI is lobbying on their behalf to repeal the DOL, what the new head of FINRA’s priorities are, and all of the nitty gritty details of the pulse right now in Washington, DC.

Peer to Peer at Its Best

There were over 100 advisors who signed up to be a part of the post-conference study groups. Ranging in size from 4-20 people in each group, these small interactive meetings are designed to give advisors a chance to interact and exchange ideas. There is no formal agenda for these meetings, as it is led by the advisors for the advisors. It’s extremely meaningful content that inspires action.

The conference certainly wasn’t all work and no play. Making connections is one of the most valuable offerings when part of the PAG community. The final night event included an adult game night with arcade games, pool tables, foos ball tables and dueling pianos. The late-night tradition of Wings-N-Things provided a venue for dancing with a fantastic band.

Here’s what advisors had to say about the event:

“This conference was great….very well organized, informative, and great location.”
Kim, Denville, NJ

“We enjoyed the content, format and the delivery. Truly enjoyed the conference.”
Bruce, Chester, CT

“Absolutely great learning experience!”
Ron, Vineland, NJ

“The topic selections reflect current thinking and subject matter expertise important to our profession.”

Five Key Takeaways for Advisors

The most important takeaways for advisors come down to these final thoughts:

  1. Hire an intern!
  2. Sign up for BizEquity.
  3. Think of how you speak to your clients, and pick words and images that make an impact on what is most important to them.
  4. Get involved with FSI and let them help you.
  5. Don’t play Pop-A-Shot with John Murphy (You had to be there).


What should advisors do next?

PAG continues to provide constituents with opportunities to share ideas and best practices, gain valuable content, network, and have fun together as a community. If you were in attendance, be sure to check out the pictures and videos on the PAG resource center. Want to learn more about becoming a part of the PAG community? Reach out to Charlie Latimer today.