HOLLYWOOD, FLA. - Attendance at BISA’s annual conference is back up this year, according to Association President Marc Vosen.

A total of 610 people came to the conference this year, compared with 450 in 2010. And this year saw the highest ratio of depository institution members ever, at 45%.

“This is the second-largest conference we’ve had and we have more folks by depository institutions than ever before,” Vosen told the crowd.

This may have something to do with the surprising change in the executive management of BISA from DSG’s Heywood Sloan and Bob Greib to Smith Bucklin’s Jim McNeil, a change that was announced toward the end of last year. According to Vosen, the shift to Smith Bucklin was instigated by a need for the association to grow beyond its current size. McNeil is formerly a member of the Bank Administration Institution, a huge banking association.

“Our organization has gone through tremendous changes,” Vosen. “We think we have the train on the right track pointed in the right direction.”

“Change isn’t easy,” he added and proceeded to thank a group of people who “put monumental amounts of time into making these changes.” These included John Hartigan of Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, Dick Starr of the Financial Institutions Group, Keith Pipes, executive vice president of Wescom Credit Union, Dan Overby of Bankunited Investment Services, Sam Guerrieri of M&T Bank, Rob Comfort of Huntington Investments, Randy Reynolds, managing director of Pershing, Dan Arnold, managing director of LPL Financial, Rich Koll of Essex National Securities and John Vaughan, president of BB&T Investment Securities.

Jim McNeil, the new executive director, told attendees that “we’re in a strong position to serve all of you. We have depth of talent and resources to grow into the future. We are committed to help you grow professionally. Every financial institution is focused on where to go next, how to replace non interest income. This is a huge opportunity to get at the table and be part of that strategy.”

He also said there was a huge opportunity to rebuild the trust with american consumers, to help them secure their financial future.


BISA instituted a new award by inducting three people into the circle of excellence: Dan Arnold, Randy Reynolds, and Vosen. The circle is currently occupied by past executives of the year and lifetime achievement award winners including Vaughn, Guerrieri, Comfort, Hartigan, Starr, Kevin  Crowe of Metlife Investors, Anne Dunne of Primevest, Kenneth Kehrer, the founder of Kehrer-Limra, John Lewis, vice president of BMO Life Insurance at the Bank of Montreal, Bob Mittel, vice president at Prudential, Mike Mortensen, president of PNC Investments. Also included but not present were Deborah Benot, Jordan Miller, Maryann Bruce and Dwight Moody.