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The New York Connect Panel Recap!

Backstop Connect events are always a great opportunity to gather the Backstop community together, share insights, and learn about today’s most vital topics directly from some of the industry’s most respected experts. (Of course, we have a little fun, too. There’s always plenty of networking, not to mention great cocktails.)

Our recent event in New York was a great success. Held on August 17 at Convene 730, Backstop Connect New York 2017 drew over 100 attendees for a panel discussion entitled “The New Definition of Institutional Quality.”

The panel included several well-known names:

  • Vincent Molino, Principal, Operational Risk Group, Mercer
  • Art Murphy, Security Specialist, Secure Works
  • Ashley Fochtman, Head of Business Development and Investor Relations, Atalaya Capital Management
  • Bob Goldbaum, SVP, Product and Market Strategy, Backstop Solutions

Our moderator for the evening was Stephen Vondrak, Backstop’s own VP of Institutional Sales. Stephen kicked off the discussion by diving right to the heart of the topic of institutional quality, asking the panelists to describe the differences between “old” and “new” standards.

There was broad agreement that, not that long ago, today’s most common questions about institutional quality were simply not asked. Those include, but aren’t limited to, questions surrounding security, policies, and procedures in place.

There was also solid consensus that times have changed significantly. Today’s investors have greatly increased expectations. The old-fashioned “check the box” approach simply doesn’t cut it in today’s climate.

Because the industry is simply more educated about the relevant issues, a new focus on security and compliance is taking root. Art Murphy put it this way: “Security is a subset of compliance, and something you need to pay attention to.”

Quality as an output is now dependent on both the current environment, and on expectations. Expectations for operational transparency are significantly increased, as well. Investors now ask complex questions regarding data protection, regulatory issues, and more. Compliance and data protection have evolved, and are now part of the culture, rather than simply tasks to be completed.

A few additional key takeaways from the panel discussion:

  • Being prepared is vital. Vin Molino phrased it very simply: “Stay informed.”
  • Do your homework. Ensure you’re always prepared to answer questions about the firm’s processes, operational diligence, and other relevant topics.
  • Be brave. Don’t hesitate to explore all of the resources available to you that can help you stay up-to-date and efficient, including outside expertise and new technology.

If you weren’t able to attend Backstop Connect NY, we hope to see you or your female colleagues soon at the Women Supporting Women in Financial Services event. There’s no better way to stay on top of the industry's challenges for women, maximize the benefits of your Backstop relationship, and have a little fun at the same time.