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In age of regulatory shake-ups, state revives conference for investment professionals

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Robin Wiessmann, secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Banking and Securities
Robin Wiessmann, secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Banking and Securities - (Photo / )

Fiduciary rules, alternatives investments and cyber security. Oh my.

The regulation-bricked road of the securities industry has led investment professionals through a forest of uncertainty and increasingly complex issues in recent years. The state is reviving a conference this fall to help them navigate the path.

The Pennsylvania Department of Banking and Securities plans to hold Compliance 2017 on Oct. 26 at the Radisson Hotel Harrisburg in Camp Hill. The conference, a revival of an event the state's securities commission last held in 2011, is meant to educate Pennsylvania's investment advisers and broker-dealers about the biggest issues affecting their industries.

A variety of both Pennsylvania and out-of-state regulators are scheduled to lead sessions throughout the day, addressing issues ranging from fiduciary duties to investment adviser exams.

"I would think investment advisers and broker-dealers in Pennsylvania would really be hungry for this kind of information," said Ed Novak, spokesman for the banking and securities department.

Unlike industries such as banking or law, securities professionals do not have a Pennsylvania-specific trade association, Novak said. The state stepped in in the 1980s to help fill some of the resulting knowledge gap and put together its annual conference.

That event ended after Pennsylvania merged its Department of Banking and Securities Commission in 2012. Five years later, the dust from the merger has settled, and the department saw value in bringing back the once-popular event. It expects about 200 to 250 professionals to sign up this year.

"This conference will provide a distinctive opportunity for members of Pennsylvania's securities industry to meet in one place to discuss issues of importance to investing, regulatory matters, and investors," Banking and Securities Secretary Robin Wiessmann said in a news release.

This year's conference will take place in a drastically different landscape than it did in 2011, Novak noted. During the event's last iteration, the finance-regulating Dodd-Frank Act was only a few months old, and the national economy was still reeling in the aftermath of the Great Recession.

Noted regulatory bulldog Joseph Borg is scheduled to provide Compliance 2017's keynote address. Borg has served as director of the Alabama Securities Commission since 1994 and is president-elect of the North American Securities Administrators Association after holding the position twice previously.

Borg's accomplishments in the regulatory arena include, among others, his role leading a multi-state investigation into Stratton Oakmont, the New York brokerage house founded by Jordan Belfort, the self-described "Wolf of Wall Street" of movie infamy. 

More information about the conference is available on the Compliance 2017 website. The deadline to register is Oct. 13.

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Jennifer Wentz

Jennifer Wentz

Jennifer Wentz covers Lancaster County, York County, financial services, taxation and legal services. Have a tip or question for her? Email her at jwentz@cpbj.com. Follow her on Twitter, @jenni_wentz.

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