www.wealthandfinance-intl.com 7 The Insured Retirement Institute (IRI) is the leading trade association for the retirement income industry. We profile the institute and its dedicated President and CEO Cathy Weatherford to explore how its services revolve around supporting its members. advocate, Cathy has strong experience in this field, which include serving as Oklahoma’s Insurance Commissioner, a state-wide elected office, a position she held from 1991 to 1995. In this capacity, she served on the Board of Trustees of the Oklahoma State Employees Retirement Systems and on the Board of Directors of the Oklahoma State Employees Group Insurance Program. She also served as the EVP and CEO of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), the U.S. standard-setting and regulatory support organization created and governed by the chief insurance regulators from the 50 states, the District of Columbia and five U.S. territories. Cathy’s background as a regulator and consumer advocate have uniquely positioned her to ensure that the consumer is front and center of all IRI’s efforts. This includes IRI’s efforts spearheading the National Retirement Planning Coalition, comprised of more than 40 organizations, who work together to promote retirement planning. The coalition manages the consumer website RetireOnYourTerms.org, and organizes National Retirement Planning Week® each year to help consumers develop plans to meet their future needs in retirement. This also includes developing IRI’s Protecting Older Investors Resource Center. The resource center offers the latest information, tools and resources to help consumers and financial professionals detect diminished capacity and protect against financial elder abuse. IRI’s membership and annual revenues have more than doubled during Cathy’s tenure as CEO. Today, IRI serves more 200 dues paying member companies, including 30 new member firms that joined in 2016. IRI also delivers membership benefits to more 150,000 financial professionals. A large part of the success of IRI has been based on building a model focused on creating value for its members by providing industry-leading resources. As such, the association is committed to supporting its continued success, and Cathy herself has a number of exciting plans for the WW160009 Company: Insured Retirement Institute Name: Cathy Weatherford Email: [email protected] Web Address: http://irionline.org/ Address: 1100 Vermont Ave., NW, 10th Floor, Washington, DC 20005 Telephone: 202-469-3000 horizon, which will enhance both her own career and those of her fellow women within the industry. During the fall of 2016, she will be promoting the release of her book, “Women and Wealth.” This will include media outreach focused on the needs of the women’s market, and speaking engagements to encourage holistic retirement planning among financial professionals and identify steps firms can take to promote financial advising careers for women. One key concept she espouses in the book to financial professionals is “holistic retirement planning.” Holistic retirement planning involves focusing on more than earnings or reaching a certain savings number. Rather, it requires developing retirement plans focused on the goals and higher aspirations of the client that those earnings and savings can help achieve. The holistic retirement plan, as described by Cathy, is multidimensional and takes into account the client’s unique needs. Her philosophy is that the holistic planning method will engender trust with clients, particularly those who are turned off by advisors who dedicate the bulk of meetings to discussing investment products, rather than goals. This philosophy is embraced by IRI which will continue to implement this going forward.