President's Message-January 2019

Message from ACIC President

Happy New Year to all!  It seems that every year goes by quicker than the last. Before 2019 kicks into high gear and my mind wipes out 2018, I wanted to reflect upon 2018 for a moment.

Both of our conferences were fantastic.  We had record attendance for the Spring Forum in Chicago, which was co-chaired by Cathy Hood (Pillsbury Winthrop) and Bill Bulmer (Prudential).  Bill and Cathy wove in a tour of Chicago and we ended the Thursday presentations the way all Chicagoans would like to end a busy day, with deep dish pizza (no offense to our brethren from New York), Chicago style hot dogs and other local favorites.  Likewise, our Annual Meeting in New York, co-chaired by Sarah Smith (Akin Gump) and Michael Shepherd (Genworth), drew record attendance.  The Canterbury Tales theme of the Annual Meeting took me back to my high school days and I am sure I was not the only one as I heard some people reciting the prologue (in old English no less) from memory.  Although we were not able to deliver a jousting tournament, we did have mead.  Our thanks go out to Cathy, Bill, Sarah and Michael and the many moderators and panelists who put substantial time into making the conferences so valuable and entertaining to the attendees.

And let’s not forget about the one-hour CLE programs hosted by the Education Committee.  In March we learned about the LIBOR Phase Out, which continues to be a hot topic as evidenced by the 130 registrants! In July and November we heard about The Evolution of Private Placement Documentation in the Global Marketplace and Key Topics in State Insurance Law, also well-attended events. 

At the Annual Meeting we elected some new trustees and said good-bye to others.  We gave special thanks to Ann King (Sunlife), Charles Kolin (Greenberg), My Chi To (Debevoise) and Brenda Page (Hartford) for their years of service on the board.  We also acknowledged Carolyn Alford (King & Spalding) as she rotated out of her role as President; although she will remain as a trustee.  The College benefited from Carolyn’s dedication, hard work and leadership as an officer and trustee of the College for many years. 

The board will meet in February for its annual strategic planning session.  One of the primary areas of focus will be how the College can continue to provide and increase value to our members.  As an organization we provide great content – the conferences, the one-hour CLE events and the forms documents we create are a few examples – and I would like to explore how we deliver that content. For example, can we make a panel presentation available on our website for members to view later?  Through the great efforts of our past leaders, the College finds itself in a relatively comfortable financial position and so we can start to consider upgrades to our website that may make that possible, in addition to upgrades to improve the administrative functionality of the website. We would love to hear other ideas from you, so please reach out to your favorite trustee.

Our 2019 “Golden Gavel” Spring Forum (a spoof on award shows) will be co-chaired by Jenna Jenson (Thrivent) and Kate Lindsay (Akin Gump).  This is sure to be a lively and interactive program about matters that impact the College.  The Spring Forum will be held at the Four Seasons Hotel April 4th & 5th; a little earlier in April than usual so be sure to bring your winter coats.  Keep an eye out for the save-the-date and hotel reservation information that should be coming your way in the very near future.

I’m very proud that we have such an active and engaged community.  Thank you to all of you who have participated in the various conferences, CLE events and our various committees (TPMC, Education, Development, Website and Social Media, Membership, Nominating and Communications).  It is with your dedication, assistance and hard work that our College is thriving.