The Alternative Direct Investment Securities Association will host its 2017 Annual Conference on October 23-25 at the Aria Resort & Casino in Las Vegas. The DI Wire had a chance to speak with ADISA executive director and CEO John Harrison and president John Grady to discuss the high-profile keynote speakers and what hot topics and panels will be featured at this year’s event.
The DI Wire: I understand George W. Bush and Roger Ibbotson are keynote speakers. What’s in store for audience members during each speech?
John Harrison: As you can imagine, George W. Bush is a popular and warm speaker, able to talk from the heart on a variety of topics. He will be speaking, interview style, on questions we have submitted involving our subject area, as well as lots of stories and remembrances from his White House years. He will touch on the recent and current mood in Washington and give us some insight on how things do or don’t work. His talks have received great reviews, and we look forward to having him. Please do note though, for security reasons, there will not be the usual photo shoot with audience members immediately following his session.
Roger Ibbotson will be speaking, lecture-style, on his recent research on the “Popularity Premium,” which utilizes data from more than 30 years of research on how the market treats assets which are “popular.” He will review the behavioral finance of the phenomenon and help us all understand in depth how asset popularity affects everything we do in the financial sector. It will be entertaining and thought-provoking.
The DI Wire: Will the status of 1031 exchanges and how they relate to tax reform be addressed?
John Harrison: We have about six sessions altogether dedicated solely to different aspects of 1031s, including a plenary session addressing tax reform and the latest reports and predictions. I couldn’t ask for more on 1031, except perhaps a crystal ball.
The DI Wire: What are the other hot topics that will be addressed at the Annual Conference?
John Harrison: We have a number of new product and technology-focused sessions. They will be looking at crowdfunding, cybersecurity, block chain and other technology-driven issues. An experimental session from our ADISA president will have him exploring several product categories by interviewing an expert from each. Products such as EB5, block chain investment opportunities, conservation easements and more will be the subjects. Also featured are various elements of practice management, from both the BD and the RIA point of view.
The DI Wire: Will there be an update on the DOL fiduciary rule at the conference?
John Grady: Yes, we will be discussing the DOL fiduciary rule at the conference from a number of viewpoints: legal and regulatory developments (lawsuits, DOL review, etc.), current compliance challenges, changes already wrought by the rule and possible SEC “fiduciary standard” rulemaking.
The DI Wire: What are you most looking forward to at the conference?
John Grady: I am looking forward to seeing new ways– both new products as well as new approaches – to best serve investors and their financial advisers with alternative investments that offer non-correlation, diversification and/or income for investors, including retirement savers. Regulators, industry participants, consultants and others will share their views, so we can all better understand these developments and try to see where the industry is headed.
The Alternative and Direct Investment Securities Association bills itself as the largest national trade association serving alternative investment and securities industry professionals who are active in offering, managing and distributing private and public direct investments. ADISA’s members are typically involved in non-traded real estate investment trusts, business development companies, master limited partnerships and private and public funds, 1031 exchange programs, energy and oil and gas interests, equipment leasing programs, or other alternative and direct investment offerings. The association was founded in 2003 and has approximately 4,500 members.