Category: Client Forum

2015 Client Forum – Day One Recap


BFCF-in-lightsYesterday Boston Financial clients gathered at the Peninsula Hotel in Chicago for a full day of speakers and discussions. The day started bright and early with several Best Practice Sessions. Attendees had the opportunity to join one of the following breakout sessions:

  • Let’s Discuss Your Top 3 to 5 Compliance issues with Greg Barner, Software Development Manager at DST, and Craig Hollis, Chief Compliance Officer at Boston Financial.
  • Revolutionizing Business Collaboration and Communication Through Social Platforms with Julia Binder, Head of Strategic Marketing Research at kasina, and Jessica Perkins, Relationship Manager at Boston Financial.
  • Addressing Financial and Gender Folklore with Sean Fullerton CFA, Senior Research Analyst at State Street’s Center for Applied Research.

Following the Best Practice Sessions, attendees gathered in the main ballroom for opening remarks from Boston Financial President and CEO, Terry Metzger.

Erica Dhawan, Founder and CEO, Cotential, was the first speaker of the day. Dhawan spoke about the concepts of her book Get Big Things Done: The Power of Connectional Intelligence. She explained why Connectional Intelligence matters:

  • Creates informal knowledge networks
  • Accelerates client relationships through greater interaction and information exchange
  • Increases cross selling ideas and opportunities within and across business units
  • Drives long term value creation by tapping broader ecosystems of client and other stakeholders

As Dhawan continued, she explained that we are all connectors. At the end of her talk she gave attendees three practical ways to be connectors and bring Connectional Intelligence back to their companies:

  • Build your employees Connectional Intelligence knowledge base through Accelerated ConnectednessTM
  • Invest in enabling technology structure for scalable and replicable execution
  • Build leadership and executive support


Next at the podium was Greg Valliere, Chief Political Strategist, Potomac Research Group Holdings, Inc. In his talk, The Washington Effect, Valliere shared his views on the pre-election climate in Washington. He touched upon monetary policy, federal interest rates, and shared his views on the upcoming presidential election.

After a break for lunch, Gunjan Kedia, Executive Vice President, State Street Corporation, took the stage for a talk on Putting Creative Thinking Into Action. She explained that innovation requires creative thinking and that you should keep an eye out at all times for innovation opportunities. She shared some of State Street’s innovation strategies which includes expanding their footprint and keeping automation and technology at the forefront.

Next up was Sean Fullerton CFA, Senior Research Analyst, State Street’s Center for Applied Research. His talk was about gender folklore in our industry. He addressed the question “why are there so few women working in the finance industry?”

  • Asset owners are 22% women and 78% men
  • Asset managers are 20% women and 80% men
  • Intermediaries and consultants are 34% women and 66% men
  • Regulators are 46% women and 54% men

He explained that there is a folklore creating gender disparity. He encouraged attendees to think about what they can do on a day-to-day basis to increase diversity in their business.

Mid-afternoon, Daniel Cross, Vice President, Customer Engagement, Applied Analytics Group at DST Systems, provided insights on creating connections through data. He gave a good set of recommendations for putting data analytics in your firm:

  • Keep it simple to start
  • Target known and well defined business metrics
  • Identify drivers – test the known – detect the unknown
  • Keep an eye on context
  • Leverage what you can change and plan for the future

The day closed out with two engaging panel discussions. Optimizing the Customer and Intermediary Experience was moderated by Cheryl Kananowicz, Vice President, DST Systems. Panel participants talked about why it is important to ensure consumers – shareholders and intermediaries – have the optimal customer experience.


The second panel discussion was based around PwC’s whitepaper on the evolution of the mutual fund transfer agent. It was moderated by Nicholas D’Angelo, Director, PWC and featured a group on industry experts who shares their perspectives on how transfer agents must adapt and find new ways to bring value to the funds they serve.

There is still more to come today. We’ll be back tomorrow with a recap of day two! In the meantime, follow the event Tagboard for photos and session highlights.

Read the Client Forum day two recap here.

Kristin Ferguson

Kristin Ferguson

Kristin joined Boston Financial in 2012 as Social Media Community Manager. Kristin is responsible for Boston Financial's social media strategy as well as developing and managing internal and external online communities. Prior to joining Boston Financial Kristin worked in online marketing at Edvisors where she was also responsible for social media and community management. Kristin is a graduate of Stonehill College. Follow Kristin on Twitter @kferguson10.

Related Articles

Fall 2015 Compliance Highlights »

By Colleen Sebastian | October 19, 2015

Optimizing the Customer and Intermediary Experience »

By Brian Melter | October 7, 2015

2015 Client Forum – Day Two Recap »

By Kristin Ferguson | September 23, 2015

Your comments mean a lot to us. We want to hear your perspectives, but please know that this section is being moderated and we reserve the right to edit or delete content at our discretion. Please keep your comments respectful and relevant.

+ Post a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *