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Financial experts from across America convene in Indy

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Outstanding. Informative. Knowledgeable. Useful. Groundbreaking: those were among the words that were used to describe the first Financial and Trustee Education Conference that recently took place in Indianapolis.

Some of the keenest financial minds in America gathered at the Hilton Indianapolis Hotel and Suites downtown July 13 and 14 for a national monetary and investment conference, where participants said they got invaluable insight on making and managing money in today’s unpredictable economic climate.

“The goal at these conferences is to take away something of value, and this one far exceeded that test,” said Steven Sanders, CEO and chief investment strategist at StoneRidge Investment Partners LLC in Philadelphia, Pa. “I got a chance to meet plan sponsors, share with peers and acquire knowledge about the latest trends in the industry.”

Participants attended an opening reception on July 13, where Indiana state Rep. William A. “Bill” Crawford, chairman of the Indiana House Ways and Means Committee, was honored for his contribution to the progress of financial and asset management in Indiana.

Wednesday’s workshops explored topics such as equities and fixed income portfolios, real estate, alternative investments and consultants. In addition, there were discussions on brokers, traders and how to make businesses more green. “I got a better feeling for what they want and need as a manager,” said Sanders.

Speakers from across the nation attended the conference, including Rodney B. Herenton, director of marketing and client service at Channing Capital Management LLC in Chicago, Ill., David C. Carter, senior fixed income portfolio manager with NCM Capital Management Group in Durham, N.C., Michael J. Millhouse, chief investment officer of Chicago Equity Partners LLC, Dyland Glenn, senior vice president at Guggenheim Advisors in New York City, John Robinson, senior managing director at Gray and Co. in Atlanta, Ga., and James Hickey, managing director of the RiverRock Finance Family of Funds in Houston, Texas.

“To have an opportunity to get in front of plan sponsors on a favorable basis is something you can’t put a price tag on,” noted Sanders, who has worked in various aspects of asset management for 28 years.

Indiana State Treasurer Richard Mourdock, the keynote speaker at the conference’s July 14 luncheon, said he initially did not want to file a lawsuit against Chrysler Corp. on behalf of Indiana police, teachers and other state employees who had Chrysler investments, but felt he had to because it was the right thing to do to protect those workers’ assets.

“Mourdock’s address was the most well-liked event,” said David B. Girton, president of Andes Capitol Group in Chicago and co-chair of the conference. “The financial managers who came were impressed with the comprehensiveness of the meeting, and because of the kind of attendance we had, we think it was a great success. The whole goal of this conference was for fiduciaries and other trustees to enlighten people on how to manage your money through difficult times.”

The conference ended up with a town hall forum. That meeting was moderated by Indianapolis talk show host Amos Brown of WTLC-AM (1310), and included panelists Joseph Watkins, chair of Students First PAC, and Robin Winston, former state chairman of the Indiana Democratic Party and managing partner of Winston-Terrell Group of Indianapolis.

The Financial Trustee and Education Conference went over so well that organizers have already begun planning for next year’s session. “It was a huge success,” added Girton. “People were able to take away information that will help them grow their financial assets.”

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