Association News

WealthCounsel Announces Industry Survey Results
Orlando, Fla. -- WealthCounsel, LLC announced the results of its second annual nationwide survey of estate planning attorneys. The survey was initiated in 2007 for the purpose of monitoring the estate planning needs of consumers and identifying challenges facing attorney practitioners. Participation in the annual Web-based survey is open to all estate planning attorneys.
     The survey captured feedback from 514 respondents in 48 states on topics that included the anticipated market demand for services, the primary reasons that clients engage in estate planning, the greatest challenges attorneys are facing in their practices, and the types of publications they read.
     Among the key findings were the following:
     As in 2007, most respondents chose elder law as the primary estate planning shift over the next five years.
     Attorneys noted that the primary reason clients seek their services is to avoid probate, followed by the desire to minimize estate taxes. Avoiding chaos upon their death, keeping children from mismanaging their inheritance, and asset protection were also major factors.
     Net worth of respondents’ clients ranged from less than $500,000 to greater than $5 million.
     Client generation and managing daily operations are major challenges for most attorneys.
     Top factors important to attorneys in sustaining their businesses are having the support of family and friends, and an efficient document drafting system.

NAAIM Introduces Actively Managed Fund Index
Littleton, Colo. -- The National Association of Active Investment Managers (NAAIM), the trade group representing registered investment advisors dedicated to active trading and portfolio management strategies, announced the inauguration of its Actively Managed Fund (AMF) Index.
     The NAAIM AMF Index is a compilation of mutual funds created and managed by NAAIM members that employ disciplined active investment management strategies. Using historical data for 2008, the funds in the NAAIM AMF Index outperformed the S&P 500 by more than 15 percent and, excluding money market and bond funds, the average performance of nearly 20,000 mutual funds Morningstar tracks also by more than 15 percent.

IMCA Elects New Board Members
Denver -- Investment Management Consultants Association (IMCA) announced the election of three new members to its board of directors. Each new member will serve a two-year term, which began in January.
     Elected were: Anthony Davidow, a senior vice president and head of distribution for IndexIQ in Rye Brook, N.Y.; Michael Dieschbourg, president and CEO of Global Currents Investment Management in Wilmington, Del., and Margaret Towle, managing director of Greycourt & Co., Inc., in Portland, Ore.

Sternberg Receives Lifetime Achievement Award
New York -- The Round Table of New York announced that Sy Sternberg, CLU, Chairman of the Board of the New York Life Insurance Company, received the organization’s 2008 Lifetime Achievement Award. Sternberg was honored at a black tie event at the Union League Club of New York in December.
     Each year the Round Table of New York presents its Lifetime Achievement Award to an individual that has made significant contributions to the insurance and financial services industry. The award recognizes individuals for their accomplishments in the areas of professional ethics, education and industry leadership.

FPA Releases “Best Practices” Tools For Planners
Washington, D.C. -- The Financial Planning Association (FPA) has released new tools for its financial planning members to help them conform to the new CFP Board Standards of Conduct.
     FPA’s Best Practices Task Force recently completed the new checklists of compliance requirements to better serve financial planning professionals and their clients. These checklists cover a half-dozen different transaction scenarios, and an initial planning engagement, that a financial planner may encounter on a routine basis.
     The Best Practices Task Force includes representatives of various FPA leadership committees, and was reviewed by representatives of the CFP Board for consistency with the new Standards.

NAEPC Honors CPA-Attorney With Lifetime Service Award
Scottsdale, Ariz. --- The National Association of Estate Planners & Councils (NAEPC) has honored Byrle M. Abbin of McLean, Va. as the 2008 recipient of the Hartman Axley Lifetime Service Award. The award was presented at the 45th Annual Conference of the Association in November in Scottsdale, Ariz.
     Abbin, a managing director of WTAS, LLC, was selected for this award in recognition of his many years of dedicated service, both to the NAEPC and in the field of estate planning. He is the fifth recipient of this ward recognizing excellence within the profession and service to the NAEPC.

Rives To Chair FSP Risk Management Section
Newtown Square, Pa. -- Bill Rives, CLU, ChFC, RHU, has been named to Chair of the Risk Management Professional Interest Section for the Society of Financial Services Professionals (FSP). In this volunteer position, he is charged with enhancing the overall value of the Section to FSP members by helping develop practice-specific content for various educational presentations as well as monitoring online discussions to ensure robust and on-topic content. Rives is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Finance of the Fisher College of Business at The Ohio State University.


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