Darla Mercado is a journalist and self-described retirement geek with close to a decade of experience covering the financial advisory industry. Her specialties include retirement income planning, life insurance, qualified plans, and taxes. Darla is in the process of earning her Certified Financial Planner™ certification, and plans to sit for the exam in November of 2016.
Pension Resource Institute, director of advisor relations
6/2015 – present
Jersey City, NJ – Pension Resource Institute is a consulting firm that works with registered investment advisors and broker-dealers to ensure they operate their 401(k) and IRA businesses in a competitive and compliant manner.
- Educated financial advisors and broker-dealer personnel on implementing ERISA compliance best practices with retirement plans.
- Trained advisors on PRI’s 10-step fiduciary education program, G-MAP, a plan sponsor-facing governance system that centers on retirement plan operations.
- Authored in-house educational articles for advisors looking to enhance their relationships with small business owners and retirement plans. Topics include target-date funds, cash equivalents, and effective communication with employers.
5/2007 – 5/2015
New York, NY – InvestmentNews covers the financial advisory space for an audience of registered investment advisers and brokers.
- Filed breaking news for InvestmentNews.com, and wrote features and analysis pieces on the financial planning industry. Topics included annuities, life insurance, and retirement planning.
- Led development of annual 401(k), health care, retirement income and annuity special reports, which are packages of stories, charts, and video briefs.
- Moderated conference panels and generated ideas for session panels for InvestmentNews' annual Retirement Income Summit.
- Researched insurance companies' variable product filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
- Consulted with contacts at broker-dealers, insurance marketing organizations, manufacturers, as well as analysts and regulators, to get a feel for developing trends and new areas of concern.
- Hosted a panel discussion on women and retirement at InvestmentNews’ 2014 Retirement Income Summit.
- Won a 2013 American Society of Business Publication Editors’ Azbee Award of Excellence regional bronze award in the special section category for Spotlight: Health Care Planning.
- Was the keynote speaker at a September 2013 conference for insurance marketing organization executives, and led a presentation on the fixed and indexed annuity market.
- Chosen as a 2011 fellow for the National Press Foundation's retirement issues workshop.
- Was among a group of InvestmentNews reporters who won the American Society of Business Publication Editors' gold award in 2011 for editorial excellence. My story, "The Hartford inflames B-Ds, advisers" led Page One.
FinancialWeek, Editorial Assistant
8/2006 – 5/2007
New York, NY – FinancialWeek was a Crain Communications weekly newspaper with a readership base of C-suite executives.
- Researched proxy filings with the SEC for executive compensation data, aiding reporters with their stories.
- Compiled economic data from our Bloomberg terminal for our weekly data charts.
- Authored "What's my indicator," a short weekly piece that featured views from economists.
- Filed web copy for real-time news coverage.
- Advanced Diploma in Financial Planning, New York University, with an A- average and an expected CFP® exam date of November 2016
- Master of Arts, magazine journalism, New York University (2005-2007)
- Bachelor of Arts, English, University of Maryland, Baltimore County (2001-2005)