The Insured Retirement Institute is stepping up its outreach to financial advisors.

The Institute will launch a financial advisor council this spring, IRI president and CEO Cathy Weatherford said at the organization’s marketing summit in New York City on Monday. The council will be comprised of 16 advisors from around the U.S. drawn from independent, wirehouse and bank wealth management practices. The advisors will serve on a voluntary basis and will be asked to run programs with IRI and provide feedback on how the organization can be more of a resource for advisors. Members of the advisor council will also be invited to speak at IRI conferences on topics such as retirement planning, asset strategies and building lifetime income.

"We're hoping to provide them a place where they are able to speak honestly and give us true advice on how we can better support them," says Weatherford, who has led IRI since 2008 and helped the non-profit organization rebrand from its previous name, the National Association of Variable Annuities. "This will help us build greater value and content for the advisor community."

Weatherford added that when advisor council members visit with IRI there will be speakers arranged aimed at providing resources to assist with their own practices. She emphasized that the group will reflect a diversity of firm types, locales and types of assets under management. The IRI’s Advisor Engagement Working Group is expected to finalize its recommendations for who should serve on the council by early May.  

In addition to the advisor council, the IRI is planning additional outreach to advisors during its National Retirement Week conference, April 7 through 11 in Washington. On April 9th, Chad Terry, BlackRock’s director of investment and retirement education, will be presenting a webinar for financial advisors on social security as part of the week-long event. 

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