The Power of Learning and Community for Financial Advisors

Meghan Powell
Meghan Powell

12.21.22 in Culture & Community

Estimated Reading Time: 5 Minutes (867 words)

A group shot of conference attendees

Do you want to transform your financial advisory practice? Improve your understanding of complex financial concepts and investment solutions? Learn about leading-edge tools to help you operate at scale?

One of the best ways to do so is to attend an industry conference or one offered by your advisory firm partner. You’ll hear from leading thinkers in the financial services space, and you’ll get to connect with a community of your peers in a unique social setting. 

Commonwealth believes in the power of learning and community. We have a long history of offering educational—and fun!—conferences to our advisors. And in November 2022, we were elated to hold our first in-person National Conference since 2019. Nearly 2,000 advisors and their staff, industry partners, and home office staff met in San Diego for four days of business updates, inspiring keynotes, informative breakout sessions, instructive workshops, and special events.

With a theme to “Find the Good,” our mission was to celebrate the work our attendees do each day to support their clients, colleagues, and communities.

Sharing Our Vision

We always have our eye on improving the personal and professional lives of our advisor community, and we’re definitely not ones to rest on past success. We come to the National Conference prepared to share major business updates and initiatives with our advisors, so they can learn everything we’re doing to maintain our independence and support their growth goals.

This year, we announced three major initiatives:

  1. Our goal of reaching $1 trillion in AUM in the next decade, allowing us to increase reinvestment in the firm to benefit our advisors

  2. A reduction of our platform fee pricing, bringing cost savings to advisors and their clients

  3. An expansion of our outsourced business solutions offering, allowing advisors to scale their firms

Inspiring Personal Growth and Change

Of course, no conference would be complete without keynote speakers to delight and inspire.

On our main stage, sharing insights on personal growth, giving back to the community, and paying it forward, was Earvin “Magic” Johnson, basketball Hall of Famer, NBA legend, and entrepreneur. He was joined by Laila Ali, four-time undefeated boxing champ, best-selling author, mother, and wife, who talked with our own Peggy Ho, senior vice president, general counsel, and chief risk officer, in an intimate fireside chat.

Attendees also heard from Mia Hamm, American soccer icon and two-time Olympic gold medalist and World Cup champion, about leading teams and inspiring change in a fireside chat with Andrew Daniels, managing principal, advisor engagement. J.J. Johnson, chief communications officer and executive vice president of communications, public affairs, and policy at Fidelity Investments, chatted with John Rooney, managing principal of our San Diego office.

Rounding out this panel was Robert Mazur, the former DEA agent who infiltrated Pablo Escobar’s Medellín Cartel. He delivered an enthralling and informative true-life account of his experience during our Anti-Money Laundering session.

Advancing Advisor Knowledge

Financial advisors have a tremendous amount of expertise, but between running a business and caring for clients, it can be difficult to stay on top of the latest products, strategies, and tools. Our deep bench and experts from the industry partner firms that joined us delivered a comprehensive agenda of sessions that aligned with the following three content pillars:  

  • Evolve: This was all about helping advisors understand what they can do now to evolve their practice. Adopting an ensemble business model, going fee-only, and using empathy and curiosity to deepen client connections were a few topics we covered.

  • Grow: Many successful advisors are focused on growing their businesses and their knowledge. Sessions included how to meet the needs of high-net-worth clients, how to recruit young women to the industry, and how to use lead generation services effectively.

  • Flow: Success often hinges on being able to run an efficient practice. We dug into the nuances surrounding complex products, how to leverage Commonwealth’s powerful technology platform, and how to protect clients from cybercrime.

Nurturing Our Community

According to McKinsey & Company, 66 percent of Gen Z believes “communities are created by causes and interests, not by economic backgrounds or educational levels.” We agree. It’s why our Community team, led by Jessica Fougere, senior vice president, is focused on developing microcommunities of advisors centered on business niches, goals, or personal passions.

Our goal is two-fold: we want to help advisors feel part of something bigger than themselves. And we want to allow them to foster and deepen connections by sharing insights and best practices. By doing so, we help elevate the professional and personal growth of our community.

The National Conference was a sandbox for these efforts. We offered opportunities for different groups—chief operating officers, members of family practices, next-gen advisors, and Commonwealth women advisors—to come together and develop relationships that will carry on long after the conference ends.

Want a closer look? View this interactive SlideShare for a look behind the scenes and learn how inspiration, learning, and community converged at our National Conference.

Where Will the Future Take You?

Our next National Conference is already on the calendar for October 11–14, 2023, in Colorado. Will we see you there? Contact us today to learn whether Commonwealth could be the firm partner to power your practice into the future. 

This material is for educational purposes only and is not intended to provide specific advice.

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Enjoy thought leadership from some of the most respected, seasoned professionals in the industry.