Executive IQ Capstone Innovation Project Winners Announced at Graduation Ceremony

Monday, June 27, 2022

New York, NY, June 27, 2022– The winners of the Executive IQ™ Capstone Innovation Project were announced at a virtual Awards and Graduation Ceremony honoring the inaugural cohort of the Executive IQ program last month. 

In collaboration with PwC and Darden, the Capstone Innovation Project was a three-month effort designed to put into practice program lessons taught the previous two terms around technology, digital disruption, leadership and embracing a growth mindset. Applying the PwC innovation prototype model, teams were tasked to identify an industry problem needing to be addressed. The model encouraged each team to be open to change, have a bias towards creativity, an ability to think big, start small, have an unrelenting courage to challenge the norm, and be characterized by speed of thought and action. 

Team Turtle Finance took home the honors with a mission to educate and connect people with core concepts of financial literacy to help them make better financial decisions for themselves and their loved ones, as well as demystify investing and the opportunities it could present. The concept is delivered through the Turtle Finance game. The members of the winning team include: Calvin DeBoer of Horizon Investments, Sarah Bratton Hughes of American Century Investments, Taneka Lawrence of Polen Capital, Lori Murphy of Hartford Funds, and Sibil Sebastian Patri of American Century Investments.

“Participants are given a chance to apply lessons learned from their Executive IQ educational experience from concept through independent group research” observed Craig Pfeiffer, MMI President & CEO. “All three finalist teams have winning ideas that should continue to be taken forward and have earned the right to go live.” 

“The results of the Capstone Innovation Project clearly demonstrate the vital role of teamwork and how the diversity of thought drives innovation,” said Richard Evans, Professor at University of Virginia Darden School of Business, and faculty advisor to the Executive IQ program. “This was the most remarkable innovation bootcamp I have ever seen.” 

The winning team is invited to attend the MMI Annual Conference in Nashville on October 19-21, where they will present to the MMI Board of Governors and host an innovation prototyping design session at the conference. 

“The creativity of thought and effort should be celebrated across all 16 fantastic submissions,” said Tim Williams, Executive Vice President, Director of Education Initiatives and Executive IQ Program Director. “Thank you to all the participants for embracing the project and delivering on innovative and timely topics important to this industry.”

In all, 16 teams competed in the Capstone Innovation Project, and three finalists were selected. The finalists were richly praised by the judges for the quality of work and the magnitude of their efforts. The other two finalists include:

  • Advisor Central Team — Katy Brady of Invesco, Ashley Ferrier of PGIM Investments, and Michelle Liller of Lazard Asset Management. Advisor Central, a new digital platform that seeks to become financial advisors’ one-stop-shop for personalized content to help them build their practice. The importance of good content, the impact it has on business decision makers, and Advisor Central’s approach to providing a tool that is valuable to both Financial Advisors and Asset Managers.
  • FS VERSE Team — Kirsten Pickens and Ryan Robertson both of FS Investments. FS VERSE is a platform that is focused on driving diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging through virtual reality, not only to a firm, but for the betterment of the financial services industry. The goal is to use this technology to attract new talent pools and make the recruiting, hiring, and onboarding experience more collaborative and inclusive for applicants of all backgrounds.

The announcement of the winning team was made following live virtual presentations by the three teams to a panel of five judges. The esteemed panel of judges included: 

  • Richard Evans –Professor at University of Virginia Darden School of Business and faculty advisor to the Executive IQ 
  • John Lunny – Vice Chairman at Vestmark and MMI Board Member
  • Roger Paradiso – Global Head of Product Solutions at Franklin Templeton and MMI Board Member
  • Craig Pfeiffer – President & CEO, Money Management Institute
  • Helene Kubon Skulstad – Partner, PwC Global Data & Analytics Leader 

Teams were judged on relevance to the financial services industry, business opportunity, creativity, and original thought, as well as overall presentation.

About Executive IQ
Executive IQ™ by Money Management Institute is an executive-level professional accelerator for investment leaders looking to advance their careers and their organizations. This 15-month certification program combines a university-backed curriculum with real-world case studies from the industry’s most prestigious consultants and Fortune 500 companies. Designed for tomorrow, Executive IQ helps transform experienced decision-makers into industry innovators, able to turn challenge into opportunity. Participants gain not just the tools they need to lead and grow their organizations, but the chance to build executive-level networks they can count on for life.

About the Money Management Institute (MMI)
Established in 1997, the Money Management Institute (MMI) is the industry association representing financial services firms that provide financial advice and investment advisory solutions to investors. Driven by our promise of increasing connections, knowledge, and growth for our members, MMI is dedicated to fostering professional relationships, sharing experiences, and expanding the industry’s influence through advocacy and education.

MMI offers premier professional development programs, specialized curriculums, and facilitates peer-to-peer connections through our communities and conferences. As part of MMI’s longstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion, the Gateway Foundation provides clear pathways to entry and career advancement in the financial services industry for historically excluded and underrepresented groups. MMI member firms include wealth manager, asset manager and solutions provider firms of all sizes and professionals representing all functional areas. Follow MMI on LinkedIn.

Kelly Caporale, Money Management Institute, 646-868-8514, kcaporale@mminst.org