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Wayne Chopus, President and CEO, IRI, opens the 2024 IRI Annual Conference.WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Insured Retirement Institute (IRI) opened its 2024 Annual Conference to a record-setting crowd and sponsorship in Nashville, Tennessee, as the industry prepares for an expected Department of Labor (DOL) investment advice regulation.

Wayne Chopus, President and CEO of IRI, told attendees, “If I wanted you to take away one clear message from my remarks today, it’s to regard IRI as the champion and defender of our industry.”

He said that those roles were evident over the past year as the industry celebrated the enactment of the bipartisan Secure 2.0 Act, a priority issue advocated by IRI. The law will expand worker access to employer-provided retirement plans and facilitate the availability of protected lifetime income solutions.

Ten months later, IRI was leading the opposition to DOL’s proposed regulation, which would limit consumers’ choice of financial professionals and curtail access to annuity products.

“The DOL once again introduced a flawed and unnecessary rule, which every one of you in the room knows would ultimately harm millions of America’s workers and retirees,” he said.

During his remarks, Chopus also described several areas where IRI leads industry efforts, including a unique industry strategic priority to transform the annuity experience for financial professionals and consumers.

“IRI is leading the industry’s digital first revolution to transform the annuity experience for financial professionals and consumers,” he said. “We’re now building the path to delivering those products and services in the fast, efficient, and reliable manner they expect.”

Chopus noted IRI’s commitment to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion across the insured retirement industry.

“This is a permanent strategic pillar for us, and IRI is leading efforts to facilitate DEI progress,” he said. “IRI is partnering with several industry DEI organizations on plans for transformative action that help IRI members and the industry reach DEI goals.”

Chopus also said IRI continues to refine, improve, and hone programs and services to elevate the member experience.

“We do not take lightly the investment you make in your membership and our responsibility to deliver value to you for that investment,” he said.

Chopus noted that this year’s annual conference exceeded 700 attendees – the third straight year that the event broke an attendance record.

“Thanks to our members’ attendance and sponsorship, this conference has become the premier event for the insured retirement industry,” he said.

The first session of the conference will set the stage for the three-day event with a fireside chat featuring three industry CEOs: Jasmine Jirele, President and CEO of Allianz Life Insurance Company, Andrew Schlossberg, President and CEO of Invesco, Ltd., and Bruce Donaldson, President and CEO of Simplicity Group.

The conference also includes breakout sessions addressing the annuity market, technology, and legal and regulatory issues. Additionally, three keynote speakers will motivate attendees and spark ongoing discussion.

  • Josh Linkner is a professional jazz guitarist and prolific entrepreneur who connects the dots between jazz and business, helping to unlock the secrets of some of the world’s most creative geniuses. Global Atlantic Financial Group sponsors this session.
  • Dr. Wendy Borlabi is a seasoned sports psychologist who serves as the Chicago Bulls’ director of performance and mental health. She uses the same tools and strategies she has shared with elite athletes and Fortune 500 companies to help anyone in any industry adopt an athlete’s mindset. Symetra Financial sponsors this session.
  • Chuck Todd is an experienced journalist and TV veteran with an unparalleled perspective on the media’s relationship with Washington. He provides a comprehensive picture of the ever-changing political landscape and offers insight and analysis into Washington politics. Equitable sponsors this session.

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Contact: Dan Zielinski


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