We knew going into the week of WealthManagement EDGE—The home of Inside ETFs, WealthStack and RIA Edge—that it would be an event like no other.
It had been a long time – too long – since financial advisors and leaders from across the wealth management industry have been able to get together on a grand scale. Over that time, the world, advisors’ businesses and client needs have became very, very different.
The role of the financial advisor has never been more important than it is today. We believe that this is truly a new era for financial advice – and that is exactly why we started to develop WealthManagement EDGE back in May 2021.
As an advisor and the leader of an advisory firm, you have more options than ever. You have more investment solutions, more options for customizing portfolios and more options for managing risk than ever before. The wealthtech space has exploded and there is more purpose-driven advisortech available to you today than ever before.
At the same time, record-levels of capital and financing options have entered the wealth management market and the independent advisory channel is one of, if not the fastest growing segment in the financial services industry.
We know how many decisions you all make in a given day about your clients’ portfolios, your technology and your day-to-day business operations. But we also know that you need the dedicated time and headspace to think about—and actively work on—your firm’s continued growth and evolution.
That was the goal of EDGE: To provide advisors with unparalleled access to thought leaders, experts and resources to help accelerate your next wave of growth—no matter how complex the world, the markets and your clients’ needs may be.
And while we knew Wealth Management EDGE would be an event like no other, the overwhelming energy, enthusiasm and sense of community was an incredibly rewarding surprise.
There was an unspoken, collective mission among our attendees, who were not just attending or sponsoring an ordinary industry event: They were at EDGE to build and shape a community.
There was a universal recognition that this is Wealth 2.0 and EDGE was helping to transform an industry.
When I first looked at the list of more than 1,500 registrants for EDGE, I was absolutely blown away by the group that we have assembled. We had the largest and most influential asset managers in the world, the most innovative companies in wealthtech, and the largest, fastest growing RIAs in the industry in attendance. Doing some quick math, there was an estimated $40 trillion in assets under management and advisory in the building at EDGE.
Going beyond the numbers, we also had some of the top diversity and inclusion advocates in financial services in attendance. They participated in a D&I Think Tank that will help create opportunities for a more diverse population to enter the wealth management industry and change the lives of a larger number of investors and clients.
We also had some of the top decision-makers and players in the retirement plan advice industry participate in an RPA Edge Think Tank. That group had a common objective: To help bring true wealth management and financial planning to more defined contribution plans and plan participants. The convergence of wealth and retirement plan advice is real and this group acted to improve the lives of millions of plan participants.
We had our work cut out for us—but we also made sure to exhale, unwind with a host of socials and networking activities, and remember what makes the wealth management industry so exceptional.
The first-ever Wealth Management EDGE was a success beyond measure. While we look forward to seeing our attendees again in May 2023, EDGE has evolved into an omni-channel platform, and we will continue to inform and engage the EDGE community through WealthManagement.com, research, webinars and in-person think tanks for RIAs, RPAs and D&I thought leaders.
When the lights went off on the mainstage at EDGE on June 3, it was not the end—it was simply the start of a new way of thinking, working and communicating for truly growth-oriented financial advisors.
—Mark Bruno, June 2022