How To Grow Your Retirement Plan Business In The 2020 Economic Crisis

If you’re like most advisors, you’re likely starting to come up for air after the shock of the coronavirus pandemic. Now that you’ve contacted your clients, rebalanced accounts, and communicated your plans, it’s time to think about growing your business during this crisis.
We’ve partnered with the experts at The Retirement Learning Center to update advisors on how the retirement plan landscape has been altered by the 2020 economic crisis.
We’ll review:
  • – How has the retirement landscape been affected by COVID-19?
  • – How can advisors grow their retirement business in the current crisis?
  • – Where are the biggest opportunities as a result of the CARES Act?
  • – How to become the go-to expert on a specific employer plan
  • – How advisors can use retirement plans to create marketing campaigns
At the end of the presentation, we’ll give you ideas for a few marketing campaigns you could create to grow your retirement plan business as well as the resources to get started now. Save your spot today!

About Your Presenters:

Claire Akin

Claire Akin, MBA

Claire Akin runs Indigo Marketing Agency, a full-service marketing firm serving top independent financial advisors. She works closely with several of Barron’s Top 100 Financial Advisors to grow their AUM using digital marketing.

John Carl

John Carl, Founder & CEO, Retirement Learning Center

John Carl is Founder and President of Retirement Learning Center, the nation’s preeminent thought leader on retirement issues. He is also the Executive Director of the PLANSPONSOR Institute, the education and training arm of PLANSPONSOR, as well as founding lecturer for The Retirement Advisor University (TRAU) at UCLA Anderson School of Management Executive Education. John serves on the Government Affairs Committee for the National Association of Plan Advisors. As the “advisor to the advisors,” John is a highly sought after industry insider who travels the country educating groups of financial professionals on the very latest in retirement legislation, forecasts, and developments affecting the industry.



Great. Thank you so much for joining me today. I’m Claire Akin with Indigo Marketing Agency. And today we are going to be partnering up with special guests from Retirement Learning Center and we are going to talk about how to grow your retirement business during the 2020 economic crisis. I’m super excited to welcome the team at Retirement Learning Center. They are a great resource for advisors out there, and they have tons of knowledge about retirement plans, but also supporting individual advisors and their individual clients and how they can best navigate these circumstances.

               Today, we’re going to talk about primarily navigating compliant rollovers, what’s changed in 2020, where the industry is going and where the opportunities are for advisors. So I’ll give you a quick background on my story, if you don’t already know me. I’m Claire Akin with Indigo Marketing Agency. I used to be an advisor with LPL Financial. My dad’s a financial advisor, so that’s how I got into this business. I have a bachelor’s degree in economics, a master’s degree in marketing. I’m a lecturer at UCLA Extension as part of their CFP program in marketing.

               And I work with 165 top independent financial advisor clients, where we do their marketing for them. So we help position them as the go-to expert in their individual area of expertise. And we do everything from run their website, create their content, help them create webinars, do all of their social media postings. So they have a completely branded custom presence online that explains what they do, who they serve and how they help at a minimum investment of their time. So a lot of the marketing that you see coming from my firm, that’s what we do for advisors. And so, if you’re interested in that, go to to learn more.

               So today, I want to welcome John from Retirement Learning Center. He’s the president and founder of the Retirement Learning Center, which is an independent ERISA consulting and training firm that serves independent financial advisors. They’ve been in business 16 years. Before that, he has a really impressive story, deep background as an advisor himself, so he understands working on both sides of the fence. And what they do is really support advisors on their retirement planning business and also with individual clients. So I’ll let John take it away from here.


Thank you, Claire. A pleasure and privilege to be here. As you said, RLC has been around for 16 years with the sole mission and focus of supporting advisors through the ever changing world of ERISA. Whether you’re a plan advisor, we support you in that endeavor, but what we’re partnering with Claire on today is to talk about the wealth management side and the rollover side of the equation.

               It’s no secret we’re in a challenging market environment. We’ve been in those before, this one’s a little bit different. But no doubt that individuals have amassed a large amount of assets in their, what we call concentrated wealth at work or their retirement plans. All of them undoubtedly will be looking for financial planning guidance on their total financial picture, but also, if you can include those concentrated wealth at work assets into your financial planning practice, it’s a tremendous value to your clients and prospects and a great opportunity for your business.

               We also have the advent here or the coming on of Reg BI. So when you’re conducting client reviews and talking about those concentrated wealth of work assets, the opportunity for rollover is certainly going to be a topic that comes up. Navigating those waters in a compliant Reg BI environment is essential, and we at RLC are expert at this in supporting your practice and helping you do great business on a net new asset perspective, helping your clients on the prospect, and navigating it in a compliant fashion.

               Over the last 16 years we’ve been in business, we’ve amalgamated a library of over 2,500 organizations where we have their DB, DC, and in most cases, their non-qualified deferred comp plan documents on file, the actual plan documents. So we at RLC supplement that with the annual 5500 information and/or auditor reports that might be out there on the plans to give you a very deep and holistic picture of what we call the retirement DNA of your clients and prospects. And that’s really, at the end of the day, what you have to demonstrate in a Reg BI world is this new conduct of care that goes through identifying and helping you identify that you’ve gone through this balanced conversation.

               And we can support you in that aspect of your business. But what we do uncover as we go through that process in analyzing these retirement plans that your clients and prospects are in, we uncover these opportunities that can help you, from a financial planning perspective, utilize those assets that are sitting in a plan that probably has some type of limitations in the investment lineup that’s available to participants. And participants certainly need advice and guidance more than ever right now. Better from you, certainly, than 1-800-GED equivalent sitting on the end of a phone line, and utilizing the full spectrum of investments that you can put to use in an IRA. Helping you navigate that in a compliant fashion is what we’re going to talk about today.

               So if you move forward in our presentation-


Yeah. So I just wanted to start by, I know we’re going to get into the nitty gritty here. Why don’t you give us just an overview for advisors who maybe are just coming up for air after this COVID-19 thing hit. I know their clients have been calling them, the phone’s ringing off the hook. They’re rebalancing accounts. Maybe they’re just coming up from air and thinking, Okay, where are the opportunities? What has changed in the retirement plan landscape? Where can advisors look to grow their business? And where are the big opportunities for advisors?


Yeah. Right on the money, Claire. And thanks for chiming in there. Essentially, as I was saying, we’re analyzing these retirement plans. We cover about, I’d say, 90% of all working Americans, where we have what we call analyzed their retirement DNA. Here are the four key areas that we find advisors can really bring some true value to their clients and prospects in.

               Do the plans have embedded in-services non-hardship distributions? If so, what varieties do they have? They all are different and have variations. A lot of people know about the age 59 and a half that might be available in a plan. Some plans also allow early access to the employer match that can be accessed as early as sometimes five years of service, or assets that are two years vested. Giving participants and prospects and clients the opportunity to liberate proceeds that are in a plan in a compliant fashion and showing them that they can broaden their investment tool kit, if you will, in this market is very valuable. So we understand the in-service on hardship, distribution market extremely well.

               Also analyzing and seeing if plans have after tax 401k accounts. What is that and why is that important? Well, a lot of folks are contributing to their plans and that’s fine. Many of them choose regular or Roth where they put their proceeds. And then, again, they have their limited investment menu to choose from.

               But if you can identify those plans, and we’ve already done that, Claire, where that had this after-tax feature, we can show an advisor how they can guide their clients and prospects to overfund those accounts up to the full limitations that are available in this after tax 401k account, which is not Roth. It’s not regular, it’s a separate bucket that’s available in about half the plans in America. When you identify that, if you have a household that can, one of the folks are both the folks in the household or whoever’s in the household, can overfund and fund that after tax account, that can be tied in oftentimes to an in-service distribution feature and lead to an accelerated Roth IRA savings program. Also very attractive from a financial planning perspective and a net new asset gathering perspective.

               In the upper right box, sometimes we identify organizations that have company stock available in the plans. And as we all know, some stocks are doing better than others, but if there is a net unrealized appreciation in the employer stock sitting in the plan, different tax could be then supplied. We’ve got white papers on all of these topics that help advisors communicate this to their clients. But if company stock’s available in a plan, then we get into the potential of helping an advisor guide a client on how to keep more of what they’ve earned in that plan by taking advantage of NUA on appreciated stock that’s available in the plan.

               And then finally, in the lower right hand side, many organizations still do offer pension plans, traditional defined benefit plans. It’s no secret that we’ve seen organizations across the board really de-risk, if you will, their pensions and they’re providing more and more participants in those plans the ability to take lump sum distributions, either at the point of retirement or with early offers. And we’re going to continue to see those early offers come through. In fact, part of the CARES Act actually gives plans the ability to maintain their [inaudible 00:09:12] funding.

               So we do, Claire, can continue to see and will continue to see more of these lump sum distribution provisions put forward to the participants. And they’re going to need financial advice and guidance as to whether annuitize or a lump sum. I will tell you that if you’re going to lump sum, the interest rates where they are right now, those lumps sums are probably the highest that we will ever see in American history right now. So that’s another key decision point.

               Those four areas are really germane to the financial planning conversation for the advisor and their clients. And most of them will be to net new assets, for the advisor, better managed under their stewardship.

               So let’s move forward in the deck here and talk about how RLC can help. Well, as I talked about, RLC has amalgamated over the last 16 years over 2,500 organizations where we have their DB and DC and non-qual plan documents on file. When you engage with RLC, the first thing we’re going to do is we’re going to leverage what we call our heat map training, where again, we’ve created pockets of the major employers that we have in our database and our library for those four major features and tying that into your compliance program for Reg BI. So training you up on what are the major employers in your regional geography and what are the features or the retirement DNA features that are available to the folks who are workers there, and helping turn you into an expert into these organizations is really what we’re all about here.

               The next slide shows that our heat map training is really designed … Some of you might’ve run into Aiko out in the marketplace. Aiko is a benefits firm that’s retained to do financial planning at the C suite level. What we essentially do is turn an advisor into an Aiko consultant to turn them into the go-to advisors for rollover and financial planning at a company-specific level. We’re going to give you the expertise and the insight into that local employer qualified plan that’s going to help you do great financial planning for folks who are working there to help them maximize while they’re in work, in those organizations, in those plans, but being aware of all the opportunities that are designed in those plans to liberate proceeds and roll those over compliantly into IRAs where it’s appropriate.

               The next slide shows you an example of what we talked about in one of our heat maps. If you’re in the great state of Texas, here’s some samples of some of the organizations where we have that amalgamation in our library of their DB, DC, non-qual plans. Lockheed Martin, ExxonMobil, American Airlines, Schlumberger, AT&T, Halliburton, Southwest, just to name a few.

               As you can imagine, Claire, from this list, some of those organizations are facing some challenges. Certainly, all of the participants that are there are going to be needing financial planning guidance now more than ever. And incorporating the knowledge and the know-how of that concentrated wealth of work they have in their plans and the features that are available to them is very, very appealing. Very, very valuable to the participants there, clients and prospects, and a good service all across the board.

               If you go to the next slide, this is actually an example of one of the outputs or the snapshots, if you’re working with RLC, that we provide you. In this case, we’re looking at an American Airlines snapshot, which gives you all of the features of that particular employer’s retirement plan. The official governing plan document is behind it. This helps you facilitate that fair and balanced rollover discussion. This helps you document that you understand the retirement DNA for the client or prospect that you’re working with. And then, of course, it goes into some of the individual features that we talked about.

               On the next slide, you can take a look and see what we exactly are talking about here. In the accumulation phase for anybody who’s working at American Airlines, you can see that they have an employee Roth deferral. So if that’s an attractive feature from a financial planning perspective, many of the participants will know whether to do regular or Roth. That’s where you in a financial planning conversation can really bring tremendous value. You’ll see also, on the next bottom line there, that American Airlines actually does allow those after tax contribution features. In this case, up to 20% of compensation can be directed by the advisor to the participant in the plan to overfund, if you will, into that after tax bucket.

               And that can be tied, potentially, if you look at the next slide, into an in-service non-hardship distribution. So we can show folks how, at American Airlines, to fund that after tax bucket while in plan, but then immediately liberate those assets out of the plan to get it over into a Roth IRA, where it’s going to grow tax free for life and can be used as beneficiary planning, legacy planning, and income planning, because it is tied into this in-service distribution.

               Again, all of these plans that are out there in our library are different and various, and that’s the expertise and the insight that we help advisors understand, which really is tremendously valuable to their financial planning business. But it’s very, very valuable to the folks that they’re working with in helping them really bring that to life and put together accumulation and income plan.


That’s great. [crosstalk 00:14:44]-


And if we go to the next slide-


And talk about this just a little bit from a marketing perspective. So advisers out there, if you are a client of ours and we do your marketing for you, you can see how this could easily be created into a marketing campaign for, say American Airlines employees. And so, you could see how all of these opportunities for their employees could be put into a guide or even a quick webinar where you walk through all of the different financial planning scenarios that are available that they may not be aware of.

               And then, we use LinkedIn to target people who work at that company so that they can watch your webinar, spend a little bit of time with you, peak their interest, and then hopefully, set up a phone call to start a conversation. And so, the idea really is to use these deep resources that the Retirement Learning Center provides to identify these areas of opportunity and then use them from a marketing perspective to grow your assets. And so, I think it’s just a really cool partnership between our two teams.


Well, you’re right on the money, Claire. I mean, you’re right out of central casting. If I dare categorize, we’re the nerds that have all of this information and you’re the cool person that can help an advisor really bring that to life and bring that into their practice. So this is really, really extremely valuable, and you’re just nailing exactly what the strategy is. How do you take this company-specific information and take one participant that they might know. That participant’s not unique, so your ability to help them market this is invaluable, I would say, both to the participant and to the practice.




If you’re looking at this slide, we talked a little bit about net unrealized appreciation. Again, we’re using Texas as an example here, Claire. ExxonMobil, great organization, obviously in the oil market. But if you have a longterm employee at Exxon as a client or a prospect, what you’ve got here is Exxon actually identifies individual tax lot accounting for each piece of stock that’s been accumulated in my retirement plan. So we can work with an advisor to help them identify which individual tax lots are potentially attractive for NUA or favorable tax treatment, positioning with the client. Again, helping the client not just earn, but keep what they earn is an essential part of great financial planning.

               And here’s an example in the ExxonMobil plan, where you are identifying net unrealized appreciation opportunities, many of which, the folks who work at Exxon are probably not even aware of this prospect. Great highlight for the financial advisor, differentiating themselves and being the go-to advisor, Claire, like we talked about.




If you look at the next subject that we talked about, again, bringing this to light in our four boxes, we talked about plan snapshots, also identify lump sum distribution opportunities that are available in various plans across the country. We see a good portion of plans have lump sums that are traditionally available. We’re seeing, Claire, even more plans opportunistically make lump sums available during limited windows. We’ve seen FedEx go through this. We’ve seen many organizations offer these limited window lump sum distributions, as they’re trying to de-risk, if you will, their pension plan. Pension funding has been at all-time highs. We have seen some market volatility, we’ve seen the market come back. That’s just going to accelerate this lump sum distribution window.

               And of course, if a lump sum is offered to a participant, they’re really going to need to work with an advisor to understand what’s the benefit of annuitizing or staying in the plan? What are the risks as well too, versus taking that lump sum distribution? Claire, I don’t need to tell you, with interest rates this low, lump sums are larger than they’ve ever historically been in America. So these are real conversations, real financial planning conversations. In many cases, you’ll see the lump sum is very, very attractive for the participant to get control of those assets in the hands of their advisors managed properly.

               So if you go through the program that we’ve put together, again, the one-two combination of working with RLC on the technical resource side and tying Claire into what Indigo is doing here, we have a proven program process, support materials, and all types of retirement plan insight. So when we get started with an advisor on the technical side of the equation, we sit down, we do what we call a book review. We review the advisor’s book and where their clients are located, what type of organizations they might be at for those that are working, and for those who might have legacy assets sitting in previous employers.

               Again, you just nailed it, Claire, in your previous comments. If you have one, two or three clients that are working at one employer, those folks are not unique. Retirement DNA comes in buckets. So if a strategy makes sense for one employee, it’s going to make sense for 10, 20, a hundred, 200 more. So once you get the acumen through the RLC program, working with you to help broaden that out to the greater participants, it really becomes a marketing machine, if you will.




So we help you become the expert.


Yeah. And that’s what it’s all about. And this is what I preach to advisors all the time, is the way that advisors are getting new clients today is not through Facebook ads or some fancy mechanism. It’s through, primarily, referrals. And the number one way that people ask for a referral to an advisor is they ask their friends, family, or coworkers for a referral. So coworkers are huge bucket. So if you have people at a company who can forward information about that specific plan to their coworkers and say, “Oh, here’s the advisor I was telling you about. Here’s the webinar they did for Lockheed Martin.” That makes so much sense. That transfers that trust and it gives the person an easy action to take, watch the webinar, schedule a call with you.

               And so, those are the types of campaigns that we create for advisors. And it’s all about being that go-to expert, just like you mentioned. We all want to work with a specialist. I say this all the time, the riches are in the niches. So if you can position yourself as a specialist for a few different retirement plans, where there’s tons of employees in your area, it makes your job so much easier.

               You can work with clients that you love. You can work with people that have more complex financial problems, that have a higher willingness to pay, that have higher assets to invest. And it just is where the rubber really meets the road for advisors looking to grow their businesses, become an expert, and then get those referrals from employees at the company who already know, like and trust you, and can refer their coworkers to you because you solve the problem that they’re facing.


You’re right on the money, Claire. And that’s really where we get into step two. Step one is let’s identify, let’s do the book review. Step two, let’s go through the technical aspects. Now we don’t need to turn a one of your advisors, Claire, into the final contestants on ERISA Jeopardy. That’s our job. But we can impart those wisdoms in those four boxes, in that financial planning conversation that bring to light some of the options and features of the plan that probably their clients and their prospects certainly are not aware of.

               So you’re bringing to light, as you said, unique and new planning opportunities that are really impactful for the accumulation, and tremendously impactful for the retirement income planning phase. And it’s through these little tools that you’re really, you see people when we do webinars or we do meetings, their eyes get wide. And then, Claire, that’s where you come in. It’s not unique to, if it’s for that one person that’s going to make sense, there’s a whole bevy of other folks at that organization that are going to really benefit from working with that expert advisor that is the company-specific expert.


Absolutely. Yeah. And I’m thinking of all the campaigns we could run. You could do a webinar on the opportunities for employees at Lockheed Martin. You could do case studies of clients at Lockheed Martin who you’ve helped and the different financial planning challenges they were facing, and how you solved those problems. There’s just so much content we can create from a marketing perspective on these opportunities for advisors out there.


And you’re nailing it, helping the client is the key. And that client is not going to be unique. One client turns into a hundred prospects, and the financial advisory is doing great financial planning above and beyond what these folks have seen in the past before. Again, we’ve been doing this for a long time. What we don’t have, which you bring to the table with Indigo, is the ability to market that and scale that for the adviser. So it’s a really tremendous combination here, Claire.

               I would just say on the next slide, for folks who are looking to broaden the net even further, RLC does have additional support for gathering net new clients and assets through center of influence marketing. We do have content that’s available. Again, contact Claire. And these seminars and programs are also available for CPE continuing education credit for CPAs. So if that’s part of your prospecting approach, we can certainly add some value there and do that in a virtual series as well too.

               So in closing here, the benefits of engaging with RLC are pretty clear. As I self painted ourselves, we’re the technical nerds, if you will, that can turn you into that go-to advisor as a wealth manager on a company-specific financial planning level, which is extremely valuable. Partnering with Indigo, no brainer, help you expand that net. If you do retirement plans on the right side of the slide here, we can help you with those as well too. There’s never been a greater need or time for plan sponsors to reevaluate what’s going on with their retirement plan and utilizing the CARES Act to make changes.

               So we’d love for you to get started with RLC. You can give us a buzz directly at 877-ASK-RLC1, or of course, contact Claire at Indigo. So, Claire, I’ll turn it back to you to close this up.


Great, and thank you so much for watching. I’ll link everything below, so you can click the links to get started. You can get some special annual pricing, not just for LPL Advisors, but for everybody watching this webinar. And I really recommend getting in touch with the Retirement Learning Center. They have such deep resources and content support for advisors. They can just really help position you as an expert and help broaden your expertise and your team and the efforts going after growing your retirement plan business.

               And, of course, we’re always here to support you from a marketing perspective. We are offering $500 off our Get Started Now package. If you’re interested in outsourcing your marketing to professionals, you can save $500 now. Just click below to get started and schedule your free marketing consulting phone call.

               Thanks so much, John. It’s great to hear from you. Thank you for all of your expertise. And thanks for watching.

Jordan Pinelli

Account Manager
Denver, Colorado

A born strategist, Jordan always starts with “why” when brainstorming marketing tactics with her financial advisor clients. With recommendations rooted in data and industry best practices, she loves growing advisors’ awareness of their strategies’ positive impact on their business.

Jordan obtained her bachelor’s degree in business administration (with an emphasis in marketing and management) and her master’s in communication and media management from Colorado State University. Before joining Indigo, Jordan already had 6+ years of financial services experience and 8+ years of marketing/project and campaign management experience under her belt—making her a powerhouse addition to the team! Outside of strategizing for her advisors, Jordan’s hobbies include pottery, hiking (when she’s in shape), and ordering delivery or takeout. She is happily married to her husband, Max, and a dedicated dog mom to her oversized golden retriever, Kai.

Indigo Marketing Team Member Anne Wheeler

Anne Wheeler

Marketing Assistant
Cincinnati, Ohio

Anne Wheeler is responsible for a variety of administrative tasks as well as updating social media pages for clients. Anne enjoys the creative side of her position and the ability to collaborate with the team to help advisors get started with Indigo.

Anne holds a bachelor’s degree in communication from the University of Tennessee. Outside of work, she enjoys walking, baking, spending time with her husband, Rick (a structural engineer), and two sons, Thomas and Turner. Anne loves being a full-time mom, and appreciates that Indigo gives her the opportunity to work part-time while still caring for her boys.

Hugo Fernandez CEO of Indigo Marketing

Hugo Fernandez

Whispering Pines, North Carolina

Leading the Indigo team with heart, Hugo Fernandez is passionate about helping our financial advisors attract a flood of their A+ clients with sustainable marketing campaigns. He enjoys running companies that are wildly successful and wearing a black t-shirt every day of his life. When his two favorite things come together, you have an average day at Indigo.

Hugo Fernandez is also CEO of Indigo’s partner company, Just Digital, and author of The Client Acquisition Blueprint. He has personally helped hundreds of entrepreneurs grow their business through his proven blueprint for creating an EPIC marketing strategy and online presence.

Kelli McLeod Director of Client Services

Kelli McLeod

Director of Client Services
Colorado Springs, Colorado

Kelli McLeod plays an integral role at Indigo while overseeing the Account Services Team, providing customer service, getting financial advisors onboarded and in serving as their primary point of contact during that process. Her team looks to her for her leadership and decision-making abilities For Kelli, the most rewarding part of this role is working with clients one-on-one to ensure they’re happy and that their needs are met.

Kelli has a bachelor’s degree in communications and public relations from Pacific Lutheran University. More recently, she’s done extensive work in the corporate housing and property management industries.

Kelli currently lives in Colorado Springs, Colorado, with her husband, Ian, who is an officer in the U.S. Army, and their two sons, Zachary and Cameron. When she’s not working, you can find her running or hiking, attending group fitness classes, and cooking. Kelli’s also an avid book club enthusiast, so be sure to reach out to her if you’re looking for a new read.

Sara Dressler

Director of Operations

DuPont, Washington

Sara Dressler manages all systems and operating processes while overseeing several departments. Sara is responsible for supervising many activities within Indigo and identifying areas of improvement to better meet company goals. She functions as the bridge connecting management to every department.

Sara has a bachelor’s degree in business administration and a minor in communications from Pacific Lutheran University. She leverages this degree, along with her years of experience as a virtual assistant, to keep our company running like a well-oiled machine. Sara is happiest when spending time with her family. Her three young boys and life as a military spouse keep her busy, but she wouldn’t trade it for the world. She lives an active lifestyle and loves working out, getting outside, and watching sports with her family (whether it’s on TV, at her kids’ games, or in the backyard).

Indigo Marketing Team Member Elizabeth Reider Director of Marketing

Elizabeth Reider

Director of Marketing
Clearwater, Florida

Elizabeth Reider is a woman of many talents. She spent 10 years as a Chief Marketing Officer for a top-level independent financial advisor, and since her entry into financial services, she has networked and become friends with many advisors. Elizabeth admires their empathy, knowledge, and passion for their work, and has seen how independent advisors are more than professionals providing investment and planning advice; they are trusted confidants, life coaches, and guides. Over time, they become a part of their clients’ extended family—and she loves coming alongside that. (Check out this video to hear directly from Elizabeth about why she loves working with financial advisors.)

As Director of Marketing, Elizabeth helps get the word out about how partnering with Indigo can take an advisor’s marketing to the next level and beyond to grow their business and increase their productivity.

Elizabeth earned her bachelor’s degree in management information systems from the University of South Florida Muma College of Business. She also holds a life, health, and variable annuity license, which gives her a special understanding of the many products and services advisors offer. Originally from Clearwater, FL, Elizabeth loves to travel and has visited 12 countries, including extended visits to eSwatini, Africa, to visit family and assist with humanitarian relief programs. She has seen firsthand how independent financial advisors are providing advice to their clients that outpours into the lives of their own families, staff, community, and sometimes across the globe. When she’s not working, Elizabeth enjoys attending orchestral and theater productions with her husband, David, and taking their son, Julian, to art museums, as well as family evenings in the backyard playing baseball with her son and shih-tzu poodle, Wrigley. She is also an active participant in overseas humanitarian work—using her skills to make a difference in the lives of others.

Indigo Marketing Team Member Katie Cress

Katie Cress

Digital Marketing Consultant, Sales & Client Strategist
Cincinnati, Ohio

It’s Katie Cress’s mission to help financial advisors reach their ideal prospects through custom digital marketing. On any given day, you can find Katie meeting with new financial advisors to learn more about their marketing goals, who they love working with, and why they’re passionate about helping others. Her favorite part of her job is meeting new advisors every day and continuing to learn how each firm and individual advisor is different, and using her marketing and small business background to help them craft a game plan that empowers them to grow their business and enhance their services. Often described by loved ones as a “helper” and “caretaker,” Katie is passionate about advocating for her advisors’ needs and supporting her coworkers to help them succeed.

Katie holds an MBA from Xavier University and a BA in Economics from Ohio University. A Midwest girl for life, she lives in Cincinnati, Ohio, with her husband, Brandon (who’s also a marketing guru), and their three kids, Charli, Lucy, and Teddy. She and her husband also own Clean Eatz Cafe, where they use their collective marketing prowess and love of food to create a welcoming space for employees and hungry customers alike. Katie is passionate about and for small business owners, being raised by her father who was an entrepreneur, being one herself with her husband, and working with them every day at Indigo. She loves the spirit, creativity, and drive of entrepreneurs. When Katie’s not working or helping run the family business, she enjoys working out with her husband at Orange Theory, loving on her three kids, and cooking delicious food.

Indigo Marketing Team Member Lori Koepke

Lori Koepke

Account Manager
Boise, Idaho

Lori Koepke plays a major role as a liaison between Indigo Marketing Agency and its wonderful clients. She works directly with our advisor clients on their marketing strategies, marketing calendars, article creation, editing processes, compliance approvals, deployment of their content, and more. Lori enjoys helping strategize and be a support to her clients, and loves the camaraderie among the Indigo team members.

Before joining the Indigo team, Lori was a schoolteacher for 10 years. She has a Master of Education and Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education from Concordia University in Portland, OR. She was born and raised in Vancouver, B.C., and lived in Vancouver, WA, for 25 years before moving to Boise, Idaho, where she currently resides with her husband, Jeremy, and four wonderful kids, Sophie, Tanner, Jonas, and Violet. In her free time, you can find Lori reading, watching football, and driving her kids to all their activities.

Watch this video to hear why Lori loves working with Indigo.

Indigo Marketing Team Member Heidi Wilson

Heidi Wilson

Account Manager

Alexandria, Virginia

Heidi Wilson thrives on helping advisors create an online voice and streamline their marketing efforts. With her mother being a retired financial advisor and her brother-in-law currently a CFP® professional, she’s passionate about taking the marketing pressure off of advisors so they are able to focus on their clients. She loves when advisors tell her something we did for them helped; it can be as simple as taking something off their very busy plate or helping them land a new client with one of the articles we wrote. With broad-based consumer and B2B marketing experience, Heidi is constantly thinking outside the box and brings a fresh perspective to the Indigo team.

Heidi holds a bachelor’s degree in public relations from Florida State University and hails from Tampa, Florida. Her husband, Chris, is in the U.S. Army, and as they are constantly moving, they take every opportunity to explore the new areas where they’re living. Some of their favorite places they’ve called home include Hawaii and New Orleans. Heidi is thankful for the opportunity to work remotely with Indigo, which allows her to take her job with her, no matter where the Army moves her family next.

Watch this video to hear why Heidi loves working with Indigo.

Indigo Marketing Team Member Jillian Segrue

Jillian Segrue

Account Manager
Columbus, Georgia

Jillian Segrue acts as a liaison between clients and the Indigo team, using her 12 years of customer service experience in fields such as healthcare, financial services, and risk management to help hone their message and deploy it effectively and efficiently. Jillian enjoys building unique relationships with each of her clients as she uniquely helps them reach their ideal target audience.

Jillian has a bachelor’s degree in healthcare administration and a minor in business administration from SUNY Brockport. Originally from Rochester, NY, she currently lives in Columbus, GA, with her husband, Tim (an Army captain), daughter, Macie, son, Henry, and two cats. As a military spouse, Jillian appreciates the flexibility Indigo provides—allowing her to juggle motherhood and excelling in her career—and its unmatched positive, supportive, and uplifting company culture. In her free time, Jillian loves to read, shop, and go running outdoors (just not in the Georgia heat!).

Indigo Marketing Team Member Amanda Laskey

Amanda Laskey

Account Manager
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Amanda Laskey works with clients one-on-one to develop and implement marketing strategies that help spread the word about who they are and how they help. In her role, Amanda strives to deliver outstanding customer service to our clients. She is tech-savvy, an independent problem-solver, extremely organized, an excellent communicator, and thrives on helping others. She appreciates the ability to work remotely in a collaborative team environment while supporting her family.

Amanda holds a Bachelor of Arts in Education and a Master of Arts in Inclusive Education from Seton Hill University and has over 10 years of experience in secondary classroom teaching and over 3 years as an Executive Assistant. A proud Army spouse, Amanda resides in Pittsburgh, PA, with her husband, Brandon, their two sons, Jackson and Harrison, and their sheepadoodle, Waylon, and goldendoodle, Cash. Outside of work, Amanda enjoys spending time with her family, relaxing at the beach, traveling to new places, dessert, and all things Disney.

Indigo Marketing Team Member Beverly Anderson

Beverly Anderson

Account Manager
Portland, Oregon

Beverly Anderson is the go-to contact point for advisors to create a targeted and cohesive marketing strategy that is unique to their specific goals. She loves seeing her clients experience positive results from their marketing efforts, and as a world traveler, she appreciates the ability to work remotely and connect with clients from any country.

Beverly holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Oregon State University. In addition to traveling, she enjoys making music as a singer/songwriter and anything outdoors (she’s an avid snowboarder and rock climber). She and her partner have a rescue pup, Toro, a former street dog in Cabo, Mexico, before they adopted him. Beverly has three older sisters, with whom she is very close, and they all, along with her mother, live in the Portland area. Although she spent the first half of her childhood in Fountain Hills, Arizona, Beverly considers Portland to be home.

Watch this video to hear why Beverly loves working with Indigo.

Indigo Marketing Team Member Kasey Yhap

Kasey Yhap

Account Manager
Ellicott City, MD

Kasey Yhap’s commitment to her clients is the driving force behind her work. Her diverse educational background (a bachelor’s and master’s degree in vocal performance from the Peabody Conservatory of Music and a master’s degree in communications from Syracuse University) has equipped her with the unique skill set required for success. Kasey’s strong communication skills and creative mindset, combined with her passion for helping her clients, make her a valuable asset to the team.

In her free time, Kasey stays active and maintains a healthy lifestyle through yoga, CrossFit, and spending time outdoors. These hobbies complement her professional life by allowing her to recharge and bring new ideas to her work at Indigo.

Indgio Team Member Dan Corcoran

Dan Corcoran

Account Manager
Madison, Wisconsin

Dan Corcoran enjoys being on the front lines of financial advisor marketing, working directly with advisors to help them build a strong marketing plan to get their firm’s message out. Working remotely can be a challenge as talking to others, brainstorming, and sharing experiences recharges him; he maximizes touchpoints to connect with others to make every day at Indigo rewarding.

Dan holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass communication from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He enjoys drone photography and videography (he owns his own drone business, Forward Focus Photography), sports broadcasting (he was a hockey broadcaster for four years prior to COVID), spending time with family, camping/hiking, running, swimming, and road biking.

Originally from Sun Prairie, WI, Dan has three siblings, and prior to joining Indigo’s team, he worked for an RIA in Madison for two years.

Indigo Marketing Team Member Lisa Gaines

Lisa Gaines

Content Deployment Manager
Fort Hood, Texas

Lisa Gaines spends her work days uploading blog posts to our clients’ websites and LinkedIn profiles, drafting emails, and making adjustments to content as advisors request. Lisa has learned a lot as a long-time member of the Indigo family and has enjoyed seeing the processes evolve to become more streamlined and efficient over time. And she loves working with the amazing Indigo team! 

Lisa is a proud alum of Texas A&M University, where she received a Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance. As a military child, Lisa feels as though she grew up everywhere; however, she claims central Texas as home where most of her family is originally from. She currently lives in Fort Hood, Texas, with her husband, Korey (an active-duty Army officer), and two kids, Madelyne and Jameson. As a military family, Lisa moves quite a bit—often to areas where the job market is small. She loves that Indigo provides her with a steady job she can take with her wherever she goes. When she’s not working, Lisa enjoys dabbling in interior design, binging a good Netflix series, and spending time with friends and family.

Read more about why Lisa loves working with Indigo.

Profile picture of our web developer - Joshua Yanson.

Joshua Yanson

Web Developer
Negros Occidental, Philippines

Joshua spends his days developing client websites, implementing automations, and troubleshooting website issues. He enjoys the challenge of working with websites while simultaneously learning new tips and tricks to optimize them for maximum efficiency.

Originally from Pulupandan, Negros Occidental, Philippines, Joshua holds a Bachelor of Science in Information Technology, and in his free time enjoys playing computer games and watching anime and movies.

Indigo Marketing Team Member Jennifer Farrior

Jennifer Farrior

Lead Writer & Proofreader
Louisville, Kentucky

Jennifer Farrior is Indigo’s go-to for all things proofreading and editing. Her attention to detail is unmatched, and she takes pride in making sure every article is clean and concise before it heads out to our financial advisors. She says, “Even a single typo can affect an advisor’s credibility, and we strive for perfection when it comes to how they’re presented online.” As Lead Writer, Jennifer trains and manages the team of writers, and also writes and collaborates with team members to create Indigo’s blog posts and promotional material.

Jennifer holds a bachelor’s degree in English from UCLA. In addition to her role at Indigo, she runs her own copy editing and proofreading business, She Proofreads LLC. Jennifer hails from San Diego, California, but now lives in Louisville, Kentucky, with her three kids, Joshua, Julia, and Joel, and goldendoodle, Dexter. She loves working at Indigo because it provides her with the income, flexibility, and the community she needs as a stay-at-home mom. Outside of work, you can find her spending time with her kids, friends, boyfriend, or working on a puzzle while watching Netflix.

Indigo Marketing Team Member Sarah Robichaud

Sarah Robichaud

Social Media Manager
Rochester Hills, Michigan

Sarah Robichaud uses her love of spreadsheets to create engaging content calendars for our clients’ social media pages. Sarah holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Salisbury University and a master’s degree in marriage and family counseling from Liberty University. In addition to her role at Indigo, Sarah volunteers as a virtual administrator for Army Wife Network, a nonprofit organization that aims to empower and educate military spouses through blogs, podcasts, and various other resources.

Born and raised in Maryland, Sarah currently lives in Rochester Hills, Michigan, with her husband, Andrew, two children, Emily and Logan, and two fur babies, Penny and Chewbacca. As a military spouse and mother, Sarah loves working for Indigo because of the flexibility it affords her, allowing her to continue to build her career while frequently relocating around the globe and working on her own schedule to accommodate a busy lifestyle. Sarah also loves Indigo’s supportive team atmosphere. Outside of work and volunteering, you can find Sarah enjoying time outdoors with her family, typically running, camping, or traveling. An avid traveler, she’s visited 16 countries and is always planning her family’s next great adventure.

Peter Wardenaar

Peter Wardenaar

SEO Specialist & IT Lead
Cali, Colombia

As a natural problem-solver, Peter Wardenaar uses his skills to help financial advisors find new ways to grow their site traffic and attract more clients they love. Peter enjoys the dynamic nature of his role; the challenges are never the same as every situation is unique and requires a different approach. But don’t let Peter’s technical prowess fool you—he also has quite the creative side! Before joining the Indigo team, he worked as a first-grade teacher and university English professor in Cali, Colombia.

Peter has bachelor’s degrees in education and in music from Portland Bible College and a master’s degree in music production and technology from Berklee College of Music. In his spare time, he loves writing and recording music, graphic design, engaging with people, and studying leadership and theology. Peter is also one of the most well-traveled people you’ll ever meet! He was born and raised in the Netherlands but lived in the Pacific Northwest for over 12 years. Today, he resides in Cali, Colombia, with his wife, Gloria Isabel, and their three kids, Emanuel, Paloma, and Violet.

Indigo Marketing Team Member Kourtney Kearney

Kourtney Kearney

Tech Support
Antelope, California

Kourtney Kearney is a data-driven woman with a knack for coding. On any typical day, you can find her building web pages, troubleshooting bugs in code, and setting up automations to make life easier for our clients. Thanks to her technical background, Kourtney has a vast understanding of the inner workings of websites and the data associated with them. She’s always on the lookout for new technology that will help us improve our workflows so we can focus on what we do best—helping financial advisors grow their business. Kourtney enjoys the variation of tasks and loves the challenge of taking an existing website and making it better without completely rebuilding it.

Kourtney is originally from Newark, CA (Bay Area), but currently resides in Antelope, a suburb of Sacramento, and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Art History and Curatorial Studies. Outside of work, Kourtney spends her free time reading, playing volleyball, baking with her two sons, and hanging out with family.

Indigo Marketing Agency Adrian Bachini

Adrian Bachini

Web Developer & Tech Support
Manila, Philippines

Adrian Bachini works on tasks requiring technical knowledge and other various administrative tasks. A software developer by day, prior to joining Indigo, Adrian had very little knowledge on how nontechnical positions operate. His position at Indigo allows him to both learn and experience a variety of platforms and gain more knowledge about how to maximize marketing initiatives.

Adrian holds a bachelor’s degree in computer science with a specialization in software technology from De La Salle University Manila. Adrian considers himself somewhat of a workaholic, with a full-time day job in addition to working with Indigo. When he’s not working, he enjoys watching documentaries, action movies, and anime, and also loves cycling on muddy downhill trails or cross-country rides, playing video games, and simply resting when he can. He is also a licensed commercial pilot and flies in his free time; he obviously also enjoys traveling. Adrian lives with his family and more than a few pets (11 dogs, 6 cats, a few birds, and fish)—he has more pets than humans in his home!

Claire Akin

Claire Akin

San Diego, California
Claire Akin founded Indigo Marketing Agency with the mission to help financial advisors leverage marketing to grow their businesses. As a former Investment Advisor Representative and proud daughter of an independent advisor, she’s seen first-hand the value advisors bring to their clients and community. Claire transferred ownership of Indigo Marketing Agency to Hugo Fernandez in 2022 to spend more time with her family.
Indigo Marketing Team Member Adriana

Adriana Escalante

Website Project Manager
San Antonio, Texas

Adriana Escalante thrives on creating an online representation that looks and feels true to our financial advisor clients as she builds their websites to best represent them and their businesses. Her experience working on travel and tourism websites motivates her to make sure every site she works on is exciting and engaging to web visitors. A graduate of University of Texas in Austin, Adriana double-majored in International Relations and a Liberal Arts program called Plan II. She also received a certification for front-end development from a coding academy in Austin, which has equipped her to serve as a great liaison between developers and clients.

After living in Austin, TX, for most of her adult life, Adriana now resides in San Antonio, TX (a city with a ton of history and many things to do), with her partner, Russell, and their dog, Abbey. She also has a brother and sister with whom she’s very close and tries to see a few times a year. Most of Adriana’s hobbies revolve around nature. She grew up spending lots of time on a sailboat or at a beach, and her family has a small cabin in Creede, CO, where she spends half the year hiking, camping, skiing, or snowshoeing (depending on the season). When she’s in Texas, she tries to get out most weekends to kayak. A Texas Master Naturalist, Adriana loves learning about all the plants, birds, and animals in her home state. She also dabbles in making stained-glass suncatchers!

Profile picture of our marketing assistant - Kaitlin Thornal.

Kaitlin Thornal

Marketing Assistant
Fort Moore, Georgia

Kaitlin Thornal helps clients onboard as they begin their marketing journey with Indigo, and she loves meeting new people and learning new things. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Mass Communication/Public Relations, International Studies, and a minor in French from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, as well as a Master of Arts in Communication and Leadership Studies from Gonzaga University.

Kaitlin was born at Fort Lewis, Washington, but she moved around a lot growing up, spending the most time in North Carolina. She now resides in Fort Moore, Georgia, with her husband, Mason, and their four children, Caroline, Mason, Jack, and Bo. Kaitlin’s favorite place to live has been Europe (Italy, Ireland, and Belgium) and she would go back in a heartbeat! In her spare time, she enjoys long-distance running, reading, and spending time in the mountains of western North Carolina.

Profile picture of our marketing assistant - Samantha Triglia.

Samantha Triglia

Marketing Assistant
Queens, New York

In her integral role, Samantha Triglia schedules social media posts, deploys email campaigns, and updates Google Business Profile pages for clients’ new blog posts. She also assists with lead generation/tracking and other administrative tasks. Helping out wherever she’s needed, Samantha appreciates the opportunities she has to learn and grow in her position. She says, “I love being a part of the team, especially when content deployment involves many moving parts and collaboration to get done and ready to go.”

A former teacher for 14 years, Samantha holds a Bachelor of Arts in Childhood Education from St. Francis College in Brooklyn, New York. She also holds a Master of Arts in Middle School Earth Science Education from CUNY Brooklyn College and a Master of Science in Educational Administration and Leadership from the University of Scranton. (Yes, TWO master’s degrees!) While in college, Samantha was the assistant to the Chief Compliance Officer of a brokerage firm on Madison Avenue in New York City for high-net-worth individuals and families, so she’s quite familiar with the types of clients Indigo serves.

Born and raised in Brooklyn, Samantha currently lives in Rockaway Beach in Queens, New York (the place the Ramones song is about!), with her husband, Matt (a Navy veteran and currently a New York City Firefighter), and their three sons, Matthew, Thomas, and James. Outside of work, Samantha enjoys spending time with her family riding bikes on their neighborhood boardwalk and going to the beach. They love to travel, including yearly family trips to Hershey, Pennsylvania, and Universal Studios in Florida (they’re big Harry Potter fans!). Samantha also stays active exercising and playing on a women’s softball team and a co-ed beach volleyball team with her husband.

Profile picture of our marketing assistant - Amanda Bicknese.

Amanda Bicknese

Marketing Assistant
Colorado Springs, Colorado

Amanda wears a few hats at Indigo, bringing value to the team by creating custom social media posts for advisors, assisting with the onboarding process of new team members, and tackling behind-the-scenes team tasks. She loves to collaborate with our amazing clients and supportive team members.

Born and raised in Fort Myers, Florida, Amanda holds a bachelor’s degree in English Literature from the University of Central Florida and a master’s degree in education from North Carolina State University. She worked as an educator for about a decade before pivoting to a career in writing and marketing. A Space Force military spouse (former army), Amanda and her husband, Michael, are currently located in Colorado Springs, Colorado, with their two children, Mikayla and William, and two fur babies (a cat and a dog). When she’s not reading or writing fiction in her spare time, Amanda enjoys hanging out with family, hiking, trying new foods, and traveling.

Profile picture of our account manager Adam Spera.

Adam Spera

Account Manager
Astoria, New York

A marketer at heart, Adam finds satisfaction when consulting, strategizing, and implementing strategies to improve his clients’ business. He specializes in organic and paid social campaigns, as well as email and SEO optimization.

Adam holds a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from the University of Central Florida and a Juris Doctor degree from Thomas Jefferson School of Law. Raised in Boca Raton, Florida, by his mom (an event planner) and dad (a private boat charter captain), Adam currently lives in Astoria, New York, with his wife, Olivia, who works in pet care. When he’s not cooking up killer marketing strategies, he enjoys role-playing games, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, and reading non-fiction and philosophy books.

Profile picture of our account manager Melanie Valdez.

Melanie Valdez

Account Manager
Vancouver, Washington

With her marketing expertise, Melanie Valdez leaves no stone unturned when helping clients hone their marketing strategy. She loves interacting with clients and brainstorming new ideas to enhance their marketing results. No two days are ever the same, and that’s the way Melanie likes it!

Melanie holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Western Washington University as well as an MBA from Western Governors University. When she’s not rocking her role at Indigo, she enjoys cooking (trying out new recipes every week), painting, and discovering new restaurants with friends. She and her husband, Dat, love to travel and go on walks with their dog, Brutus, a pomeranian-chihuahua whose personality is definitely not proportionate to his small size!

Hugo Fernandez CEO of Indigo Marketing

Hugo Fernandez

Los Angeles, California

Hugo Fernandez acquired ownership of Indigo Marketing Agency from founder Claire Akin in 2022. Leading the Indigo team with heart, Hugo is passionate about helping our financial advisors attract a flood of their A+ clients with sustainable marketing campaigns. He enjoys running companies that are wildly successful and wearing a black t-shirt every day of his life. When his two favorite things come together, you have an average day at Indigo.

Hugo Fernandez is also CEO of Indigo’s partner company, Just Digital, and author of The Client Acquisition Blueprint. He has personally helped hundreds of entrepreneurs grow their businesses through his proven blueprint for creating an EPIC marketing strategy and online presence.

To get in touch with Hugo, email him or connect with him on LinkedIn.