SPARK National Conference



Conference Registration - Sponsored by Merrill Corporation - Annapolis Registration Desk1:00 - 7:00 pm 
Exhibitor Setup - Cherry Blossom7:00 - 10:00 pm 


Conference Registration - Sponsored by Merrill Corporation - Annapolis Registration Desk7:00 am - 5:00 pm
Continental Breakfast with Exhibitors - Sponsored by Ascensus - Cherry Blossom7:00 - 8:00 am
Welcome & Opening Remarks - Cherry Blossom Ballroom8:00 - 8:30 am

Tim Rouse, Executive Director, The SPARK Institute, Inc.

Keynote Address: The Global DC Market - Cherry Blossom Ballroom8:30 - 9:20 am

Matthew O'Hara, BlackRock's Global Head of Investments for LifePath

While many of the demographic, economic and social trends driving the retirement crisis are global, solutions need to be local. Each country's income data, longevity statistics, spending patterns and behavioral characteristics all must be accounted for when designing investment solutions intended to help support retirement consumption. We will explore key factors in several nations across the globe - including how they differ, where they are similar, and how this insight may shape retirement investing solutions.

Sponsored by BlackRock

Broker Dealer Home Office Roundtable: Opportunities to Build Your Relationships for Growth - Cherry Blossom Ballroom9:25 - 10:15 am

Ted Samsel, Vice President, Relationship Management, Ascensus
Jon Anderson, Director, Retirement Plan Solutions, Cetera Financial Group
William Beardsley, Senior Vice President, LPL Financial Retirement Partners
Ed O'Connor, Managing Director, Morgan Stanley Wealth Management

Join Ascensus for a Broker Dealer panel discussion with industry experts from Cetera, LPL Financial, and Morgan Stanley to discuss regulatory developments and tools that are being used to ensure continued compliance, promote plan wellness, and drive retirement readiness. Our panelists will also explore what recordkeepers and TPAs can do to grow their business in these channels.

Sponsored by Ascensus

Break with Exhibitors - Sponsored by T.Rowe Price - Cherry Blossom
10:15 - 10:45 am
BREAKOUT SESSIONS10:45 - 11:35 am

SESSION A - The State-Run Retirement Opportunity: How should your firm react? - Cherry Blossom Ballroom

Michael DiCenso, Senior VP, Sales & Strategic Partnerships, Inspira

Due to concerns over the lack of access to a retirement plan for millions of American workers, states and cities will be launching State Administered Retirement Plans (SARPs) and/or Nest Egg programs. We will explore proposed plan designs, implementation dates, eligibility requirements and pricing expectations of these plans.

Sponsored by Inspira

SESSION B - Shared Cyber Threat Intelligence and Analysis - Annapolis 1 - 2

John Carlson, Chief of Staff, FS-ISAC

In this session, members will hear from the FS-ISAC Chief of Staff on how financial services firms are working together to share cyber threats and combat security risks.

Congressional Insiders Panel - Cherry Blossom Ballroom11:40 - 12:30 pm 

Chris Gaston, Senior Policy Director, Davis & Harman LLP

Lunch - Sponsored by The SPARK Institute - Woodrow Wilson A12:30 - 1:30 pm
A Retirement Paycheck at the End of the Rainbow - Cherry Blossom Ballroom1:30 - 2:20 pm

Roberta Rafaloff, Vice President, Institutional Income Annuities, MetLife

Despite an almost singular focus by the retirement industry on investing and growing defined contribution (DC) plan assets, most plan sponsors now recognize that the "core purpose" of workplace retirement plans should be to serve as a source of retirement income. From plan sponsor views on public policy to brand new participant insights, this session will address how plan sponsors, record keepers, plan advisors and other retirement professionals can help future generations of retirees value a retirement paycheck, rather than a proverbial pot of gold.

Sponsored by MetLife

Break with Exhibitors - Sponsored by BridgePoint Group - Cherry Blossom
2:20 - 2:50 pm

SESSION A - Retirement Plan Advisors - Managing Productivity & Risk - Cherry Blossom Ballroom

Michael Shafer, Director of Relationship Management, DST Retirement Solutions (moderator)
Marc Caras, Head of Retirement Plan Business, Pershing, LLC
Sharon Scanlon, Senior Vice President, Lincoln Financial Group
Mike Shamburger, Vice President, T. Rowe Price

Growing a book of business happens when advisors are able to efficiently and confidently support plan sponsors and positive participant outcomes.Yet challenges, such as ever-changing regulations, participant behaviors, and technology investment prioritization seem to constantly stretch capabilities, resources, and growth potential. This panel session will discuss the challenges and opportunities that are driving industry changes, leading to the development of innovative solutions that can help advisors strategically grow and retain their retirement book of business, while also fulfilling their fiduciary obligations.

Sponsored by DST

SESSION B - Plan Sponsors Growing Fiduciary Responsibilities for Cyber Security - Annapolis 1 - 2

Greta Cowart, Shareholder, Winstead
Wendy Carter, Vice President, Defined Contribution Director, Segal

More and more plan sponsors are realizing they have a responsibility and ris k in administering their defined contribution plans. This session will examine the growing fiduciary risks plan sponsors face.

State Run Retirement Plan Pros and Cons - Cherry Blossom Ballroom3:50 - 4:50 pm 

Hon. Joshua Gotbaum, Guest Scholar, Retirement Security Project, Economic Studies, The Brookings Institution

The SPARK Institute continues its examination of State Run Retirement plans and looks at the pros and cons of how best to expand retirement coverage to more American workers. In this session, Joshua Gotbaum, agrees to be interviewed on the coverage issue. Mr. Gotbaum has extensive background working with State Treasurers from around the Country on this issue through his work on Brookings Retirement Security Project. He is also the chair of the Maryland Small Business Retirement Security Board and from 2010-14 he directed the U.S. Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp.

Reception with Exhibitors - Cherry Blossom5:00 - 7:00 pm

Cocktail Service

Hors d'Oeuvres

FRIDAY, JUNE 2, 2017

Continental Breakfast with Exhibitors - Sponsored by Ameritas - Cherry Blossom7:00 - 8:00 am
Opening Remarks - Cherry Blossom Ballroom8:00 - 8:15 am

Tim Rouse, Executive Director, The SPARK Institute, Inc.

Keynote Address - Driving Participant Retirement Savings - Cherry Blossom Ballroom8:15 - 9:00 am

Sharon Scanlon, Senior Vice President, Lincoln Financial Group

Plan sponsors and providers can develop programs that drive outcomes, but understanding participants' attitudes and behaviors is also important - the actions they take, their sources of motivation (or lack thereof!), and the challenges they face. Looking back over the past five years, this session will explore which participant attitudes have changed, and which have remained consistent. New insights will be revealed on methods plan providers and plan sponsors can use to help drive better outcomes.

Sponsored by Lincoln Financial Group 

BREAKOUT SESSIONS9:20 - 10:10 am

SESSION A - Latest Legal Trends in Data Security - Cherry Blossom Ballroom

Allison Bender, Senior Associate, Hogan Lovells US LLP
David Levine, Principal, Groom Law Group, Chartered

This session will examine how laws are changing rapidly to address cyber security risks and vendor's responsibilities. Our legal experts will examine the changing legal environment here in the U.S. and abroad. Learn about macro trends in data security and how they are playing out on a day-to-day basis for record keepers and their clients.

SESSION B - Interactive Discussion on Recordkeeping Less Liquid Investments -Annapolis 1 -2

Members are encouraged to come and participate in an interactive discussion with members of the Defined Contribution Real Estate Council (DCREC). In this session, the DCREC is seeking feedback from SPARK member firms who have some experience or thoughts about dealing with funds that might have liquidity restrictions. The goal is to provide thought leadership for establishing industry best practices for record-keeping private real estate investments. Participants in the session should expect to share and learn about operationalizing these private investments in the custom or white label solutions created by plan sponsors and their consultants. Key topics will include: NAV communication, rebalancing, disclosure requirements, liquidity management, communication needs, etc.  

Sponsored by DCREC

Break with Exhibitors - Sponsored by Convergent - Cherry Blossom10:15 - 10:45 am
Advisor and Consultant Panel - Cherry Blossom Ballroom10:45 - 11:35 am

Mike Weckenbrock, Vice President, Business Risk, Ameritas Life Insurance Corp. (moderator)
Philip Chao, Principal and CIO, Chao & Company, Ltd
Jake O'Shaughnessy, Managing Director, SageView Advisory Group
M. Corey Whitehead, Principal and COO, MRP

In this session, you will hear from a panel of Plan Sponsor Advisors and Consultants. Our panel will discuss trends in the industry and how they are adapting to the new fiduciary rule. They will also provide the audience with insights into what plan sponsors want and need from their service providers. Plenty of time will be made available for the audience to ask questions.

Break / Check-Out11:35 - 11:55 am
Washington Regulatory Update - Cherry Blossom Ballroom11:55 - 12:45 pm

Chris Gaston, Senior Policy Director, Davis & Harman LLP
Mike Hadley, Partner, Davis & Harman LLP

Past Sponsors