In a last-minute development, actor Alan Alda will replace famed basketball coach Phil Jackson as the keynote speaker on the closing day of the annual Schwab Advisor Services IMPACT conference in Chicago next week, according to Bernie Clark, executive vice president, national sales manager of Schwab Advisor Services.

Alternative investments will be on the agenda when Chuck Schwab, founder of the nation's largest RIA custodian, sits down on a panel with KKR co-founder George Roberts and managing director Scott Nuttall to discuss what role they can play in portfolios in what is expected to be a continued low interest-rate environment.  

More than 3,000 financial professionals are expected to attend the event, which starts on November 13. The opening general session will feature a post-election discussion of Washington, D.C., and the outlook for the economy and financial markets led by Potomac Research Group's Greg Valliere and Schwab's chief investment strategist Liz Ann Sonders.

Other key topics at the conference next week include technology, the growing importance of female clients and developing the next generation of advisors, Clark said. All evidence indicates that female clients will account "for a huge number" of future clients, Clark noted, and several sessions will examine this subject in detail.

In addition, Clark said, there will be a focus on both developing the next generation of advisors and serving the next generation of clients. As RIAs continue to grow, there are more opportunities to bring in younger advisors, who can be pivotal in attracting younger clients. Schwab expects more than 50 students from universities like Texas Tech and the University of California at Irvine to attend the meeting.

Several sessions will focus on a related topic, succession planning. Moreoever, the conference will permit technology companies to display new capabilities and give advisors the chance to consult with "a growing ecosystem of support providers," Clark noted.