At the depth of the financial crisis two years ago, Francois Gadenne, the co-founder of the Retirement Income Industry Association, had to dig deep for the industry support that would keep his then three-year-old organization alive.
Two years later, RIIA has not only survived, but was able to mark several important milestones at its fifth annual Spring Conference, held this week at Morningstar Ibbotson headquarters in Chicago. Those accomplishments include:
- The publication of the third edition of its “Body of Knowledge,” by Francois Gadenne and Michael Zwecher (with editorial support from Kerry Pechter, editor and publisher of Retirement Income Journal). The book articulates RIIA’s philosophy and acts as the text for candidates who want to apply for RIIA’s professional designation, the Retirement Management Analyst.
- The publication of the first issue of the Retirement Management Journal. Edited by Robert J. Powell III, the retirement columnist at marketwatch.com. The first issue contains feature articles by Shlomo Benartzi, Ph.D., the behavioral economist, researchers Dennis Gallant and Howard Schneider, Sharon Carson of Bank of America Merrill Lynch, as well as the Journal’s first prize-winning essay, “Capturing the Income-Distribution Opportunity: A Historical Analysis of Distribution Philosophies and a Solution for Today,” by Zachary S. Parker, CFP, and Paul R. Lofties, CFP, ChFC, of Securities America.
- The conferral of the Retirement Management Analyst designation to 50 people, and the “hope of doubling that in 2011,” according to Gadenne.
- The consolidation of a base of corporate sponsors that reflects the diversity of its membership. Sponsors of this week’s Spring Conference included Ibbotson Morningstar, Allianz Global Investors, Dimensional SmartNest, Guided Choice, Putnam Investments, Barclays Capital, Boston University’s Center for Professional Education, and DST Systems.
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