Insite 2012, Pershing’s 14th-annual conference, attracted more than 2,000 attendees, many of whom are broker-dealer home office personnel and BD reps who work through Pershing’s clearing business and use its technology. At its traditional venue, the Westin Diplomat in Hollywood, Fla., there were also close to 400 sponsors and exhibitors in attendance.
Among those attending this year were 1,329 Pershing “customers” and customer prospects, with the breakdown being:
- Broker-dealer home office associates, 48%;
- BD registered reps, 25%;
- RIAs, 22%; and
- Dually registered, 5%.
Of the big names among the 67 speakers, former President Bill Clinton was tapped to give the opening keynote address on June 6. Also on June 6, 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.
Pershing released the latest in a series of studies for advisors on how advisors can better serve sometimes-overlooked market segments on June 6, as well. 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.”
Bill Clinton may be seeking to help Barack Obama win again in November, but the former president may have to be careful that he doesn’t overshadow the man he’s trying to help get re-elected. “I thought he was awesome,” said one Pershing colleague to another at the close of the former president’s keynote address on Wednesday at the BNY Mellon company’s annual conference in Hollywood, Fla.
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This enthusiastic comment came in response to the charismatic Clinton’s assertion that while he is happy to support the re-election of President Barack Obama, he also values his friendships with former U.S. presidents on both sides of the aisle—including both George Bush Sr. and his son George W. “I love the guy,” Clinton said of Bush Sr. Of George W., he quipped: “We go to the same events together now and roll our eyes at each other’s answers.”
Speaking very much in a spirit of bipartisanship before an afternoon audience at Pershing Insite 2012, Clinton conceded that it’s easier to be a former U.S. president than an incumbent one. He certainly looked the part of a relaxed retired president, tall and slim with silver hair and sporting a sober suit along with a hand-woven multicolored bracelet around his wrist.
And to the biggest round of applause during his entire keynote address, Clinton added that he is frustrated with the poor level of collaboration between Democrats and Republicans in Washington and the “frivolous” commentary of the political media. “At some point we have to re-establish trust between the two parties in Washington,” Clinton said. “If I say something nice about Mitt Romney, the political press acts like I endorsed him even though I oppose his political policies.”
Asked by Pershing Managing Director Frank La Salla during a question-and-answer period how he would fix the nation’s fiscal woes, Clinton pointed to a three-part strategy:
J Resolution of the ongoing U.S. mortgage market crisis, so that consumers can start spending and taking out loans again.
J Repatriation of $2 trillion of U.S. company assets overseas as well as an infrastructure bank to be created by the repatriated capital.
J Reform of U.S. energy policy, which would include jobs creation from the green retrofitting of old buildings.
Audience member Gerald Wood, a chief financial officer with PRS International Advisory Service in Miami, said after Clinton’s speech that his support of Obama during the election process is a mixed blessing.
“I thought he was great,” Wood said of Clinton. “He manages to be non-controversial for a president who was so controversial. But if I were Obama, I wouldn’t know how to fit him into my campaign. Clinton overshadows everybody.”