Pershing’s annual Insite conference, now in its 14th year, is sui generis. By design it attracts both broker-dealer home office personnel along with BD reps who work through Pershing’s clearing business and use its technology, but there are always plenty of registered investment advisors in attendance as well who custody at Pershing Advisor Solutions. And Pershing does get big names to speak.
At the 2012 Insite, which formally began Wednesday midday at its traditional venue, the Westin Diplomat in Hollywood, Fla., all those attractions were in evidence.
The total number of attendees, according to Pershing personnel, is 2,088 this year, essentially flat compared with last year’s 2,073 attendees. There are 395 sponsors and exhibitors this year, up from 360 in 2011. Among those attending this year are 1,329 of what Pershing calls "customers" and customer prospects, with the breakdown being:
- 48% of broker-dealer home office associates
- 25% BD registered reps
- 22% RIAs
- 5% dually registered
Of the big names among the 67 speakers, three are headliners: Former President Bill Clinton is the opening keynote speaker on Wednesday; Deepak Chopra highlights Thursday’s sessions and Fareed Zakaria is the closing keynoter on Friday.
On Wednesday, Pershing, a unit of BNY Mellon, also announced that it was enhancing its clearing platform to enable representatives of its correspondent broker-dealers to open, fund and manage 529 college savings plans electronically. In a statement, Pershing said the new offering will allow reps to “operate more efficiently and manage these investments alongside the other assets and investments of their clients." The platform has launched with one advisor-sold 529 plan—the CollegeAmerica plan administered by the Virginia College Savings Plan—but will eventually be adding a “large selection of the nation’s most prominent” 529 plans.
Also on Wednesday, Pershing released the latest in a series of studies for advisors on how advisors can better serve sometimes-overlooked market segments. Called Generation X and Y Investors Are the Future of Your Business, this newest guidebook focuses on how advisors can help increase their long-term success by “servicing the next generation of investors now and incorporating them into their long-term growth strategy.”
In a statement, Kim Dellarocca, head of segment marketing and practice management at Pershing, pointed out studies that show “almost 90% of prospective heirs say they will move assets to another firm once they receive their inheritance.” She urged advisors to “connect now with Gen X and Gen Y investors, whose viewpoints on money and investing and the service they demand will be very different than those of their parents.”
The guidebook is available for free from the Pershing website.