The 9th annual Gravitas Trends thought leadership event took place on October 22nd at the Andaz Hotel on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan. The theme for this year’s event, “Growth. The New Drivers,” brought together CEOs, founders, COOs and CTOs to discuss the critical operational issues and trends that will impact hedge funds and other alternative investment vehicles in 2015.
Arriving guests were greeted by the Gravitas Robot. This robotic innovation by Apple has transformed the way we can telecommunicate -- even in the hedge fund space. This year's event moderator, Jessica Abo, TV personality and Chief Inspiration Officer at Apploi, kicked off Trends introducing Gravitas Founder and CEO Jayesh Punater. In his opening remarks, Jayesh highlighted the importance of innovation on both the investment and the operations sides of the business.
Keynote speaker Richard H. Baker, President & Chief Executive Officer of the Managed Funds Association, discussed the 2014 midterm elections and the industry effect for 2015. Keynote speaker Eash Sundaram, Chief Information Officer of JetBlue, spoke on the importance of scaling your business with technology, using supporting examples from the American low-cost airline. Keynote speaker Patrick Howard, EVP and Enterprise-Wide Head of Market Risk at BNY Mellon, touched on the importance of identifying, assessing and prioritizing risk.
Brian Walter, the Watson Global Transformation Partner Global Leader, Wealth Management and Banking & Financial Markets at IBM WATSON GROUP, Zachary Frayne, Chief Technology Officer at TPG-Axon Management, L.P., Mich Bergesen, Global Director at Landor Associates, Kurt Brungardt, Chief Information Officer & Managing Director at MSD Capital, L.P., and Mark Adams, Vice President of Corporate Development at eSentire, Inc., led roundtable dinner discussions focused on the primary industry trends for 2015: big data, branding, innovation and cybersecurity. In order to further engage guests in these intimate settings, each roundtable showcased thought provoking reel visuals specific to each trend.
Trends 2015 marked the reveal of the Gravitas Trends video, which was created by the Gravitas Marketing Team. The video features Doug Jaeger, Partner at JaegerSloan Inc, Ali Hirsa, Managing Partner of Sauma Capital, LLC and Adjunct Professor at Columbia University, Philip Vasan, Head of Private Banking Americas at Credit Suisse, Mike Greenstein, Partner & Alternative Investments Assurance Leader at PwC, and our very own Jayesh Punater, discussing their unique perspectives on the most impactful industry trends for the coming year.
Gravitas Trends was a huge success! As these emerging trends change the way the alternative industry does business in 2015, it is essential for us to embrace these changes as they happen and begin adapting our businesses accordingly.