ADISA 2018 Annual Conference Sets Record Attendance

Oct 23, 2018

ADISA's 2018 Annual Conference & Trade Show, held October 8 – 10 in Las Vegas, drew more than 1,000 attendees from the alternative, direct investment space for the association’s largest conference to-date.

“ADISA’s 2018 Annual Conference & Trade Show was full of energy and excitement as leaders in the alternative investment space met to discuss the latest trends and learn about products and regulatory affairs,” said John Harrison, executive director of ADISA. “NBA legend and Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame inductee Earvin “Magic” Johnson delivered a fantastic keynote address, where he shared his entrepreneurial story and entertaining anecdotes about his career. We thank everyone who participated in the conference and are looking forward to a successful 2019.”

The conference included approximately 40 educational sessions covering qualified opportunity funds, Section 1031 exchange investments, private equity, energy, conservation easements, legislative and regulatory updates, real estate investment trusts, business development companies and more. The agenda included four sessions with FINRA and state regulators in attendance.

Conference attendance was evenly split between two primary industry groups – product sponsors and affiliates, and broker-dealers, RIAs and financial advisors. Additionally, ADISA’s post-conference survey results indicated a 4.5 out of 5 in overall satisfaction. The number of exhibitors grew 14 percent from the association’s 2017 Annual Conference & Trade Show with approximately 80 exhibitors overall.
The conference kicked off on Monday night as ADISA announced the 2018 winners of its A Champion of Excellence (ACE), Distinguished Services and President's awards. 

  • The ACE Award was posthumously presented to John Williams, co-founder and former chief executive officer of Preferred Apartment Communities. 
  • The Distinguished Service Award was presented to two individuals, Dave Laga, chief financial officer and director of due diligence of DFPG Investments, and Brian Buehler, partner with Triton Pacific Investment Corporation.
  • The President’s Award was presented to John Grady, partner with DLA Piper.
At the industry update general session, Taylor Garrett with Mountain Dell Consulting reported that the Section 1031 exchange investment industry has raised nearly $1.9 billion in equity through the beginning of October 2018 and is on track to raise approximately $2.4 billion by year-end. The market is raising approximately $6.7 million per day and the expected yearly total will be a 23 percent increase from 2017. There are 35 active sponsors year-to-date in 2018, up five from 30 active sponsors in 2017.

Qualified opportunity funds, a new entrant to the alternative, direct investment space as a result of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, were covered in two sessions during the conference. Qualified opportunity funds capture private equity that flows into new Opportunity Zones and are designed to incentivize investment capital into designated census tracts nationwide. Greg Genovese with Sound West Realty Capital said, “Qualified opportunity funds can help move billions of dollars in unrealized capital gains from almost any source, including stocks, mutual funds and real estate, off the sidelines through generous tax incentives and into communities designated as ‘Opportunity Zones.’”

Mainstreaming alternatives expert Bob Rice, author of The Alternative answer: The Nontraditional Investments that Drive the World’s Best-Performing Portfolios, provided the closing guest speaker address. Rice drew upon his more than 30 years of experience as a lawyer, banker and consultant for institutional investors, asset managers and financial advisors to discuss investing in non-traditional asset classes.

ADISA hosts three conferences each year, with upcoming events including its:
  • 2019 Spring Conference, April 1 – 3 at the Marriott San Antonio Rivercenter in San Antonio, Texas,
  • 2019 AI Research & Due Diligence Forum, July 18 – 19 at The Mayflower in Washington D.C., and
  • 2019 Annual Conference & Trade Show, October 14 – 16 at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.