3 key themes to take away from this year’s EBI Conference

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Held in beautiful Dana Point, California, the Evidence-Based Investing (EBI) Conference once again drew in financial professionals from across the county. The conference, presented by IMN and Ritholtz Wealth Management, welcomed financial advisors, ETF issuers, investors, academics and others to keep up with the latest in industry trends. Panels featured the “best of the best” in finance, including several Gregory FCA clients and our very own Joe Anthony, who moderated a discussion on launching ETFs.

If you didn’t get the chance to make it to Dana Point for the conference, or if you’re looking for a recap, read on for a few of the key themes that prevailed from panel to panel.

1. Artificial Intelligence: There’s no denying AI is revolutionizing our world (here’s looking at you, ROBO Global), and especially the financial industry. How will AI impact our investments? How will AI be used to transform advisor technologies? These were just a few of the questions deliberated throughout the conference.

Also of note, Paolo Sironi, IBM FinTech Thought Leader, IBM Watson Financial Services, delivered Monday’s keynote on the future of financial innovation. Paolo discussed everything from how financial services companies need to adapt to focus on sustained innovation to the digitization of knowledge.

2. Women:There are more men named John that are Fortune 500 CEOs than there are women. The name John accounts for 3 percent of the population.” This was a startling stat shared at the Women in ETFs breakfast, but the topic extended far beyond the Monday morning session. In fact, the overall theme of women in business was strewn throughout the panel discussions. Topics ranged from the proven impact improved maternity leave policies have on businesses to the importance of attracting more female financial advisors and beyond. Can someone say Girl Power?

3. ESG: Green is the new black! ESG takes the cake when it comes to popular conference topics. The common theme? ESG investing is no longer only something investors partake in due to their moral beliefs. It’s a risk-management tool, and incorporating an ESG overlay into your portfolio can be used to generate meaningful alpha.

The ESG stat I found most interesting from the conference? The majority of ESG investing takes place in Europe, even though 70 percent of assets are concentrated in the U.S. It seems like there’s much more runway ahead.

For more EBI highlights, be sure to check out the conference hashtags: #EBIWest and #IMNGlobal. See you next year!