WALTHAM, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Commonwealth Financial Network®, the nation’s largest privately held independent broker/dealer–RIA, recently hosted 1,750 affiliated financial advisors, staff, guests, and sponsors at its annual National Conference, November 3–6, 2016, at the JW Marriott in Austin, Texas.
Titled “Silver Linings: Transforming Obstacles into Opportunities,” the conference encouraged attendees to embrace the power of perseverance and optimism and to seize on possibilities and a positive outlook for the future. Advisors attended a wide array of educational sessions, panel discussions, networking events, and sponsor exhibits.
Members of Commonwealth’s management team addressed attendees. Wayne Bloom, CEO, spoke straightforwardly on the firm’s decision-making process—addressing DOL directly, planning for the future, and affirming Commonwealth’s resolute, long-term commitment to its advisors. Rich Hunter, president and COO, emphasized how Commonwealth’s scale and flexibility, along with the firm’s “tool kit” of personnel, technology, and product solutions and support, have Commonwealth advisors well positioned in the industry.
Renowned keynote speakers offered topical remarks tailored specifically to an advisor audience. Daymond John, Shark Tank investor, founder and CEO of FUBU, spoke to the fundamentals of success in business and life. Award-winning broadcast journalist Dan Rather candidly addressed his audience, offering leadership principles garnered from his personal interactions with world leaders over the decades. He encouraged all to hone listening skills and to practice gratitude, humility, and modesty. Jill Morgenthaler, retired colonel, discussed the power of persistence and offered strategies for overcoming obstacles and motivating others while staying true to oneself. Marty Sandler, author, Emmy® Award-winning producer, made the history of accomplishing the seemingly impossible come alive through storytelling—sharing valuable lessons along the way. Fabio Zaffagnini, who organized 1,000 musicians in a field in Italy to play a tribute to the Foo Fighters to convince the band to play a concert at a small venue in Cesena, Italy, was a surprise guest. By using the power of social media and positive thought, the Rockin’1000 video went viral and has now been viewed more than 33 million times. Fabio delivered a powerful message that anyone can make anything happen and evoke real change.
Darren Tedesco, managing principal, innovation and strategy, shared Commonwealth’s recent technology enhancements and upcoming plans, along with ways to leverage the firm’s technology to work smarter. Brad McMillan, chief investment officer, provided perspective on the markets and economy.
“This year’s National Conference—Commonwealth’s largest educational event—was remarkable, including four full days of intensive learning, listening, and connecting for nearly 1,000 advisors from across the country,” said CEO Bloom. “Equally important to us, the conference provided valuable one-on-one time, giving advisors the opportunity to reconnect with long-term friends, as well as to welcome new advisors into our community.”
Bloom added, “A major ingredient in Commonwealth’s unique recipe is how we have always incorporated feedback from our advisors—and today, these lines of communication are as critical as ever. Transparent, candid conversations with our valued advisors drive our business decisions and ensure that, even in changing times, we continue to support our advisors in running their businesses their way.”
Bloom concluded, “We have an incredible community of advisors, and we thank them for their support and active participation. We will continue to provide the tools and resources that benefit independent advisors and to support them in the most client-forward way.”
Throughout the four-day conference, Compliance, Information Security, EasySite, Advisor Marketing, Practice Management, Project Propel, Technology Consulting, and Technology HelpDesk exhibits were staffed by key members of the home office, who offered advisors one-on-one consultations and provided helpful materials, tools, and hands-on support in each critical business unit.
Prior to the start of the conference, Commonwealth hosted more than 130 advisors at select preconference symposiums on site. The “Advanced Planning Symposium: Planning in Action” and the “Portfolio Management Symposium: Principles, Practices, and Prospects” were full-day sessions led by executives of Commonwealth and sponsor firms.
For the fourth year, Bloomberg Radio broadcast “Bloomberg Markets” at the Commonwealth National Conference. Hosts Pimm Fox and Cory Johnson spoke candidly with Commonwealth’s thought leaders and independent advisors live on site for two days.
Staying true to our commitment to bettering the lives of those around us, Commonwealth organized a morning of giving back to benefit Austin’s Dougherty Arts Center (DAC), a local theater and gallery offering a variety of visual and performing arts experiences for the entire community. More than 120 Commonwealth volunteers restored buildings at the DAC, including painting, cleaning, and landscaping.
About Commonwealth Financial Network
Founded in 1979, Commonwealth Financial Network, member FINRA/SIPC, is the nation’s largest privately held independent broker/dealer–RIA, with headquarters in Waltham, Massachusetts, and San Diego, California. The firm supports more than 1,650 independent advisors nationwide in serving their clients as registered representatives, investment adviser representatives, and registered investment advisers, as well as through hybrid service models. For more information, please visit www.commonwealth.com.