Wealth Management Symposium

​This event is sold out! Please email info@cfaoc.org to be added to a waitlist.

Event Details

The CFA Society Orange County Wealth Management Symposium is geared for leaders in the wealth advisory community who want to take their practice to the next level. The conference is designed for financial advisors, investment managers, and other private wealth industry professionals to learn about innovative strategies and best practices.  




8:00 – 9:00 am



8:00 – 8:45 am

The Life Cycle of Your Practice

Moderator:  Suzanne Lawrence, President & CEO Advisor Business Solutions

  •        Vanessa Burnett, CFP®, Partner & COO, Bridge Advisory
  •        Rene’ Nourse, CFP®, Founder, Managing Director, Urban Wealth Management Group
  •       Therese S. Cheevers, APA, ERPA, Partner, Chair, Windes

9:00 – 9:15 am

Welcome from the President

Derek Pantele, President CFA Society Orange County

9:15 – 10:00 am

What have we learned from 30 years of capturing value?

Savina Rizova, PhD DFA, Global Head of Research at Dimensional Fund Advisors

10:00 – 10:45 am

A Washington Update for Investors: Interest Rates, Spending Cuts -- and Geopolitics

Greg Valliere, Chief Strategist, AGF Investments


Networking Break


11:00 – 11:45 am

Market Outlooks and Opportunities:  How are you positioning your portfolios?

Moderator:  Ben Phillips, CFA, Chief Investment Strategist, Savoie Capital

  •       John West, CFA, Founder, Flatrock Wealth Partners
  •       Michael Schulman, CFA, Partner, CIO, Running Point Capital         
  •      Sandip Bhagat, CIO, Whittier Trust

11:45 – 12:30 pm

Move Over ETFs – Direct Indexing, An Investment Strategy Worth Paying Attention to

Moderator:  Jeff Brown, CFA, Director, Client Portfolio Strategist, Charles Schwab

  •        Ben Hammer, CFA Director, Financial Advisor Services, Vanguard
  •         Laura Foster, CFA, Managing Director, O’Shaughnessy Asset Management
  •         John Lynch, Managing Director, First Trust Direct Indexing




1:30 – 2:30 pm


Opportunities in Preferred and Capital Securities – Principal Asset Management

International Investing: A Paradigm Shift – T.Rowe Price

Next Generation Infrastructure – John Hancock

Path to Net Zero: Investing in Carbon – Klima Capital

The Spectrum of Private Investments – First Trust

Personalized Investing – Schwab

Advisor Alpha – Vanguard

Private Equity and Credit – Franklin Templeton

Will Value’s Resurgence continue?  – Wisdomtree 

Succession Planning Trends and Best Practices – Advisor Business Solutions

2:30 – 3:15 pm

ESG – A Preference, Not a Strategy

Ari Polychronopoulos, CFA, Head of Product Management and ESG, Research Affiliates


Networking Break


3:30 – 4:30 pm

The Path to Net Zero – Investing in Carbon Markets

Klaus Thuerbach, CFA, FRM, CAIA, Founding Partner & Co-CIO, Klima Capital

4:30 – 5:00 pm

Building Your Trust Visibility - Why Competence is not enough to set yourself apart

Amy Parvaneh, Founder and CEO of Select Advisors Institute

5:00 – 6:30 pm



Suzanne Lawrence

Suzanne Lawrence is CEO and Founder of Advisor Business Solutions, Inc based in Long Beach, CA. Her firm specializes in wealth management solutions for 20+ years providing succession planning, practice management, HR and staffing solutions for RIAs and independent financial services firms managing $200 mil - $60 bil AUM throughout the US. 

Her team's expertise includes guiding financial practices primarily looking for scalable growth strategies, building practice values, exit planning and HR staffing/retention including C-Suite executives, licensed or certified staff and interns while building a diverse team. She focuses on advising financial practice owners and leadership teams on shifting corporate cultural dynamics and impact on retention. Suzanne passionately works with financial professionals in various stages of their career and advisors in transition looking to make better decisions for their future. Her firm values include mentoring over 500 NexGen professionals, college students and career changers interested in the financial planning industry.

She is an active FPA member and serves on the BLX Internship Advisory Board, the judging committee for Spirit of Entrepreneurship, a Santa Barbara nonprofit empowering women owned businesses and LA County Small Business Resiliency Advisory Board. She's a sought speaker to numerous US and International audiences including FPA, NAPFA, Assn of African-American Financial Advisors, Cal CPA Society, Global Assn of Independent Advisors and National Assn of Women Business Owners (NAWBO).

Vanessa Burnett, CFP®

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Vanessa joined Bridge Advisory in March 2008, just months before the financial crisis and the Great Recession. Instead of scaring her, the event turned financial planning into a calling. She saw how a good plan and the right behavior can help investors ride out the roughest patches in the market. Vanessa is passionate about her clients and helping them achieve their financial goals, as well as her team and guiding them to do great things in their careers and lives. 

She currently serves as Secretary on the Board of Directors for the Elizabeth House, a shelter for pregnant women and their children experiencing homelessness in Pasadena, California.

Vanessa spends her time outside of work with her family and enjoys staying active in any way possible – be it solo on the Peloton or the trampoline with her kids.

Before joining Bridge, Vanessa worked for several years as a compensation analyst at Mercer, a global human-resource firm. She graduated Cum Laude with a bachelor's degree in Communication and a minor in Business Administration from the University of Southern California.

Vanessa earned her CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER® certificate in 2011. She holds a California Life, Health and Disability insurance license.

Rene Nourse, CFP®

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After 25 years as a financial advisor in the corporate world, René Nourse left a major wirehouse in June of 2012 to launch Urban Wealth Management Group®. Sensing that a shift needed to take place in the financial services industry, her intention was to build a platform that focused primarily on strategic financial planning alongside investment management to better serve clients. Also recognizing that women face unique and complex financial challenges, she created Smart Women/Savvy Money Club® in order to provide a supportive, secure environment where women are encouraged to learn, explore, and feel confident about making financial decisions.

A frequent guest speaker and contributor on the topic of women and finance, she has been recognized as a trailblazer and financial expert. Between 2013 and 2019, she was a guest commentator for CNBC's Closing Bell Report, received the Investment News' Women to Watch award in 2017, has been a Five Star Wealth Manager Awardee since 2014, and was recognized by the Los Angeles Business Journal as one of LA's Most Influential Wealth Managers for 2018. In 2019, she was elected as the 10th President of the Association of African American Advisors, a national organization dedicated to advancing and supporting African Americans in the financial services industry, was inducted into Marquis Who's Who Biographical Registry as well as their Who's Who of Professional Women. Charles Schwab, who is her firm's custodian, selected her to be in their National Ad campaign beginning in 2019.  In 2021, she was selected by the Los Angeles Times as one of the city's Banking and Finance Visionary awardees.  Of the 96 awardees, she was the only African American female.

Therse S. Cheevers, APA, ERPA

 Therese joined Windes in 2007 and is Chair of the firm’s Employee Benefit Services department. Therese has served the retirement plan needs of small- to middle-market corporations and unincorporated entities since 1984. Her practice focus includes pension and cash balance plans, 401(k) plans and cross tested profit-sharing plans, along with plan compliance, correction, and IRS reporting.

Therese’s specialty services are consultation on qualified plan issues, plan documents, and design and implementation

Savina Rizova, PHD DFA

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Savina Rizova is Dimensional's Global Head of Research. She previously served as Co-Head of Research. Savina applies her background in finance to a wide variety of research projects that Dimensional undertakes to improve every step of its investment process, from research on drivers of returns to portfolio design, portfolio management, and trading. She works closely with the Sales team and the rest of the Investment team to develop value-added investment solutions that seek to meet client needs, goals, and preferences in a systematic, reliable, and cost-efficient manner. In addition, Savina leads the efforts of the Research group to provide thought leadership to clients and prospects on important investment-related topics. Savina is also a member of the Investment Committee and Co-Chair of the Investment Research Committee.

Prior to obtaining her PhD, Savina worked in the Research group at Dimensional. She conducted quantitative analysis used to explain strategies and performance to clients. Savina earned her PhD in finance and an MBA at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. She also holds a BA in economics and mathematics from Dartmouth College, where she was a research assistant to Professor Kenneth French. In 2022, Savina Rizova, Global Head of Research at Dimensional, was named one of Barron's 100 Most Influential Women in US Finance.


Greg Valliere

Greg valliere head.jpgGreg Valliere has followed Washington for investors for the past 40 years.  Greg specializes in coverage of economic issues, taxes, the Federal Reserve and -- of course -- politics.  He has held numerous positions, including Director of Research at the Charles Schwab Washington Research Group.  Greg currently is the Chief U.S. Policy Strategist at AGF Investments (AGF), a global asset management firm with headquarters in Toronto, Canada.

Greg is a frequent guest on CNN, Fox Business TV, Bloomberg radio and TV, and CBS Radio News.  He is frequently quoted in the Wall Street Journal, Barrons, and the Washington Post. 

A graduate of George Washington University, Greg and his wife Mary live in the Watergate in downtown Washington.


Ben Phillips, CFA

Ben Phillips.jpgBen Phillips is the Chief Investment Strategist at Savoie Capital, a single-family office investment firm specializing in ultra-high net worth public equity and options programs. Previously, he was Chief Investment Officer at EventShares, one of the first government policy-based investment firms. EventShares identified changes in government policy and invested based on actions in Washington D.C. Mr. Phillips was also a founder and Managing Director of the actionable market insights firm, MarketDesk Research. Prior to founding EventShares, he was with Goldman Sachs Asset Management (GSAM), where he had portfolio management responsibilities across several multi-sector total return funds. Mr. Phillips has also held senior investing roles at Providence Equity Partners and Lord Abbett. He is a CFA charterholder and received an MBA and BSBA in Finance from the University of Missouri and is currently on the Board of Directors for CFA Society Orange County. Mr. Phillips is a proud father of three, avid golfer, skier, ice hockey player, and musician.

John West, CFA

john west.jpgJohn West co-founded Flatrock Wealth Partners in 2022. He has 26 years of experience across asset management, advising institutional investors, and capital markets research. John brings this unique perspective to help families achieve meaningful financial outcomes that fund their life's priorities and passions.

Previously, John spent fifteen years at Research Affiliates, a global leader in asset allocation and equity indexing. John led virtually all aspects of client facing and product management driving AUM growth from $15 billion to a peak of $205 billion.
A recognized thought leader, John's original research and publications have been cited in Barron's, Financial Times, Wall Street Journal, The Economist, Institutional Investor, InvestmentNews and Advisor Perspectives. He also co-authored Fundamental Index: A Better Way to Invest (Wiley 2008) an honorable mention award winner at the PROSE Awards.
Prior to Research Affiliates, John spent ten years at Wurts & Associates (now Verus), a national institutional investment consulting firm. At Wurts, he managed the firm's overall research effort and served as the foundation and endowment practice leader.


Michael Schulman, CFA

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As chief investment officer and a founding partner of Running Point Capital Advisors, Michael Ashley Schulman, CFA® is responsible for Running Point's global macro outlook, research, investment strategies, asset allocation, portfolio management, and impact and social assessments across public and private investments. Michael brings to his role over 20 years of institutional and high-net-worth portfolio management, research, trading, and asset allocation experience across fixed-income, equity, hedge fund, real estate, and private investment classes. He has built quantitative and fundamental models, implemented robo-approaches and custom indices, and managed a fixed-income arbitrage hedge fund and a multi-strategy fund-of-funds.

Prior to Running Point, Michael was a partner, managing director, senior portfolio manager, and hedge fund manager at Hollencrest Capital Management; vice president, collateralized debt obligation (CDO)/quantitative specialist at Deutsche Bank; manager at Accenture; director of strategy at Open Ratings (an MIT Startup); and a portfolio manager at Pacific Income Advisors.

He has also effectively consulted for the World Federation of Exchanges in Paris, the Colombian Financial Exchange, and several high-tech firms, and has presented at forums and conferences in California, New York, Malaysia, Argentina, and Spain.

Michael has an MBA from MIT Sloan, a CFA designation, and a BA in Economics from UC Berkeley.

Within the community, Michael is a board member of Bridge Funding Global's Permanent Selection Committee which selects top female emerging managers in venture capital to be matched with investors. Additionally, Michael served on the advisory board of an impact fund and is a past president and board member of the CFA Society of Orange County. In his spare time, he enjoys art and adventure travel, including kayaking the Stockholm archipelago and mountain biking in Mongolia to raise funds for underprivileged Mongolian children.

Michael is often quoted in the media, including Reuters, Investor's Business Daily, Forbes, International Business Times, S&P Global, MarketWatch, and U.S. News & World Report.

You can read his regular CIO (Check-It-Out) Reportssocioeconomic perspectives, and follow him on LinkedIn.

Jeff Brown, CFA


Jeff Brown is a Director and Investment Portfolio Strategist supporting Schwab Asset Management™. Mr. Brown is primarily focused on representing Schwab Personalized Indexing™ to clients, advisers, sales channels, and the media. He partners with other Schwab teams to optimize the firm's personalized indexed offering and to create educational and market strategy content.

Prior to joining Schwab in 2022, Mr. Brown held several positions at Parametric Portfolio over his 22-year tenure including director and product expert, vice president and senior relationship manager, and research analyst. Prior to that, he was a portfolio manager with Laird Norton Trust Company. Before that, he was a research analyst with Quadra Capital Management.

Mr. Brown earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from the University of Washington. He holds Series 3, 6, 7, and 63 licenses. He is a CFA® charterholder and a member of the CFA Society of Seattle.

Ben Hammer, CFA

Ben Hammer Headshot.pngBen Hammer, CFA, is Head of Client Development for Vanguard Personalized Indexing where he is dedicated to forming and sustaining long-term partnerships with Registered Investment Advisors (RIAs), Banks, and Broker Dealers.

In addition, Mr. Hammer manages relationships with RIAs in the Pacific Northwest for Vanguard Financial Advisor Services™.  Mr. Hammer joined Vanguard in 2005, and before his current roles he represented Vanguard ETFs® to institutional asset managers nationwide.

Mr. Hammer earned a B.S. in psychology from the University of Illinois. He is a CFA® charterholder, a member of the CFA Society of Portland and CFA Society of Seattle and holds FINRA Series 7 and 63 licenses.

Laura Foster, CFA

Foster laura.pngLaura Foster serves as Relationship Manager to Advisors, Consultants, Wealth Managers, Family Offices, and Private Banks engaging with O'Shaughnessy strategies and the Canvas Platform.  Laura began her career at Parametric in Seattle, Washington and has supported investors with custom and tax-managed portfolio design and implementation for more than a decade.  A CFA Charterholder, Laura is a board trustee for the CFA Society of Seattle and leads the society women's network.  Laura graduated from the University of Washington in 2007 with a Bachelors of Science in Economics.  Laura lives in the Seattle area with her husband Bryce. 

John Lynch

John Lynch.jpgJohn Lynch is a Managing Director with First Trust Direct Indexing.  John has 25 years industry experience in financial services and is spearheading marketing and distribution of Firs Trust Direct Indexing solutions for both taxable and values-focused clients.





Jeff Weniger, CFA

Weniger.jpgJeff Weniger, CFA serves as Head of Equity Strategy at WisdomTree. In his role, Weniger helps to formulate the firm's stock market outlook by assessing macro and fundamental trends. Prior to joining WisdomTree, he was Director, Senior Strategist at BMO, where he worked in the office of the CIO from 2006 to 2017. He served on the firm's Asset Allocation Committee and co-managed the firm's ETF model portfolios for both the U.S. and Canada. In 2013, at the age of 32, Jeff was chosen as the youngest member of BMO's Global Investment Forum, which collected the firm's top global strategists to formulate the firm's official long-term outlook for investment trends and markets. Jeff has a B.S. in Finance from the University of Florida and an MBA from Notre Dame. He has been a CFA charterholder and a member of the CFA Society of Chicago since 2006. He has appeared in various financial publications such as Barron's and the Wall Street Journal and makes regular appearances on Canada's Business News Network (BNN) and Wharton Business Radio

Ryan Gemmell, CFA 

Ryan Gemmell large (002).jpgRyan Gemmell is an investment specialist in the International Equity Division of T. Rowe Price Associates. He covers the full range of international equity strategies, working closely with portfolio managers, portfolio specialists, and portfolio analysts to bring their insights and outlooks to clients, consultants, and prospects in North America. Ryan is a vice president of T. Rowe Price Group, Inc.

 Ryan's investment experience began in 2012, and he has been with T. Rowe Price since 2019, beginning in the U.S. Equity Division. Prior to this, Ryan was employed by Neuberger Berman where he worked in Product Management, Consultant Relations and the Trust Company. 

Ryan earned a B.S. in information science and technology from Pennsylvania State University. He also has earned the Chartered Financial Analyst® designation. 

CFA® and Chartered Financial Analyst® are registered trademarks owned by CFA Institute

John Leon, CFA, CIMA

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John serves the RIA community on behalf of Vanguard in the Southwestern U.S.   John seeks to learn what matters most to the people and firms he works with, provide perspective on the marketplace and to assemble resources, strategies and people to help them execute on their plan.

John has experience in fintech, commercial banking, investment banking, research and portfolio management.  He's been part of the ETF landscape since 2000 and works with advisors to create and implement efficient, low cost active and passive strategies that will endure over time.  

Specialties: Fintech, Economy and Markets, ETFs and Indexing, Business Strategy and Positioning, Client Acquisition and Succession Planning.

Jim Hodapp

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Mr. Hodapp joined Spectrum in 2015 as Senior Vice President and Portfolio Specialist with responsibilities for distribution, relationship management and business development.  Prior to joining Spectrum, Mr. Hodapp was a Senior Vice President, Markets and Product Strategy at Wells Fargo Advisors. Mr. Hodapp began his career in 1981 at A.G. Edwards in the Fixed Income Department, and he has served as the Director of the High-Net-Worth Portfolio Services Group, Manager of Taxable Trading, and as Manager of the Corporate Debt Syndicate Department. He holds a B.S.B.A. from Southern Illinois University – Edwardsville as well as Series 7, Series 63, Series 55, and Series 24.


Ari Polychronopoulos, CFA

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Ari Polychronopoulos oversees the Product Management group, which is responsible for product development and oversight, analytics, and business development. In this role, Ari works collaboratively across the firm to understand investors' needs and to develop and support investment solutions that aim to create value for investors worldwide. Ari is also responsible for the firm's ESG efforts (Environmental, Social, and Governance), including product development, creation of ESG research and content, and collaborating with Research Affiliates' product partners and other organizations in the development of ESG investing initiatives. He is a member of the Investment Committee and the Management Committee of Research Affiliates.

Ari has a BS in math/economics from Pitzer College and an MS in financial engineering from Claremont Graduate University. He holds the Chartered Financial Analyst® designation and is a member of CFA Institute and CFA Society Orange County.

Klaus Thuerbach, CFA, FRM, CAIA

Thuerbach_Klaus_Small Square_470x468.jpgKlaus is a Founding Partner and Co-CIO of Klima Capital, an environmental investment manager dedicated to regulated carbon markets. Klaus is a carbon and commodity market expert who views climate change as the defining challenge of our generation. Since 2018, he has focused on carbon markets and played a principal role in building out the carbon investing efforts for a global asset manager, including launching a physical California Carbon Allowance fund.
Prior to Klima, Klaus spent 10 years at PIMCO, serving as the lead strategist for PIMCO’s global commodity and carbon offerings since 2018, including for one of the world’s largest commodity hedge funds. Over 15+ years, he has developed deep domain expertise across a range of asset classes and translated that into compelling investment strategies. He has collaborated with and structured investment solutions for some of the largest and most sophisticated institutional investors in the world.
Klaus holds an MBA from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, where he graduated Palmer Scholar (highest academic distinction). He received undergraduate degrees in international business from Northeastern University, Boston and ESB Reutlingen, Germany. Klaus is a CFA® charterholder and also holds the Financial Risk Manager and CAIA® designations.

Sandip Bhagat

Sandip Bhagat is the Chief Investment Officer at Whittier Trust. He is responsible for Whittier Trust’s investment policies, strategies, and research across traditional and alternative asset classes.

Sandip has over 25 years of portfolio management, research, and trading experience in equities, asset allocation, alternatives, derivatives, and multi-asset class investment solutions.

Prior to joining Whittier Trust Sandip was global head of equities at Vanguard where he had responsibility for all passive, ETF, and active equity portfolios and alternatives strategies managed by the Vanguard Equity Investment Group. Before joining Vanguard in 2009, he was a Managing Director and head of the global asset allocation and systematic strategies at Morgan Stanley Investment Management.

Sandip began his career in 1987 at Travelers Investment Management Company and eventually became its Chief Investment Officer Prior to 2004, Sandip was a Managing Director at Citigroup Asset Management and served in several senior roles across its multiple business units and predecessor organizations.

Sandip received his Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering degree from the University of Bombay, his Masters of Science in Chemical Engineering, and his MBA from the University of Connecticut. He is a CFA® charterholder.

Amy Parvaneh

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Amy Parvaneh is the founder and CEO of Select Advisors Institute, a sales training, branding, marketing and management consulting firm, working exclusively with the wealth management sector. Since 2013, we have partnered with hundreds of financial firms, helping them around all aspects pertaining to their growth initiatives.  Prior to founding Select Advisors, Amy was a private wealth manager at Goldman Sachs, working with clients whose net worth exceeded $20MM, and an RIA consultant at PIMCO.  She has an MBA from Duke University and has taught about the wealth management sector at various universities as a faculty professor, including at Pepperdine


Event Information

Date: April 19th

Time: 8:00 a.m. - 6:30 p.m.

Location: The Pacific Club

4110 MacArthur Blvd, Newport Beach, CA 92660




  • $75 


  • $125 


CFA Society Orange County would like to thank our event sponsors!



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