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Coming Together at Pershing INSITE'17

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It was a privilege to attend Pershing’s INSITE 2017 conference in San Diego in mid-June. At the event, Pershing Advisor Solutions CEO Mark Tibergien did a great job interviewing Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who described how he works on self-improvement, team building and other life skills.

Also inspiring were former Treasury Secretary Jack Lew and Uber’s founding CTO Oscar Salazar. Though they disagree on the exact balance to strike between humans and technology, they both explained the critical role that data will play in the future and how the youth of today will need to think critically and flexibly to master it.

In this month’s cover story, the 2017 SMA Managers of the Year discuss how they juggle the quest for returns and the need to check risk. Other thoughts on generating alpha (via active investing) are given by Daniel Kern of TFC Financial Management in “ETF Advisor” and Cliff Stanton of 361 Capital in “Alternative Investments.”

The best ways to manage relations with the two segments of baby boomers and tips on how to meaningfully connect with them are explained in this month’s feature story, “Thinking Boomer,” by Olivia Mellan and Sherry Christie. Bob Clark reflects on what boomers can learn from millennials in “Clark at Large,” and Cam Marston outlines steps to take to attract clients’ children in “The New School.”

This summer brings a frenzied amount of regulatory news. Melanie Waddell, our Washington bureau chief, shares her insights on the latest developments in Washington and summarizes what the top industry players are thinking about them in “Washington Watch” and “The Playing Field.” Thomas Giachetti lays out his thinking on managing the two phases of the new DOL fiduciary rule in “The Compliance Coach.”

With the flurry of changes — and associated headaches — advisors and broker-dealer staff (not to mention the members of the industry press that write about them) may be facing some “motivational issues.” Angie Herbers in “The Fast Track” urges advisors to take a step back and evaluate “where your firm is today,” strengthen their business foundations and then move on to tackle growth.

I met Angie for the first time in person at INSITE. We shared a quick hug and conversation, while Mark Tibergien and I had a sit-down discussion. In “Formulas for Success” this month, he makes the case for advisors taking on a bit of leverage in their firms.

During our chat in San Diego, Mark made some helpful analogies that I’d like to pass on. He compared the mass-affluent retail investor marketplace to Macy’s. In contrast, the high-net-worth segment demands that advisors and advisory businesses operate like bespoke tailors.

It isn’t easy to reimagine ourselves and how we work, but it is necessary. Award-winning photographer Platon, who spoke at INSITE, reminded the audience of a poster he once saw displayed at Facebook’s headquarters, which asked: “If you had no fear, what would you do?”

Platon aims for his award-winning photos — of everyone from U.S. presidents to victims of violence in Africa — to inspire hope, empathy, pride, compassion and vision in those who see them. These qualities, he explained, can heal divisions and bring us together in powerful ways. I certainly was moved by his images and plan to take his message to heart in the months (and years) ahead.


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