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What attracts a Gen-Y’er? Community…duh!

June 2, 2011

With Memorial Day in the rear-view mirror and sweltering heat beginning to envelop most of us already, what could be more refreshing than the prospect of a half-day NICSA workshop in the Chicago next month?!  Knowing that you don’t like to be away from the office for long, we’ve created a compact program, from 10:30 am until 2:00 pm on July 14th.

It will be a community-focused and entirely interactive event — which is appropriate, since we’ll be talking about Gen Y.  D. Bruce Johnston, President & CEO of DBJ Associates, will kick off the day with a discussion of the way Gen Y’ers interact, communicate, think, learn and invest. “It’s all about community,” he says.

As a member of this generation myself, I must say he’s right.  We’re the first generation to have e-mail in elementary school, to have never seen an Encyclopedia Britannica* in print, to grow up with instant messaging, and to over-share on Facebook and Twitter — making our parents cringe. Our entire lives are built around the assumption that we don’t have to go at anything alone because our friends, family, and community are just a split second away.  We make our decisions in groups and trust vendors that make us a part of their community and that become a part of ours.

We’ve grown up and graduated from college now and added our collective brains to the workforce, and our net worth as a community is already somewhere north of $5 trillion — a number that’s expected to increase massively as our Baby Boomer parents transfer their wealth to us over the next 40 or so years, according to Deloitte.  We’re a big demographic with many years of working and saving ahead of us — so we’ll have a growing sum of money to be managed.

The thing about that is: the sales and communication strategies that worked best on our parents aren’t necessarily the ones that will work best with us, and successfully courting this generation presents a challenge.  We were raised differently from past generations, we function differently, and we focus on community (when we can manage to focus at all), so investment management firms will need to rethink their models to cater to us — and to following generations who will be even more interconnected and dependent on global community than we are.

So, enough about me.  Join us July 14th to hear what Mr. Johnston and your peers have to say about me, or more specifically how investment management firms can best work with my generation!  And in the spirit of Gen Y (and our inability to sit still or pay attention for more than 35 seconds), the day will be cooperative and discussion-based.  Both the keynote presentation and the roundtable discussions over lunch will be interactive.  And all this completed in time to get back to the office and put your newly acquired knowledge to work before day’s end!

For more information about the program, registration, or sponsorship, please visit our website, but here are the basics:

NICSA Midwest Luncheon Workshop
with Keynote Address by D. Bruce Johnston

Thursday, July 14, 2011
10:30 am – 2:00 pm
Buckingham Athletic Club
Chicago

*Disclaimer: We had a hard copy Encyclopedia Britannica in my house (my brilliant mother won it on Jeopardy), and I used it regularly in my formative years.

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