The CFA Society Philadelphia Annual Private Wealth Management Conference in early December offered several insightful panel discussions in a vibrant in-person environment, as leading wealth advisors, asset managers, and trust and estate experts addressed pressing issues facing investors and advisors.

The expert speakers included Gregory FCA Partner and President Joe Anthony, who served as a panelist for the session, “Innovative Organic Growth Strategies for Wealth Managers.” He was joined by moderator Brian Lauzon, CFA, managing director of InCap Group, Inc.; and panelist Meghan McCartan, managing director and head of marketing at Hightower Advisors.

Anthony offered impactful advice on how financial services firms can leverage marketing and PR to stimulate greater growth and success, including:

“One of the most important questions to consider when conducting any type of marketing initiative is, ‘How does what you’re saying connect with who you’re trying to serve?’”

“When interacting with media professionals, remember that they have a job to do, such as providing insights or getting quotable sound bites. If you’re being interviewed, think about how you can help that person do their job as well as possible, while still telling your story and showing your expertise.”

“What makes you unique is the clients you serve and how you help them. Focus on where you’re making a difference in the lives of clients. To truly resonate, your message needs to be about the client experience.”

In addition to Anthony, Gregory FCA clients were well represented among the speakers. The session, “Technology and Its Impact on Wealth Planning,” featured moderator Lara Coviello, CFA, from client Brinker Capital; as well as panelists Ryan Donovan of client Orion Advisor Solutions and Pete Dorsey from client Altruist. Brian Leitner of Mariner Platform Solutions also served on the panel.

Planning process

Another presentation, “Wealth & Estate Planning Strategies: Planning for Year-end and Beyond,” was moderated by Bill Hagan, CFA, of Hirtle, Callaghan & Co; and included panelists Carl Fiore from Andersen, Helene Jaron of Cozen O’Connor and David Plotts from Glenmede.

“No matter how good a plan might be at inception, there’s a pretty good chance it won’t work out quite as well as you thought because circumstances change,” related Fiore. “The best plans are flexible.”

Next generation

The session, “Next Gen: What They Want From Their Advisors and How To Work With Them,” featured moderator Melissa Novak from Northern Trust Corporation, as well as panelists Stan Treger of Northern Trust, Taylor Venanzi from Activate Wealth and Jason Ray of Zenith Wealth Partners.

“For young adults, their focus tends to be more on now than later,” said Venanzi. “They’re often very uncertain about where they’ll be in 25-30 years. Generally, they want a strategy that makes them feel like they’re on track and making progress, but still enjoying their lives right now.”

As we approach the end of 2021, it has been refreshing to see the return of some in-person events after the pandemic caused so many to be canceled or relegated to virtual-only formats. This month’s CFA Society Philadelphia Annual Private Wealth Management Conference enjoyed solid attendance, lively discussion, expert insights and a welcome sense that some normalcy may be returning to the financial industry event experience. Let’s hope it proves to be a harbinger for 2022.