Investments & Wealth Institute Awards Recognize Best of the Best in Investment and Wealth Management Industry During its Experience 2024 Annual Conference

Posted by Allison Edmondson, Director of Communications

Apr 8, 2024 10:00:00 PM

Las Vegas, Nevada – April 8, 2024 – The Investments & Wealth Institute (the Institute)—the premier professional association, education provider, and standards body for financial advisors—presented four awards recognizing outstanding contributions to the investment and wealth management body of knowledge during a special awards ceremony at the Institute’s annual flagship annual conference, Experience 2024, in Las Vegas, on April 8, 2024.

Investment Consulting Impact Award

The Investment Consulting Impact Award honors individuals who have made an outstanding contribution and demonstrated commitment to the field of investment consulting, including contributions to industry-specific technology or advances in the advisor skill set.

The 2024 honoree is Joseph F. Coughlin, PhD. Coughlin leads the Massachusetts Institute of Technology AgeLab, a research program based within MIT’s Center for Transportation & Logistics. His work as researcher, teacher, advisor, and speaker explores how global demographics, technology, and changing behaviors are transforming business and society.

Wealth Management Impact Award

The Wealth Management Impact Award honors individuals who have contributed exceptional advancements in the field of private wealth management, embodied by the Investments & Wealth Institute Certified Private Wealth Advisor® (CPWA®) program. The award recognizes key innovations and thought leadership in any of the following CPWA knowledge domains: human dynamics, wealth management strategies, client specialization, and legacy planning.

The 2024 honoree is Scott Welch, CIMA®. Welch is the founder of UnconstrainedThought, an independent provider of objective macroeconomic, investment research, and portfolio management advice and consultation services. He has held multiple chief investment officer roles at firms including WisdomTree, Dynasty Financial Partners, and Fortigent. He is an award-winning author and a frequent speaker at industry conferences.

Journal Research Award

The Journal Research Award honors the author(s) of an original article representing the best writing for the previous year germane to investment consulting and/or private wealth management published in the Journal of Investment Consulting or the Retirement Management Journal.

The 2024 honoree is Massimiliano De Santis, PhD, CFP®, for his article, “Optimal Spending and Portfolio Rules to Protect Desired Spending in Retirement” (RMJ 1-2023). De Santis is lecturer of finance and economics at the McCoy College of Business, Texas State University, and owner, DESMO Wealth Advisors, LLC.

Honorable distinction was awarded to David Blanchett, PhD, CFA®, CFP®, and Jason Fichtner, PhD, for their article “Biased Advice? The Relationship Between Financial Professionals’ Compensation and Social Security Retirement Benefit Claiming Decisions” (RMJ 1-2023). Blanchett is a managing director and head of retirement research for PGIM DC Solutions and Fichtner is chief economist at the Bipartisan Policy Center and a senior fellow with the Alliance for Lifetime Income and the Retirement Income Institute.

Investments & Wealth Institute Writing Award

The Investments & Wealth Institute Writing Award honors Investments & Wealth Institute members for their excellent editorial contributions to the Investments & Wealth Monitor during the previous year. The 2024 honoree is Moe Allain, RMA®, CPWA®, AAMS®, for his article, “Demystifying the Retirement Conversation with a Behavioral Lens” (November/December 2023). Allain is a vice president and financial advisor at Baird Retirement Management in Memorial City (Houston), Texas.

Honorable distinction was awarded to Marcia Mantell, RMA®, NSSA®, and Craig Adamson, RMA®, CRC, CRPS, for their article, “Social Security Claiming Decisions and Withdrawal Strategies for High-Income Clients: Maximizing Social Security Is Not Always the Best Strategy” (November/December 2023). Mantell is the president of Mantell Retirement Consulting, Inc. and Adamson is a financial planner with TrueWealth Stewardship.

Learn more about the Institute’s awards and read the award-winning articles at

Media Contacts:

Investment & Wealth Institute

Allison Edmondson

Director of Communications

Investments & Wealth Institute

+1 303 850 3207


Founded in 1985, the Investments & Wealth Institute is the premier professional association, education provider, and standards body for financial advisors. Through its award-winning events, publications, courses, and acclaimed certifications—Certified Investment Management Analyst® (CIMA®), Certified Private Wealth Advisor® (CPWA®), and Retirement Management Advisor® (RMA®) certifications—the Institute delivers world class-quality, highly-practical education to more than 30,000 practitioners annually in over 40 countries. Members of the Institute include the industry's most successful investment consultants, advanced financial planners, and private wealth managers who embrace excellence and ethics in applying a broad set of knowledge and skills in their daily work with clients. Learn more at


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