NEXT Podcast: Staffing the Wealth Management Firm of the Future: Dakota’s Carina Diamond

As the wealth management industry continues its rapid growth, the needs and demands of clients are also changing significantly. New roles, skill sets and technologies will re-shape the industry — and the wealth management firms that are at the forefront will be the most successful firms over the next three-to-five years.

In this episode of NEXT, Mark Bruno, Managing Director at Informa Wealth Management, and Carina Diamond, Chief Growth Officer at Dakota Wealth Management discuss what industry leaders are focusing on today and where the industry is headed.

Mark and Carina discuss:

  • How new and existing clients’ needs will evolve 
  • Where are the most growth opportunities in financial planning
  • What types of skill sets will be most valuable to clients in the future
  • What role will diversity play in bringing new talent and skills into the industry

Connect With Mark Bruno:

Connect With Carina Diamond:

About Our Guest:

Before joining Dakota Wealth Management, Carina Diamond was the founder and CEO of Springside Partners LLC. Her specialty is retirement planning and investment management – helping clients at every stage of life design a financial plan, customize or refresh a portfolio, or address a specific issue or life event.


NEXT Podcast: The Wealth Management Firm of the Future: How To Become the Employer of Choice with Lisa Crafford

As advisory firms continue to grow at a rapid pace, it is more important now than ever to source and retain the best talent. But how can wealth management firms become “the employer of choice” in 2023?

In this episode of NEXT, Mark Bruno, Managing Director at Informa Wealth Management, speaks with Lisa Crafford, MBA, Director and Head of Business Consulting at BNY Mellon | Pershing, on best practices to hire young talent as well as training existing employees for future leadership.

Mark and Lisa discuss:

  • How to think outside the box to find the right-fit employees for entry-level positions
  • How compensation packages have evolved (it is not just about the paycheck anymore!)
  • The importance of equity-sharing programs and partnership opportunities
  • Recent developments in the “NEXT: Wealth Management Firm of the Future” research

Connect With Mark Bruno:

Connect With Lisa Crafford:

About Our Guest:

In her career, Lisa Crafford has had the opportunity to work for small family-owned businesses, large retail franchises, non-profits, and Fortune 500 companies spanning Australia and the United States. She has lived in three continents, and traveled to over 30 countries. Lisa’s experience includes business and practice management, consulting, business development, marketing and branding, operations, sales, human capital strategy, recruiting, retail management, and customer service.

In her role as a consultant with BNY Mellon | Pershing, Lisa has worked with leading RIA firms around the world on building enduring advisory firms. She also loves to contribute to the wider industry and share her experience with students and those looking to join the industry.


NEXT Podcast: RFG’s Shannon Spotswood on Why Bear Markets are a Bull Market for Advice

While equity markets have declined significantly in 2022 and inflation has spiked, the need for financial advice has never been greater — and the profession has never been more accessible. 

In this episode of NEXT, Mark Bruno, Managing Director at Informa Wealth Management, speaks with Shannon Spotswood, President of RFG Advisory, about strategies for growth-oriented advisors to connect with new clients in what could be a once-in-a-lifetime market opportunity. 

Mark and Shannon discuss:

  • What is fueling demand and need for professional financial advice 
  • How advisors can leverage technology to market to a broader base of clients and prospects
  • How operations and admin roles are evolving to allow advisors to grow their businesses and spend more time with clients
  • The drivers of future success in the wealth management industry

Connect With Mark Bruno:

Connect With Shannon Spotswood:

About Our Guest:

Shannon Spotswood was named President of RFG Advisory in February 2016. Her strategic vision for the firm is one of rapid, well-executed expansion across the U.S. Her focus is on best practices for advisor recruitment and transitions, corporate marketing, business development, and M&A. She is committed to supporting RFG Advisory’s high-growth, hybrid RIA platform with a network of professional independent financial advisors. With more than 20 years’ experience, Shannon is putting her enthusiastic passion for the finance industry to work developing the processes and technology to help RFG Advisors—and their clients—succeed.


The Wealth Management Firm of the Future: Digitizing Your Practice From End-to-End

Every part of your client experience and business management can be enhanced and made more efficient through digitization and automation 

In this episode of NEXT, Mark Bruno, Managing Director at Informa Wealth Management, speaks with Jason Pereira, Senior Partner at Woodgate Financial Inc., about how to implement an end-to-end comprehensive planning process as seen from the perspective of the client, the advisor, and their staff.  

Specifically, Mark and Jason discuss:

  • Content development strategies for raising awareness of an advisor’s firm and capabilities
  • Technology and distribution tools to help execute and improve ongoing marketing and 1-to-1 outreach campaigns
  • The latest digital onboarding resources, strategies and applications
  • Striking the appropriate balance of communication with existing clients and prospects

Connect With Mark Bruno:

Connect With Jason Pereira:

About Our Guest:

Jason Pereira is first and foremost a financial planner who has lived and breathed topics related to financial planning for over 20 years. In that time he has become a recognized writer, commentator, speaker, podcaster, teacher, and expert in the areas of financial planning, practice management, and fintech. Jason has also obtained two degrees, nine professional designations, been nominated for or won over 30 industry awards, and produced over 100 articles, podcasts, and interviews.


The Wealth Management Firm of the Future: The Psychology of Managing Family Wealth with Richard Joyner

Creating a financial plan based on clients’ goals and objectives is only half the battle. When working with multiple generations from the same family, understanding and navigating their money motivators and their differing psychologies surrounding finances is critical. 

In this episode of NEXT, Mark Bruno, Managing Director at Informa Wealth Management, speaks with Richard Joyner, President of Tolleson Wealth Management, about working with clients to build a financial plan for the future based on a combination of psychology, one-on-one support and high-touch client service. 

Mark and Richard discuss:

  • What is true intergenerational wealth planning and what role it will play in the growth of wealth managers over the next 5-to-10 years
  • How they manage wealth psychology (and its influence on wealth management)
  • How are advisors being trained in financial psychology
  • What skill sets and talents will be required to align client need with growth opportunities moving forward

Connect With Mark Bruno:

Connect With Richard Joyner:

About Our Guest:

Richard Joyner is President of Tolleson Wealth Management. He oversees key strategic, marketing, and policy determinations for the company and its lines of business. Richard also serves on the Board of Directors, CEO Council, Trust Committee, and Investment Committee. He is also President and CEO of Tolleson Wealth Management’s Private Wealth Management Group, where he is active in setting the vision and strategy for Tolleson Private Wealth Management.


The Wealth Management Firm of the Future: WealthTech to Watch

Technology has reshaped the wealth management industry and will continue to transform the future of the business. What are some specific developments that could have the most significant impacts on the way wealth managers work in the future?

In this episode of NEXT, Mark Bruno, Managing Director at Informa Wealth Management, speaks with Bill Bruckner, Managing Director at BNY Mellon Pershing, to dive into the key findings from a new “NEXT: Wealth Management Firm of the Future” Research report.

Mark and Bill discuss:

  •  How the rise of mobile has improved advisor-client relationships
  •  How artificial intelligence will shape financial advice in the future
  • The services that financial advisors will provide the most in the next five years
  •  What pain points for advisors will be addressed within the next few years

Connect With Mark Bruno:

Connect With Bill Bruckner:

About Our Guest:

William Bruckner is a Managing Director and the Head of Consulting and Implementation in the Wealth Solutions group of BNY Mellon | Pershing. He leads a group of consultants providing expert guidance in the fields of business management, technology, and operations, and an integrated implementation team that can bring a client’s vision to life. 


The Wealth Management Firm of the Future: Martine Lellis on Human Capital and The Client Experience

Over the next several years, the most successful firms in the wealth management industry will be those that have a clear vision for how human capital, technology and client service intersect to drive growth. 

In this episode of NEXT, Mark Bruno, Managing Director at Informa Wealth Management, speaks with Martine Lellis, Chief Talent and Administrative Officer at Mercer Advisors, about creating a defined client experience, attracting and retaining NextGen talent – and how the role of financial advisor is evolving in line with client need. 

Mark and Martine discuss:

  • The key elements of a great client experience
  • How specialists can integrate within financial advisory firms
  • The role “curiosity” will play in driving growth
  • What advisors can learn from the medical profession about supporting clients 

Connect With Mark Bruno:

Connect With Martine Lellis:

About Our Guest:

Martine oversees Talent Management, HR, and Compliance at Mercer Advisors as well as leads cross-functional initiatives aimed at improving offerings for clients. Before joining Mercer Advisors, Martine was a Principal and both the Chief Operating Officer and Chief Compliance Officer at Sullivan, Bruyette, Speros & Blayney, an RIA in Mclean, VA.

Martine has a degree in Mathematics from Duke University and an MBA from Georgetown University. She’s a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional. She consulted with Keir Educational Resources as a writer and instructor for CFP® exam review courses. In addition, Martine served as a member of the Schwab Advisor Services Technology, Operations & Service Advisory Board.


The Wealth Management Firm of the Future: Andrew Altfest on AI’s Role in the Future of Financial Advice

Artificial intelligence has become a mainstream tool everywhere, from Siri and Alexa to trend monitoring software for Netflix. How can financial advisors leverage this technology to grow their business?

In this episode of NEXT, Mark Bruno, Managing Director at Informa Wealth Management, speaks with Andrew Altfest, President of Altfest and Founder and CEO of FP Alpha, about how technology is reshaping financial advice and the delivery of wealth management services to clients. 

Specifically, Mark and Andrew discuss:

  • How AI can be used to make complex estate planning and trust issues more efficient
  • Popular digital marketing strategies for prospecting to HNW and UHNW investors
  • How “mass personalization” will help advisors accelerate the growth of their businesses moving forward

Connect With Mark Bruno:

Connect With Andrew Altfest:

About Our Guest:

Andrew Altfest, CFP®, MBA is the founder and CEO of FP Alpha, the first AI-driven comprehensive financial planning solution that enables advisors to provide actionable and personalized recommendations to clients across over 15 financial planning disciplines, and is complementary to their current retirement planning software, starting where it stops.



The Wealth Management Firm of the Future: Lifeworks’ Ron Bullis

The most successful firms in the wealth management industry over the next five years will likely be those firms that have a true command on their technology, a defined and unique client experience — and ultimately can deliver hyper-targeted services to their core markets. 

Lifeworks — an up-and-coming RIA with a built-in technology team that is directly aligned with its advisors — is clearly charting a path as a firm to watch, now, and over the next several years. 

In this inaugural episode of the NEXT Podcast, Mark Bruno, Managing Director at Informa Wealth Management, speaks with Ron Bullis, CEO of Lifeworks Advisors, on his firm’s strategy, business model and ability to build technology that is aligned with the largest  growth opportunities in wealth management. 

More specifically, Mark and Ron discuss:

  • The challenges of delivering “hyper personalized” portfolios while increasing the number of clients
  • The role of technology in creating seamless client experiences and digital marketing
  • How Lifeworks defines a positive client experience and evaluates client experiences
  • How Lifeworks is benchmarking and measuring its cutting edge client acquisition strategies
  • And more

Connect With Mark Bruno: 

Connect With Ron Bullis:

About Our Guest:

After spending nearly a decade at a large insurance company, Ron Bullis broke away from his successful career and started Lifeworks Advisors in 2017 with 0 clients and $0 in revenue.

Since then, Lifeworks has become one of the fastest-growing wealth management firms in the country, now managing $150 million of assets and overseeing hundreds of clients.

In 2019, on top of serving clients, Ron directed Lifeworks to begin creating their own software that would vastly improve the advisor-client relationship.