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Commonwealth Financial Network® Hosts More Than 1,600 at Annual National Conference

Waltham, MA (October 20, 2017)—Commonwealth Financial Network®, the nation’s largest privately held Registered Investment Adviser–independent broker/dealer, recently hosted 1,641 affiliated financial advisors, staff, guests, and sponsors at its annual National Conference, held October 11–14, 2017, at the Manchester Grand Hyatt in San Diego, California.

Titled "Personal Currency: Human Connections | Patterns for Success," the conference encouraged attendees to explore how the relationships that they build, nurture, and sustain—both professionally and personally—influence their success. Advisors attended a wide array of educational sessions, panel discussions, networking events, and sponsor exhibits.

Members of Commonwealth's leadership team addressed attendees, with Wayne Bloom, CEO, speaking candidly about the firm's decision-making process—specifically addressing how valued input from and open lines of communication with advisors have helped inform and drive decisions with regard to the Department of Labor fiduciary rule. Bloom expressed appreciation for and a resolute commitment to Commonwealth’s 1,710 advisors and affirmed that, looking ahead, they are perfectly positioned for success. John Rooney, managing principal of the firm’s San Diego office, highlighted some key growth milestones for the firm. Brad McMillan, chief investment officer, provided perspective on the markets and economy.

Renowned keynote speakers offered topical remarks tailored specifically to an advisor audience. In an informal "fireside chat," Madeleine Albright, Secretary of State (1997–2001), joined by Commonwealth’s Joni Youngwirth, managing principal, practice management, offered insights about effective diplomacy. Citing being prepared, being yourself, and maintaining a sense of humor as critical elements to building bridges, Albright outlined the real keys to diplomacy as the ability to put oneself in another person’s shoes and to have a clear understanding of what the other person wants. Ken Blanchard, author, leadership expert, and cofounder of international management training and consulting firm The Ken Blanchard Companies®, spoke about the innate leader in everyone, encouraging all to bring a positive mind-set to personal interactions and to practice humility. International portrait photographer Platon brought the conference theme to life, sharing powerful personal stories about connecting on a human level with his subjects—from Bill Clinton to Vladimir Putin—to tell the most authentic story possible through his photographs.

Advisors took advantage of a wide array of educational sessions, panel discussions, and networking events on topics ranging from wealth management, retirement opportunities, and business growth strategies to the changing regulatory landscape, evolving fiduciary responsibilities, and information security and privacy issues.

Throughout the four-day conference, exhibit booths were staffed by key members of the home office, who offered advisors one-on-one consultations and provided helpful materials, tools, and hands-on support in each critical business unit.

Joe Deitch, Commonwealth's founder and chairman, was the recipient of the 2017 Commonwealth Special Service Award, honoring him for his unflagging support to advisors and dedication to giving back to the community.

Prior to the start of the conference, Commonwealth hosted a preconference symposium tailored exclusively to women advisors titled, "A League of Our Own." The seminar, which was spearheaded and developed in collaboration with nine women advisors at Commonwealth, featured business psychology and productivity coach Barbara Kay as keynote speaker and drew 114 attendees representing roughly one-third of the firm’s women advisors.

"I’m grateful to the women advisors who helped plan the session to ensure that it would bring maximum value to them and to their peers," said Maria Considine King, vice president, practice management, at Commonwealth. "The learning, excitement, and sheer energy in the room were contagious, and the caliber of women who are helping lead the way in our industry is inspiring."

For the fifth consecutive year, Bloomberg Radio broadcast Bloomberg Markets PM on site from the National Conference, where host Cory Johnson held candid, live interviews with several of Commonwealth’s thought leaders and independent advisors over the course of two days.

Staying true to the firm's commitment to giving back to the community, Commonwealth organized a team of more than 100 advisors, guests, and home office staff who attended the conference to participate in the Making Strides of San Diego walk to benefit the American Cancer Society in its efforts to save lives from breast cancer.

About Commonwealth Financial Network
Founded in 1979, Commonwealth Financial Network, member FINRA/SIPC, is the nation's largest privately held Registered Investment Adviser–independent broker/dealer, with headquarters in Waltham, Massachusetts, and San Diego, California. The firm supports 1,710 independent financial advisors nationwide. For more information, please visit www.commonwealth.com.

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