We look forward to welcoming 140 buy-side attendees and sponsors to the Finadium Investors in Securities Lending (FISL) Conference in London next week, May 9-10. This is our second year running this event and we’ve learned a lot in the process. Our London and New York events have taken on different flavors, which is appropriate, and important parts of the programme have diverged.
One of the big lessons this year is the changing composition of the financial services industry and how it impacts conference attendance. There are less people working in capital markets, including securities finance-related fields, than last year and prior years. With fewer people to mind the home office, you’d better be worthwhile for someone to take a day and a half to attend an event. Our total buy-side registrations are lower in London than they were last year but we’re seeing the same number of firms represented. Firms are just sending fewer people.
Total headcount is running at 140 people – 70 buy-side attendees, 54 sponsors and 13 invited speakers and press. The buy-side is weighted towards asset managers, with pensions, corporates and Sovereign Wealth Funds as the second biggest collective group (see graphic). We remain committed to the idea that attendees should outnumber sponsors. This year with sponsor interest high and fewer buy-side people in the industry, we’ve kept a close eye on these numbers to ensure that we would deliver. We still aren’t selling tickets for this event and don’t plan to going forward. meaning that attendees are buy-side market participants, sponsors or invited speakers.
We think that FISL is the only event Finadium will run that will preserve this buy-side only model. We’ve increased the number of events we will run this year with free tickets for research clients. We’ll still have a mix of bank/vendor sponsored and Finadium sponsored events as well. FISL works with the buy-side focus, but other events benefit from a broader mix of attendees.
We’re excited about the panel mix at FISL London. As we did last year, we participate in every prep call to ensure that panels have a direction and message and that there is minimal overlap with other panels. Each segment – Pensions, Asset Managers, Hedge Funds and Insurance – has its own moderated breakout session with experts in their fields. Our beneficial owner breakfast, for clients of agent lenders, will be moderated by Finadium. We moderated the breakfast at FISL London in 2017 and found that it worked well. We planned to moderate in New York in April 2018 but when we started, we found that beneficial owners were already engrossed in conversation, and facilitation was not necessary.
For investors lending or borrowing securities, FISL London is the place to get up to speed on the latest developments while having unhurried time to network with your peers. For more information, please visit the conference website at http://finadium.com/conferences/fisl-london-2018/