SPARK National Conference



Conference Registration - Sponsored by Messagepoint6:00 - 9:00 pm 
Exhibitor Setup - Cherry Blossom Terrace7:00 - 9:00 pm 


Conference Registration - Sponsored by Messagepoint7:00 am - 5:00 pm
Continental Breakfast with Exhibitors - Sponsored by Ameritas - Cherry Blossom Terrace7:00 - 8:00 am
Welcome & Opening Remarks - Cherry Blossom Ballroom8:00 - 8:10 am

Tim Rouse, Executive Director, SPARK Institute, Inc.

Economic Update - Cherry Blossom Ballroom8:10 - 9:00 am

David Lebovitz, Executive Director, Global Market Strategist, JP Morgan Asset Management

During his session, David will discuss the outlook for global growth, inflation and monetary policy. He will then discuss how this evolving macroeconomic backdrop will impact fixed income, equities, and other parts of the capital markets. Finally, David will touch on market volatility, before highlighting that in the current environment, the best investment approach remains one of balance.

Global DC Environment - Cherry Blossom Ballroom9:00 - 9:50 am

John Mitchem, Principal, JM3 Projects (moderator)
Serge Boccassini, Senior Vice President, Northern Trust
Bill Byerly, Group Executive WRA, FIS

Around the world countries are evaluating their retirement systems and increasingly modeling reforms on the U.S. Defined Contribution system. In many cases countries are taking the next step to install a DC system and better prepare their citizens for a secure retirement. Interestingly, some overseas DC systems, already in place, have developed best practices that offer positive examples that our own U.S. workplace system should consider. In this session you will hear from experts that work around the globe and learn what is working, what doesn't and if there is an opportunity for American firms to expand into these emerging opportunities.

Break with Exhibitors - Sponsored by Convergent - Cherry Blossom Terrace
9:50 - 10:20 am
BREAKOUT SESSIONS10:20 - 11:10 am

SESSION A - Fraud Prevention: Biometrics - Cherry Blossom Ballroom

Alex Petrow, VP of Information Security, Ascensus (moderator)
Shawn Hall, Director, Fraud Prevention & Strategy, Pindrop Security
Mia Puzo, Fraud Prevention SME, Nuance Communications
Jay Whoriskey, Manager Strategic Partnerships, BioCatch

As fraud becomes a bigger concern for retirement plan administrators and plan sponsors technology firms are responding with solutions. In this session you will hear about the trends in account fraud and latest technology to help prevent these attacks.

SESSION B - Human Capital Strategies - National Harbor 3

Sheryl Craun, Senior Managing Director, Head of Institutional & Individual Operations, TIAA (moderator)
Russell Fernandez, Senior Manager, Deloitte Consulting LLP
Josh Haims, Principal, Deloitte Consulting LLP
Barry Tetrault, Managing Director, Deloitte Consulting LLP

In a world of ever increasing automation this session explores how record keepers can effectively re-skill existing workforce to adapt to this changing environment. TIAA will moderate this session and ask experts from Deloitte Consulting what companies are doing to navigate their workforce into the future.

Congressional Panel - Cherry Blossom Ballroom11:10 - 12:00 pm 

Chris Gaston, Senior Policy Director, Davis & Harman LLP

In this session, Davis & Harman will moderate a discussion on current legislative activity around retirement issues with congressional panelists.

Lunch - Prince George's Exhibit Hall A12:00 - 1:00 pm
Policy Maker Presentation - Cherry Blossom Ballroom1:00 - 1:50 pm

Ed Murphy, President, Empower Retirement (host)
Preston Rutledge, Assistant Secretary, DOL

Mr. Preston Rutledge, Assistant Secretary of Labor for the Employee Benefits Security Administration, will speak to SPARK members. Ed Murphy of Empower Retirement will hold a fireside chat discussion with Mr. Rutledge and help facilitate questions from audience members.


SESSION A - Battling Fraud - Cherry Blossom Ballroom

Wendy Shaw, Vice President, Retirement Plan Operations, Nationwide (moderator)
Daniel Lyons, Supervisory Special Agent, FBI

The retirement industry is not immune to attacks by fraudsters. In this session, Special Agent Lyons will discuss the FBI's response to financial fraud. Mr. Lyons will provide information on best practices to help avoid attacks and the steps to follow if your firm is victimized.

SESSION B - Back Office Robotics - National Harbor 3

Sheryl Craun, Senior Managing Director, Head of Institutional & Individual Operations, TIAA (moderator)
Jay Muller, Manager, Business Systems Analysis, DST / SS&C
Susheel Nesargi, Chief Technology Officer, Wealth & Retirement, FIS

AI and automation are expanding more and more into the back office processing of record keepers. This session will examine the latest trends and adoption of these technologies. You will hear from experts on what works and doesn't when automating back offices. You will also hear from a recordkeeper that has implemented several automation technologies and what they learned.

Break with Exhibitors - Sponsored by Congruent - Cherry Blossom Terrace
2:40 - 3:20 pm
Consultants Panel - Cherry Blossom Ballroom3:20 - 4:10 pm 

Michael Domingos, VP, National Corporate Strategy & Distribution, Prudential Retirement (moderator)
Marina Edwards, Senior Consultant, Willis Towers Watson
Julian Regan, Senior Vice President, Segal Marco Advisors
Ben Taylor, Senior Vice President, Callan LLC

Prudential will host this discussion with leading plan consultants from Segal, Callan and Willis Towers Watson. In this conversation, our panelists will be asked to share their thoughts on the key issues plan sponsors want addressed. Our panel will engage in a wide open discussion that will likely touch on Fee Leveling, Next Steps After the Fiduciary Rule, Cyber Security, Financial Wellness, the Rise in Fraud Attempts Against Plans and more. You will not want to miss this session as you plan your own strategies for meeting the changing needs of plan sponsors.

Exploring the Saver's Credit - Cherry Blossom Ballroom4:10 - 5:00 pm 

Joe Ready, EVP & Director, Wells Fargo Institutional Retirement & Trust (moderator)
Jennifer Brown, Manager of Research, National Institute on Retirement Security

The Saver's Credit was created to help encourage lower income savers to enroll in their employer sponsored retirement plan. Unfortunately, very few eligible employees take advantage of this Federal benefit. In this session you will hear from Jennifer Brown, a researcher with the National Institute of Retirement Savings about her study of the savers credit and the reasons why eligible employees are not using it. Joe Ready, from Wells Fargo, will moderate the discussion and explore ways the industry can help increase usage.

Reception with Exhibitors - Cherry Blossom Terrace5:00 - 7:00 pm

Cocktail Service

Hors d'Oeuvres

FRIDAY, JUNE 15, 2018

Continental Breakfast with Exhibitors - Sponsored by T.Rowe Price - Cherry Blossom Terrace7:00 - 8:00 am
Opening Remarks - Cherry Blossom Ballroom8:00 - 8:10 am

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

Creating Revenue & Plan Fiduciary Wellness Through IRA Platforms - Cherry Blossom Ballroom8:10 - 9:00 am

Tom Kmak, CEO, Fiduciary Benchmarks (moderator)
David Levine, Principal, Groom Law Group, Chartered
Rich Rausser, SVP, Client Services, Pentegra Retirement Services
Vincent Vicidomini, Vice President, Business Development, Mesirow Financial


SESSION A - Missing Participants - Cherry Blossom Ballroom

Gayle Rollins, Assistant General Counsel, AIG Consumer (moderator)
Terry Dunne, SVP, Managing Director, Millennium Trust Company
Mark Sweatman, President, Retirement Plan Management Services, RCP Solutions

Missing participants are a growing concern for plan sponsors, regulators and recordkeepers. In this session, you will learn about strategies for dealing with missing participant accounts, what works and what doesn't.

SESSION B - Cyber Security Trends - National Harbor 3

Monica Oswald, Vice President, Prudential Financial (moderator)
Morian Eberhard, Vice President, Threat Management & Monitoring, Schwab Cybersecurity Services
Peter Falco, Director of Broker-Dealer Services, FS-ISAC

SPARK just announced a partnership with the FS-ISAC for the creation of a Retirement Industry Council (RIC) to help member firms share cyber security threats and prevent attacks. In this session, moderated by Prudential, you will hear about trends in cyber security attacks and learn how others are working to prevent them.

Break with Exhibitors - Sponsored by BenefitsLink - Cherry Blossom Terrace9:50 - 10:20 am
Advisor Panel - Cherry Blossom Ballroom10:20 - 11:10 am

Kathleen Roche, Vice President, Ascensus (moderator)
Tim Black, President, Black Diamond Advisory Services
Joseph DeNoyior, Managing Partner, Washington Financial Group
Jania Stout, Practice Leader and Co-Founder, Fiduciary Plan Advisors

Advisor sold retirement plans continue to be a critical market for record keepers. In this session, you will hear from three leading retirement plan advisors on how partnerships between advisors and recordkeeping firms can be enhanced. The panel will discuss recordkeeper services that help advisors grow their business,such as support for financial wellness, college loan repayments, dedicated client services and other factors that make recordkeepers standout.

Legislative & Regulatory Update - Cherry Blossom Ballroom11:10 - 12:00 pm

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

The audience will hear from Washington Insiders, Davis & Harman, on the RESA Bill and legislative and regulatory changes likely to change U.S. retirement rules.

Past Sponsors