About the Symposium

Why we at Financial Independence Group BELIEVE

We believe that the future holds enormous opportunity – for advisors, for individuals, for families and for the industry!

The FIG Symposium is committed to presenting you with the opportunities to learn and to grow both personally and professionally. Our presenters will engage you with fresh ideas for growing your practice and offer motivation for realistic personal growth. FIG regularly pursues and discovers better ways to service our clients. We are committed to scrutinizing, defining and enacting mechanisms that are meant to protect our people from events that frighten or possibly hurt them financially.

In contemplation over the past few years, we take great pride in the fact, that together, we have changed the lives of many individuals and families. When we aspire to offer guidance to those who are facing obstacles in their search for financial security and retirement, we allow them to continue to succeed and grow while reaching their long-term goals. The most successful advisors have been those who are committed to working in the best interest of their clients. History has proven that this has always been true and we believe it will continue to be true in the times ahead.


Harness dynamic industry thinking

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Tom Hegna


Tom Hegna is an economist, author, and retirement expert. He has been an incredibly popular industry speaker for many years and is considered by many to be THE Retirement Income Expert!.

As a former First Vice President at New York Life, retired Lieutenant Colonel, and economist, Tom has delivered over 2,000 seminars on his signature "Paychecks and Playchecks" retirement approach, helping Baby Boomers and seniors retire the "optimal" way. He has condensed a large chunk of his considerable knowledge into 3 books.

  • • Paychecks and Playchecks: Retirement Solutions for Life. This has sold over 60,000 copies around the world. The top-rated Kindle version has been the #1 best-seller in its category for over 2 years.
  • • Retirement Income Masters: Secrets of the Pros. This book compiles the very best tricks of the trade from the very best retirement experts.
  • • And most recently, Don’t Worry, Retire Happy! Seven Steps to Retirement Security, which is based on his popular Public Television Special. Haven’t seen it? You can learn more here

Tom specializes in creating simple and powerful retirement solutions. He has the unique ability to pump up a crowd, make people laugh and solve complex financial problems using easy-to-understand words, ideas and stories. He’s been featured in Business, Forbes, Money Rates, and many other leading publications. He is available to speak with businesses, government organizations, professional associations, financial professionals and their clients across the globe.

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  • Doc Hendley

Doc Hendley

Doc Hendley dreamed up the concept of Wine To Water while bartending and playing music in nightclubs around Raleigh, NC.

In February 2004, Doc held his first fundraiser. And by August, he was living halfway around the globe in Sudan, Africa installing water systems for victims of the government-supported genocide.

His life would never be the same, especially after two of his team members were killed.

After spending one year in Darfur, Doc returned home. The haunting memories of what he had witnessed drove him to continue building the organization he started with that first fundraiser in a bar. Doc was determined to provide clean water for the world.

In 2007, after working two jobs and volunteering his time for three years, Doc launched Wine To Water. His dream of fighting the world’s water crisis became a reality. But that was just the beginning.

In 2009, Doc was named as a top ten CNN Hero for that year, and the ripples continued to grow.

Soon Doc was speaking to packed houses, including two TEDx events and national media outlets. Thousands were inspired by his story and Wine To Water grew from one man's mission into a movement for clean water.

Today, the movement has become a community.

Wine To Water is thousands of people around the globe that are committed to living, loving, serving and giving #OnPurpose. More than 500,000 people now have clean water through the Wine To Water community, but we wake up every day knowing that as far as we've come, there is more to do. Luckily, we won't be going on this journey alone.

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  • Marc Schechter & Jason Zimmerman

Marc Schechter

Senior Managing Director & Principal

Marc Schechter, Senior Managing Director has spent the last 15 years contributing to the vision and growth of Schechter Wealth and now guides the firm in its goal to provide extraordinary financial counsel and service to high net worth families.

As a highly respected financial professional Marc has been invited to speak about unique strategies and solutions with financial professionals around to the country as well as CPAs, Attorneys, and other client advisors. Marc has been actively involved with many professional organizations throughout his career, including the Financial and Estate Planning Council of SE Michigan, NAIFA (National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors), and AALU (Association for Advanced Life Underwriting. He served on the PartnersFinancial Advisory Board, an NFP-owned company, as well as the Sun Life and John Hancock Advisory Boards. Marc currently serves on Pacific Life Insurance Company’s Advisory Board.

Marc plays an active role in many community organizations, including the Jewish Federation of Metro Detroit, the University of Michigan Greater Detroit Campaign Leadership Council, Karmanos Cancer Institute, and the University of Michigan Pancreatic Center Advisory Board.

Jason R. Zimmerman* MBA, CLU, CAP

Senior Managing Director & Principal

As one of the Senior Managing Directors and owners of Schechter Wealth, Jason Zimmerman is responsible for helping to define the strategic direction of the firm. Schechter is primarily focused in the areas of Life Insurance based planning solutions, Investment alternatives, and Employee Benefits. He also manages relationships with referring and strategic partners such as insurance professionals, banks, CPA’s and money managers to help further grow our advanced life insurance planning area. In addition, Jason works directly with the firm’s clients and their advisors in the execution of sophisticated solutions in wealth accumulation and preservation, wealth transfer and charitable giving.

Jason has earned designations that help clients with financial planning, income taxation, retirement planning, investments and estate planning. The designations are: The Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU) designation for professionals involved in the areas of estate planning and business succession planning; and the Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy (CAP) designation.

Marc Schechter & Jason Zimmerman
Neil McKay
  • Neil McKay

Neil McKay

Chief Actuary at Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America

As Chief Actuary, Neil McKay is responsible for the company’s Actuarial department, including the financial strength of product lines, research, statistical services, and actuarial methods and standards. In this role, he also provides technical guidance to executive management in establishing profit objectives.

Prior to joining Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America (Allianz Life®) in 1990, McKay served as vice president of financial analysis for Life USA Holding, Inc. (which merged with Allianz Life in 1999), where he was also responsible for investor relations.

McKay received a bachelor’s degree in business and mathematics from Augustana College in South Dakota. He is a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries (FSA) and a longtime member of the American Academy of Actuaries (MAAA).

Wade Pfau
  • Wade Pfau

Dr. Wade D. Pfau, CFA®

Dr. Wade D. Pfau, is a Professor of Retirement Income in the PhD in Financial and Retirement Planning program at The American College of Financial Services. He is also a contributor to the The College’s Retirement Income Certified Professional® (RICP®) designation program curriculum.

Dr. Pfau is a co-editor of the Journal of Personal Finance. He has spoken at the national conferences of organizations for financial professionals such as the CFA Institute, FPA, NAPFA, AICPA-PFP, and AFS. He also publishes frequently in a wide variety of academic and practitioner research journals. He hosts the Retirement Researcher blog, and is a monthly columnist for Advisor Perspectives, a RetireMentor for MarketWatch, a contributor to Forbes, and an Expert Panelist for The Wall Street Journal. His research has been discussed in outlets that include print editions of The Economist, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and Money Magazine.

Dr. Pfau was a selectee for the InvestmentNews “Power 20” in 2013 and “40 Under 40” in 2014, the Investment Advisor 35 list for 2015, the IA 25 list for 2014, and Financial Planning magazine’s Influencer Awards. He is a two-time winner of the Journal of Financial Planning Montgomery-Warschauer Award, a two-time winner of the Academic Thought Leadership Award from the Retirement Income Industry Association, and a best paper award winner in the retirement category from the Academy of Financial Services.

Dr. Pfau holds a doctorate in economics and a master’s degree from Princeton University, and Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees from the University of Iowa. He is also a Chartered Financial Analyst® (CFA®).

Nicholas Ross
  • Nicholas Ross

Nicholas Ross

Nicholas has been dedicated to financial services his entire career and his passion for the financial sector is relentless. From careers as a retail financial advisor and executive at a registered investment advisor - broker-dealer, to ten years inside one of the largest privately-held brokerage general agencies in the world, Nicholas knows how to build a sustainable and successful financial services business. For over five years Nicholas has tailored solutions for entrepreneurial financial professionals with one goal in mind – to fulfill the vision of becoming the very best. Nicholas serves four verticals in his current role within Financial Independence Group; Surge Business Consulting, Next Continuity and Succession, Leading its sales teams, and its Institutional Sales model.

Nicholas and his wife Jennifer have two children and reside in Cornelius, NC. Nicholas is a dedicated runner, has a passion for investments and insurance he calls his “sickness”, and enjoys spending as much time as possible with his family. One of Nicholas’ favorite quotes and philosophy he often uses in business development comes from Winston Churchill – “However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results”.

Event Schedules

Time Session Room
11:00am Registration Symphony Foyer
11:30am Lunch Carolina Ballroom
1:00pm Kickoff 2017 FIG Sales Symposium Symphony Ballroom
2:30pm Tom Hegna Keynote Symphony Ballroom
3:30pm Sponsor Case Solution Symphony Ballroom
3:45pm BREAK
4:00pm Sponsor Case Solution Symphony Ballroom
4:15pm Schechter Life Keynote Symphony Ballroom
5:15pm Sponsor Case Solution Symphony Ballroom
5:30pm Doc Hendley, Wine to Water Symphony Ballroom
6:30pm Casino Night, Wine to Water Event Charlotte City Club
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Time Session Room
7:00am Breakfast Carolina Ballroom
8:30am FIG Updates Symphony Ballroom
9:30am Sponsor Case Solution Symphony Ballroom
9:45am Elevate Updates Symphony Ballroom
10:45pm BREAK
11:00am Sponsor Case Solution Symphony Ballroom
11:15am Neil McKay Keynote Symphony Ballroom
12:15pm Lunch Carolina Ballroom
1:45pm Sponsor Case Solution Symphony Ballroom
2:00pm Nicholas Ross, Advisor of Tomorrow Symphony Ballroom
3:00pm BREAK
3:15pm Sponsor Case Solution Symphony Ballroom
3:30pm Wade Pfau Symphony Ballroom
4:30pm Closing Comments Symphony Ballroom
5:00pm Dinner & Entertainment at Sheraton
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Time Session Room
8:00am Don’t Miss The Opportunity
2018 Initiatives
Mecklenburg 1
8:30am Risk Managed Advice
A new approach to your clients
Mecklenburg 1
9:30am Risk Managed Portfolio Launch Mecklenburg 1
10:15pm BREAK
10:30am Fixed Index Annuity Portfolio Launch
Nationwide / Annexus / Russell / TCA
Mecklenburg 1
11:45pm Compliance Updates Mecklenburg 1
12:30pm Lunch Mecklenburg 2
1:15pm Advisory Alpha Updates Mecklenburg 1
2:00pm BREAK
2:15pm Russell Investments
Understand the underlying hybrid approach to investing
Mecklenburg 1
3:00pm Retire-Up Pro
Model your clients investments of ACM portfolios and FIA’s in one sofware platform
Mecklenburg 1
3:45pm Wrap-Up Mecklenburg 1
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FIG GIVES BACK – Wine To Water

Nearly one billion people worldwide lack access to clean water, and roughly 3.5 million people die each year because of water related issues. Almost half of these deaths are attributed to intestinal issues.

The idea for Wine to Water was born in late 2003, with the first fundraiser being held in Raleigh, North Carolina in early 2004. The founder and current president, Doc Hendley was a bartender in Raleigh, and had a strong desire utilize the bar and nightclub industry as a way to bring about positive change in the world. After becoming aware of the world's water crisis, Doc held fundraisers at wine tastings and bars in the Raleigh area. The funds from the events would be used to implement clean water projects around the world.

Wine to Water is based in Boone, North Carolina, and has clean water projects running in multiple international locations, including: Sudan, India, Cambodia, Uganda, Ethiopia, Peru, and Kenya.

Wine to Water has received a great deal of media attention on the local, national, and international levels. Doc Hendley was selected by CNN as a top ten finalist for the 2012 CNN Heroes.

  • As of 2009, Wine to Water had implemented sustainable drinking water initiatives to over 25,000 individuals.
  • By October 2014, WTW had expanding to include projects in 18 countries on four continents, supplying clean water to over 300,000 individuals.

Financial Independence Group is proud to build what will be a long term relationship with Wine to Water for this collective purpose. With similar values and vision, our companies are partnering to end the global water crisis. Our FIG Symposium Night will not only be an entertaining evening full of food, music and drink, but also a way to help us support the cause. Join us and make a difference!

For more information about Wine to Water, visit www.winetowater.org

“My efforts are going to be a drop in the bucket, but if I would have never taken that step because it was too big of a problem, then we wouldn’t be anywhere right now.”