We are excited to welcome over 150 buy-side attendees and sponsors to the Finadium Investors in Securities Lending (FISL) Conference next week, April 11-12, in New York. This is our second year running this event and we’ve learned a lot in the process. This year’s event offers a variety of options for segments of the buy-side audience as well as focus topics that should be important and engaging to the securities lending community.
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. While we still have representation from all the firms and more that attended FISL NYC 2017, some firms are sending fewer people. This shows how important it is to offer a real value-add in the event space. With fewer people to mind the home office, you’d better be worthwhile for someone to take a day and a half to attend something. Our total buy-side sign-ups are about the same they were last year, but we’re seeing more diversity in firms and slightly lower concentrations from individual organizations.
Total headcount is running at 278 people – 150 buy-side attendees and 128 sponsors. Of the buy-side, we’re a bit weighted towards asset managers but overall there is a good split (see graphic). We remain very 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. Going forward, the buy-side to vendor ratio will feature more prominently in our thinking about the event organization. We also continue to expect to not sell tickets, meaning that attendees are either buy-side market participants or sponsors.
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 seems to work with the buy-side focus, but other events benefit from a broader mix of attendees.
We’re excited about the panel mix at FISL, both for NYC and 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 field. Our beneficial owner breakfast, for clients of agent lenders, will be moderated by Finadium (we moderated in at FISL London in 2017 and found that it worked well). In our pre-conference attendee survey, we’re pleased to see a good split of interest across our breakout session topics, from a regulatory deep dive to alternative ideas about cash collateral management.
For investors lending or borrowing securities, FISL NYC 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-nyc-2018/