With the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advising on Sunday that no gatherings with 50 people or more be held for the next two months due to the COVID-19 virus, the financial advice industry went back to work on Monday with a broadly different travel calendar.
LPL Financial told its advisers it was pushing back its top producer meeting, called Summit, to October from the end of this month. “Given the current and rapidly changing environment, we don’t believe we can ensure a positive experience for you and your guests in March,” wrote Andy Kalbaugh, managing director of national sales and consulting, in an email.
Firms were making changes to meetings and conference schedules well before the CDC’s advisement, however. Financial adviser technology giant and turnkey asset management platform Envestnet Inc. said last week it was cancelling its annual Advisor Summit conference due to concerns about the coronavirus.
At the end of last week, Raymond James Financial Inc. said in a statement that firm-hosted conferences were cancelled or postponed until the end of April, at least. That includes its well-attended meeting for its independent broker-dealer, Raymond James Financial Services Inc., which was scheduled to kick off April 20 in Orlando, Fla.
And HighTower Advisors, in accordance with CDC recommendations, has decided to postpone its financial adviser summit in Nashville in April, according to spokesperson Patricia Buchanan. The firm is looking to schedule the conference sometime during the week of October 19 in a location still to be determined.
Meanwhile, regulators and trade groups are also revising their conference schedules.
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Inc. is canceling or postponing all events scheduled through April 6, including its west region member forum on March 26 in San Francisco and the diversity summit on April 1 in New York, according to its website.
The Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association said it was canceling three conferences this month, including its popular compliance and legal meeting in the middle of the month, and pushing back to June a financial management education day from the end of April, according to its website.