Last week, thousands of RIA industry insiders gathered in Orlando, Fla. for the National LINC conference hosted by TD Ameritrade Institutional. LINC is an acronym for “learn, inspire, network and collaborate,” and the conference is meant to serve as a venue for the brightest minds in financial planning to do just that.

Like just about every significant financial industry conference these days, the event was also a major news driver for journalists who had converged on the event. Below is some of our favorite coverage of the conference.

TD’s Tom Nally: ‘Trust in the RIA business is fragile’ | By Diana Britton

In his opening keynote address, TD Ameritrade Institutional President Tom Nally cited a few statistics examining millennials’ distrust with the financial services sector. Nally mentioned lacking regulatory oversight of the financial planning space and the industry’s oftentimes opaque value proposition as causes of the suspicion. To earn this generation’s trust, he urges advisers to “shift the conversation from a focus on the price of advice to talking about the value that RIAs deliver to clients through good planning.”


Ping pong with Joe Duran | By Matt Ackermann

United Capital CEO Joe Duran and Ackermann discussed the rise of the “bionic adviser” at the National LINC conference over a game of ping pong. While volleying back and forth, Duran outlines the discrepancies between a bionic adviser, which makes use of a human adviser first and foremost, and a fully-automated robo adviser, which does not. Duran also walks through the advantages of incorporating technology into financial planning and gamifying the client experience with online tools.

Think Advisor Magazine:

Cybersecurity ‘not designed for the human psyche’ | By Danielle Andrus

Cybercriminals and their increasingly sophisticated threat to businesses were also a conference hot topic. Theresa Payton, former White House chief information officer and founder and CEO of cybersecurity firm Fortalice, gave a keynote speech on how the evolving landscape applies to the RIA space. A main takeaway from the speech was that merely carving out a big budget for cybersecurity measures will not be enough to properly safeguard against hackers. In order to properly protect the sensitive information of clients and employees, Payton said advisers need to think creatively when identifying areas vulnerable to attack.

Financial Advisor Magazine:

Is designating women a niche client group absurd? | By Christopher Robbins

Financial media has depicted affluent women as a growing and underserved niche demographic facing financial advisers, but not everyone in the industry believes this narrative. As chronicled by Robbins, a panel debating the issue at National LINC was somewhat divided. Some advisers are making changes to better serve women. Others believe the notion of women being a niche market is untrue and contended that advisers should emphasize better serving married couples, not just women.

As we’ve said before, the tone of industry conferences often foreshadows what’s to come in the months ahead. If these articles are any indication, financial services professionals should continue to monitor how key demographics interact with advisors and how technology is shaping the industry.