2017 SPARK Forum - The Breakers - Palm Beach, FL


Conference Speakers

Robin Brewton

Robin Brewton
Vice President of Client Services,
Social Security Solutions, Inc.

Robin Brewton is Vice President of Client Services at Social Security Solutions, Inc. and manages the client advice process as well as advisor education, marketing, communications and public relations. Robin has been with Social Security Solutions, Inc. since its inception and speaks regularly to consumer, employee, civic, and professional groups about Social Security.

In addition, she conducts seminars for financial professionals to improve the quality of their advice related to Social Security. Robin has a Bachelor's Degree in Secondary Education and a Master of Arts Degree in Communication Studies, both from Texas Tech University, and she holds a Series 65 license.

Robin held leadership roles at Cox Communications, Wells Fargo and Time Warner prior to joining Social Security Solutions. She is active in the Kansas City community with Harvesters Community Food Network, the American Cancer Society and Mission Southside.

Daniel Cross

Daniel Cross
Vice President
DST

Daniel Cross is a Vice President at DST and responsible for establishing the Digital Solutions Group and the FSG Consulting Group within DST's financial services business. The Digital Solutions organization is a center of excellence for digital strategy and execution, creating value for clients from our digital propositions and the digital enablement of DST products and services. The FSG Consulting organization brings together DST's solution design expertise with our data and analytics consulting practice to provide advisory services for clients across the Asset Management, Retirement and Brokerage markets.

He previously developed and lead the company's services offering in North America, providing advanced insight and customer engagement services to clients.

An analytics professional with more than 16 years' experience designing and delivering analysis-driven solutions for businesses in the U.S., Europe, and Asia-Pacific regions, Mr. Cross came to DST with the company's acquisition of UK-based Lateral Group in 2011. As Global Director of Strategy, he was responsible for the delivery of marketing strategy and analysis through the group's consulting arm.

A graduate of the John McGlashan College in New Zealand, Mr. Cross earned a Bachelor of Commerce with Honours degree from the University of Otago. He attended the London Business School's Executive MBA programme.

Chris Gaston

Chris Gaston
Senior Policy Director,
Davis & Harman LLP

Chris Gaston is Senior Policy Director of Davis & Harman LLP. Chris has more than a dozen years of Capitol Hill experience and he represents clients on a wide range of issues before Congress, particularly retirement and savings policy.

Prior to joining Davis & Harman LLP, Chris served as Chief of Staff for U.S. Representative Rush Holt (D-NJ) who was a senior member of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce.

After growing up in Central New Jersey, Chris initially started with Rep. Holt as an intern and over the next twelve years, worked for Rep. Holt in a number of congressional and political positions. For more than five years Chris served as Rep. Holt's Legislative Director where he helped establish an ambitious legislative agenda and advised him on a diverse range of legislative issues. In that capacity, Chris was responsible for all of Rep. Holt's work on the Education and the Workforce Committee, including his legislative initiatives to promote retirement savings. Chris also led Rep. Holt's efforts to raise concerns about the Department of Labor's fiduciary proposal.

Chris graduated with a B.A. in Political Science with a Public Policy Focus from The George Washington University and received a M.A. in International Law and Politics from Georgetown University. He and his wife, Molly, have two active kids, Max and Clare, and one hyper active Border collie, Ace.

Mike Hadley

Mike Hadley
Partner,
Davis & Harman LLP

Mike Hadley is a partner in the law firm Davis & Harman LLP. He practices in the area of employee benefits, advising clients on the full range of tax, ERISA, and other laws affecting benefit plans. He has a particular focus on helping financial institutions that sell products to defined contribution and defined benefit plans, IRAs and similar plans navigate the special rules that govern those plans. He also provides clients with strategic advice, plan design, counseling, and compliance assistance for qualified plans, 403(b) and 457 plans, non-qualified executive compensation, employment agreements, and health and other welfare plans.

Mike was formerly Associate Counsel for Pension Regulation at the Investment Company Institute, the national association of U.S. investment companies. His responsibilities included advocating for the Institute's membership before Congress, the Department of Labor, the Department of the Treasury, and the Securities Exchange Commission on retirement security issues and assisting ICI members and staff in understanding tax and ERISA rules. Among other duties he managed ICI's work implementing the Pension Protection Act and responding to 401(k) fee, investment advice, and fiduciary developments in Congress, DOL, and the courts.

Prior to joining ICI, Mike was an associate with Covington & Burling LLP, where he advised clients on employee benefit plans and executive compensation arrangements, provided advice on ERISA litigation, and assisted with pension and benefits issues in mergers, acquisitions, and other corporate transactions.

Mike is a frequent speaker on the latest retirement savings policy developments coming out of Congress and the regulatory agencies and has testified before Treasury, IRS, and Department of Labor. A sampling of articles he has authored or co-authored: ERISA Compliance for Investment Advisers: A Q&A Guide To DOL's 408(b)(2) Disclosure Regulation, Investment Lawyer, Vol. 20, No. 7 (July 2013); The Economics of Providing 401(k) Plans: Services, Fees, and Expenses, 2010 ICI Research Perspective, Vol. 17, No. 4 (June 2011); and 401 (k) Plans: A 25-Year Retrospective, ICI Research Perspective, Vol. 12, No. 2 (Nov. 2006).

Mike was a law clerk for the Honorable Gerald Tjoflat, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. He received his J.D. from the University of Virginia, where he was Notes Editor of the Virginia Law Review and elected to the Order of the Coif. He received his B.A., cum laude, from the College of William and Mary.

Cynthia Hayes

Cynthia Hayes
President
Oculus Partners, LLC

Cynthia Hayes is a nationally recognized leader in retirement related policy, business management, product strategy, marketing, and client management. She formed Oculus Partners, LLC in July, 2008. Oculus has helped financial services companies, both large and small, in designing new products, new distribution and marketing strategies, new delivery channels (including call centers, web, and branch-based delivery), and has developed strong marketing and practice management programs in the retirement arena and more broadly in the wealth management arena.

Prior to forming Oculus, she retired from Merrill Lynch as a Managing Director of their Retirement Group where she held senior positions in business line management, sales, marketing, operations and strategy. Cynthia served as a driver of business, product, and marketing strategies for all retirement related businesses including Employer Plans, and Individual Retirement. As business line executive, she was responsible for the Retirement Investment Platforms, Institutional Integrated Benefits, Equity Award Services, and Small Business Retirement. She also served as Senior Marketing and Strategy Officer for Merrill Lynch Trust Company and the Merrill Lynch Financial Advisory Center.

Prior to Merrill Lynch, Cynthia was Senior Vice President of NationsBank (now Bank of America) responsible for Institutional Trust Operations and launching the daily 401(k) business. Other roles include Senior Marketing Officer for a national portfolio management software firm, Portfolio Manager for a boutique investment management firm, and Pension Consultant for a national broker/dealer.

Cynthia was named as one of 5 finalists in "Most Important Women in the 401(k) Industry" in 2007, and has been in the top 100 "Most Important People in the 401(k) Industry" for multiple years. She carries the CFA and CEBS designations. Cynthia and her husband David have 4 children and six grandchildren and live in Atlanta.

Allegra Heyligers

Allegra Heyligers
Managing Director
Strategic Insight

Allegra Heyligers is Managing Director at Strategic Insight and responsible for developing and implementing key programs and initiatives that drive business outcomes for clients.

Prior to joining BrightScope, Allegra spent the majority of her career at BlackRock and Barclays Global Investors. Most recently, she was Head of Retirement Strategy for BlackRock's US Retirement Group and Chief Operating Officer of BlackRock's US & Canada Defined Contribution Group. At BGI, she was Chief of Staff for the Defined Contribution business and also served as the Global Business Strategist for the Transition Management Group.

Allegra earned a bachelor's degree, cum laude, in communications from California Polytechnic State University.

Peter Lohri

Peter Lohri
Delivery Partner,
Enterprise Iron Financial Industry Solutions, Inc.

Peter Lohri has more than 20 years of experience in the financial services and management consulting industries primarily leading Retirement Plan recordkeeping, insurance and annuities, and strategic sourcing organizations. He has an extensive operational, process re-engineering, product management and compliance background and has led multiple teams in line, implementation, transformation and business readiness and adoption roles.

In 2016, Peter joined the Enterprise Iron leadership team as Delivery Partner. Prior to his arrival at Enterprise Iron, Peter spent 14 years with TIAA in a wide range of assignments including leading the recordkeeping and trade settlement for all Defined Contribution Pension Plan assets for Qualified and non-Qualified plans across Annity, Mutual Fund and Real Estate separate account product families, leading the PMO for the lean management transformation of Individual & Institutional Operations and building out new business capabilities for benefits office outsourcing.

Peter is a results-driven and versatile servant leader having led teams of more than 200 employees across multiple domestic and international locations, consulting teams responsible for the policy development and execution of strategic sourcing, BPO, off- and near- initiatives and as an individual contributor serving C-suite executives driving cost and expense management programs.

Peter earned his bachelor's of business administration degree in Finance and Operations Management from The University of Massachusetts in Amherst, MA and an honorable discharge from the United States Marine Corps. He is a Project Management Professional and a FINRA-licensed Operations Professional. Peter lives in Charlotte, NC with his wife Cambria and 3 children, Emma, Bella and Jack.

Darren Pain

Darren Pain
Senior Economist
Swiss Re

Darren joined Swiss Re in December 2010 and currently works as a Senior Economist in Swiss Re's Economic Research & Consulting unit in Zurich. He covers European insurance markets with a particular focus on developments in the UK and Ireland.

His research interests include understanding the interaction between the macroeconomy, capital markets and insurance and role of innovation in the insurance sector. Prior to joining Swiss Re, Darren worked for a number of years in central banking having spent time at both the European Central Bank and the Bank of England. Darren has a B.Sc. in economics from the University of Warwick and a M.Sc. (Econ) from the London School of Economics.

Tim Rouse

Tim Rouse
Executive Director,
The Spark Institute

Tim has over thirty years of experience in the financial services industry mainly within retirement services of large mutual fund companies.  For the past twenty-five years Tim has worked with major plan sponsors in state and local governments, corporations, Taft-Hartley plans, nonprofit hospitals, colleges and universities.  Over his career Tim has worked with Voya Financial, Fidelity Investments, ICMA Retirement Corporation and The Vanguard Group. 

Tim is a former President of the National Association of Government Defined Contribution Administrators' Industry Board and a graduate of Villanova University.

Tim Scott

Tim Scott
Delivery Partner,
Enterprise Iron Financial Industry Solutions, Inc.

Tim Scott has over 30 years of experience in the retirement plan services industry primarily serving banking, insurance, trust, technology and other asset management clients. He has extensive technology, operational, business development and client services background and has led multiple IT transformation efforts. Mr. Scott has also led the largest Professional Services unit of a major international IT Services organization.

Andrew Way

Andrew Way
Senior Analyst, Retirement,
Corporate Insight

Andrew Way heads the Retirement group at Corporate Insight which consists of the Retirement Plan Monitor and Retirement Plan Monitor -- Institutional research services. He has conducted extensive research on the retirement, brokerage and insurance industries during his time at Corporate Insight, examining the online platforms and technological innovations leading firms offer clients, prospects and financial professionals.

He has been quoted in numerous financial and retirement publications, including PLANSPONSOR, 401k Wire, Fund Action, Money Management Intelligence and Ignites. Andrew graduated from Binghamton University in 2010 and has been a member of the Corporate Insight team since January of 2011.

Past Sponsors