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IRI President and CEO Wayne Chopus opens the 2023 IRI Annual Conference.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Insured Retirement Institute (IRI) kicked off its 2023 Annual Conference today with record attendance and sponsorship for an in-depth exploration of business, technology, political, and regulatory issues facing the complete supply chain of the insured retirement industry.

IRI President and CEO Wayne Chopus welcomed the nearly 600 attendees saying, “We are a member-focused, first-call organization for this industry that understands that we must deliver value for your membership dues.”

Chopus noted recent successes, including passage of the Secure 2.0 Act, a comprehensive retirement security law enacted in December. The measure included 15 IRI-advocated priority issues to expand access to workplace retirement plans and facilitate lifetime income solutions for workers and retirees.

He also listed other critical industry strategic objectives that IRI is leading, including an industry effort to advance and adopt digital solutions across the annuity lifecycle to modernize distribution channels and ensure consumer expectations are exceeded at every opportunity.

Chopus noted IRI’s leadership in diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts. He mentioned several partnerships IRI has formed with key organizations, including the Coalition for Equity in Wholesaling, EveryIncome, the Financial Alliance on Racial Equity, and other industry trade associations. “In all we’re doing, we are embedding diversity, equity, and inclusion principles,” he said.

IRI’s annual conference features three keynote speakers to motivate attendees and strike an upbeat, forward-looking tone.

• Leonard Brody, an award-winning techno-economist, entrepreneur, venture capitalist, and innovation expert, will speak in a session called “Bouncing Back: Preparing for Future Growth.” Global Atlantic Financial Group sponsors this session.

• Inky Johnson, a motivation expert, author, and mentor, will discuss being a leader in circumstances we cannot control while staying motivated and having empathy and perspective. Lincoln Financial Group sponsors this session.

• Anna Palmer, founder & CEO of Punchbowl News, best-selling author, and former co-author of Politico Playbook, will offer her insights into the issues, players, and personalities driving politics today and how they will impact topics most important to IRI. Jackson sponsors this session.

Setting the overall conference tone is an opening session, a CEO Fireside Chat, featuring Ellen Cooper, President and CEO of Lincoln Financial Group, Eric Steigerwalt, President and CEO of Brighthouse Financial, and Esfand Dinshaw, Chairman and CEO of Sammons Financial Group. Wayne Chopus will moderate the discussion.

Additionally, IRI will celebrate outstanding member representatives through its Industry Champion of Retirement Security Award, a new Leadership Award, and a Chairman Award.

The Women in Leadership Symposium, a highly successful session from last year, is returning to the IRI conference. Four industry leaders will participate in an interactive session where panelists and attendees discuss how women support each other in the workplace. Equitable, Global Atlantic Financial Group, and Symetra are sponsoring this session.

A feature of the IRI conference is giving back to the community. This year, IRI teamed up with Troopster, a veteran-founded charitable organization, to support the Armed Forces community, deployed service members, military spouses, and families with personalized, unique care packages. Attendees will assemble 500 care packages to send to deployed U.S. troops serving abroad. Athene sponsors the event.

“IRI’s annual conference is the premier event for the insured retirement industry,” Chopus said. “We want attendees to leave with a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities we face and with confidence that we can meet them together.”

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Contact: Dan Zielinski


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