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BEDMINSTER, N.J., — The political and regulatory landscape played a backdrop to the opening and closing sessions presented at the annual National Education Conference (NEC) hosted by The Investment Center, Inc., held April 23-26, 2018 in Nashville, TN.
Following CEO Ralph DeVito’s opening speech, industry guru Michael Kitces presented a thorough analysis of one of the biggest pieces of tax reform legislation in decades: The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA). Kitces discussed the act’s implications to advisors and their clients.
Lt. Col. Oliver L. North, host of “War Stories” on Fox News, provided a patriotic and inspirational ending to the independent broker-dealer’s event with a keynote highlighting the importance of situational awareness both in the field of battle and in a business environment. North finished with his perspective on the geopolitical environment and his optimism for the future, in large part because of the time he spends with US troops.
DeVito explained the choice of keynote speakers and breakout topics: “In addition to providing our advisors with new business strategies and skills, our goal is to inspire them to return to their practice invigorated to try new initiatives that will ultimately help them stay ahead of their competition.”
During his opening speech, DeVito discussed the strength of The Investment Center’s business, with year-on-year revenue growth, home-office staff expansion, and an addition of 27 advisors in 2017. “Our growth is due to our ability to take advantage of the disruptive broker-dealer landscape through strong recruiting, and by helping our advisors grow organically through initiatives like the Advisor Marketing and Practice Management coaching program, help with M&A, and a strong succession planning program,” DeVito said.
The conference also included several educational sessions, peer-to-peer networking events, and a panel of experts discussing another of the firm’s key initiatives, cybersecurity. The panel, led by Robert Fernandes, Chief Information Security Officer of The Investment Center, included representatives from the Financial Services Information Sharing and Analysis Center (FS-ISAC), Micro Strategies, Darktrace and Prevalent. Speakers offered a sobering view of where and how cybercrime occur, warnings about the vulnerabilities people face in both business and personal lives and steps the private sector, the government and consumers can take to protect themselves today and tomorrow from cyber-threats.
Before the start of the conference, The Investment Center’s Women Advisors Group gathered for a luncheon to discuss the agenda for the group’s annual conference in New Orleans later in the year, and to decide on topics for future quarterly webinars.
The conference culminated in a dinner where the Ralph S. DeVito Award was presented. This year, the award was given to Richard Dalzotto of South Hills Financial Group in Pittsburgh, PA. “It is with great pride that we honor Rich and present him with the Ralph S. DeVito Award,” said CEO DeVito. “We named the award after my father as it represents everything he stood for when he founded the Investment Center. Rich embodies these characteristics with his continued commitment to excel in client service and business development, his exceptional reputation, and his service to the local community.”
“I am honored and humbled to accept this prestigious award,” Dalzotto said. “Over the years, it has become a coveted acknowledgement of character, but it really speaks to the culture of the firm as much as to any one individual.”
For more information about The Investment Center, including the practice management coaching program or the upcoming Women Advisors Summit in New Orleans this fall – contact Nicola Sutton – [email protected]
ABOUT THE INVESTMENT CENTER
The Investment Center, Inc. is an independent broker-dealer founded in 1986, with the purpose of providing back-office support services, investment tools, technology and a broad selection of non-proprietary products to a national network of more than 250 independent financial advisors in offices across the nation. Headquartered in Bedminster, New Jersey, The Investment Center, Inc. is registered to conduct securities business in all 50 states, and is a member of both the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC). For more information, visit www.InvestmentCtr.com.