The DI Wire had a chance to speak with John Harrison, executive director of The Alternative and Direct Investment Securities Association (ADISA), ahead of its virtual conference Alts in the time of COVID: What BDs/RIAs/Advisors Need to Know on August 18– 20, 2020.
ADISA recently announced its three-day virtual program, Alts in the Time of COVID. What can participants expect to learn? What topics will be covered?
Our program will open up with our popular round-the-industry update on the various sectors and overall private placement activity. From there we dive further into 1031 exchanges with the economics and factors affecting 1031s, especially from the BD/RIA perspective and due diligence.
On the second day, Alts in the Time of COVID will feature a discussion between ADISA presidents of the past, present and future, as they outline their viewpoint from their different segments of the alts industry and their predictions on the road to recovery after COVID. Then on day two, we have a unique motivational speaker, Matthew Ferrara, who will help us improve our mindsets to tackle the challenges and opportunities currently before us in today’s market.
The last day, Thursday, we have a don’t-miss analysis of cases of alts gone bad —something to learn in there for all of us – and we finish with an update on the regulatory happenings that are affecting products, such as DSTs during COVID-19, and SEC and FINRA rulemaking initiatives.
What regulatory developments are affecting or could potentially affect the industry, and will these be covered during the conference?
There will be two mini sessions with industry experts covering the latest regulatory developments and the effects they could have on our members’ businesses. Section 1031 exchanges and new opportunities will be explored. We also talk, in a town hall format, about the changes at FINRA and the SEC, including their changes during recent months, such as the implementation of Regulation Best Interest in June. The program will explore how the government and regulators are impacting our industry.
Tell me about the keynote speaker. What message do you hope people walk away with after listening?
If people were ever in need of a motivational speaker, in the midst of a global pandemic would probably be the right time. The conference keynote speaker is Matthew Ferrara, whose academic background is philosophy and economics has been a popular speaker in groups such as ours. Matthew’s journey began with talk radio and shifted into real estate sales and training in 1991, and has included owning a training firm, call center, online learning portal and an executive mentoring firm. Matthew is an advisor to organizations in 49 states and 26 countries. We’re excited to hear from Matthew, who is known to draw connections between business, innovation, marketing, and technology.
Five months into the pandemic, have virtual events evolved to adequately fill the gap of the significant events that ADISA and others are known for? In what ways are virtual events better than live conferences, and by contrast, what are we missing by the lack of live events?
That’s an optimistic compare and contrast question. At our core, ADISA, and really the alternative investment industry, will always benefit from in-person events where we can connect face-to-face. The alternative investment industry is a social one, and involves a great deal of travel with boots on the ground where we can work together — that’s in the nature of non-traded instead of traded, right?
That said, we are excited to deliver this impactful educational program virtually, because education is another significant part of ADISA’s core values and what it provides to its members. We offer continuing education credits, stellar speakers, and a great deal of up-to-date information. Although we can’t be face-to-face right now, we will continue to fulfill our educational mandate to our members with virtual events such as this.
Of course, while we look forward to the day when we can continue our record-setting in-person conferences — the next one is scheduled for early next year – we understand that right now this is the best move for the health and well-being of our members. We do look forward to seeing everyone at the rescheduled Annual Conference, which will be held February 10 -12, 2021, at the Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas.