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Wednesday, March 11, 2020

What Does Coronavirus Mean For Conference Season?

Reported by Neil Anderson, Managing Editor

With coronavirus, and the resulting panic, both spreading, some fundsters' travel plans are up in the air, and word is that some mutual fund firms are officially restricting travel. Industry conference organizers are adapting as the spring conference season kicks into high gear, and some events are already being postponed or cancelled.


Paul Schott Stevens
Investment Company Institute
President, CEO
The Investment Company Institute's (ICI's) ICI Mutual Funds and Investment Management Conference (MFIMC) had been scheduled for March 22-25 in Palm Desert, California. Yet the conference has been postponed "in light of public health concerns around the spread of COVID-19," confirms Paul Schott Stevens, the ICI chief who will retire at the end of the year.

"We felt the postponement to be necessary to protect the health and well-being of ICI's members, staff, guests, and other attendees, as well as their families," Stevens states. "The decision also reflects the desire of many ICI member firms to limit their staff's travel and participation in group meetings. In a survey sent to members earlier this week, we found widespread and growing restrictions on non-essential travel and conference attendance."

"We are working with our host hotel to reschedule the meeting for a date later in 2020," Stevens adds.

Meanwhile, the ICI's General Membership Meeting (GMM) is still on for May 6-8 in Washington, D.C., an ICI spokeswoman confirms.


The Money Management Institute's (MMI's) 2020 MMI Sales and Marketing Leadership Summit, the trade group's second largest event of the year, had been scheduled for March 26-27 in Orlando. Yet the MMI team has cancelled the event, confirms Craig Pfeiffer, CEO of MMI.

"We are evaluating and working with all the parties," Pfeiffer tells MFWire, hinting that both rescheduling the event and converting it to a virtual conference are both on the table. "Postponement is obviously your first choice, but the calendar starts to back up."


The ETFGI team is scheduled to bring their 2020 ETFGI Global ETFs Insights Summit to New York City on April 2.

"We are still planning on holding our upcoming events," Debbie Fuhr, managing partner and founder of ETFGI, tells MFWire. "We are monitoring the situation."


The Morningstar team is scheduled to host their Morningstar Investment Conference on June 3-5 in Chicago.

"The investment conference is still on as planned," Sarah Wirth, a Morningstar spokeswoman, tells MFWire. "We're monitoring the situation."


The team at BNY Mellon's Pershing arm is scheduled to host their 2020 Pershing Insite conference on June 10-12 in Chicago.

"We're constantly evaluating the situation," Sanuber Grohe, a Pershing spokeswoman, tells MFWire. "As of today, Insite is not cancelled or rescheduled. It's still on."

Other Events

Stay tuned for updates on other spring conferences.

The 28th Tiburon CEO Summit is scheduled for April 6-8 in New York City. Chip Roame, managing partner of Tiburon Strategic Advisors, did not immediately return a call for comment.

The Envestnet team is scheduled to host their Envestnet Advisor Summit on April 29-30 in Austin, Texas. An Envestnet spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The team at Wilmington's FRA is scheduled to host their 29th Sub-Advised Funds Forum on April 30-May 1 in New York City. An FRA staffer did not immediately return a call for comment.

The Association of Investment Management Sales Executives' (AIMSE's) 43rd annual meeting and sales conference is scheduled for May 3-5 in Boca Raton, Florida. An AIMSE staffer did not immediately return a call for comment.

The 25th annual Sohn Investment Conference is scheduled for May 13 in New York City. A Sohn Conference Foundation spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment. 

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