Spring is here in Minnesota. Even if the weather occasionally is lousy I still enjoy this time of year, as the first two weeks of April bring the NCAA championship game, the Masters, the home opener for the Twins, the Wild in the NHL playoffs, and the end of another Timberwolves season. I also seem to enjoy this time of year much more than when I was a CFA candidate, especially as we get closer to Memorial Day.
I apologize for skipping my monthly letter in March – there was way too much basketball to watch. Despite my preoccupation with the Blue Raiders of Middle Tennessee, the Northern Iowa Panthers and all the other lower seeds that pulled off upsets, Society staff and volunteers were still providing value-add programming to our members. Since my last letter the Society has offered multiple lunches, a Distinguished Speaker Series presentation, an After Market Appetizers event at Surly and the Upper Midwest Research Challenge finals.
In mid-March we also hosted the first ever CFA Institute conference held in the upper Midwest, when the Wealth Management conference came to Minneapolis. Almost 200 people from around the world attended the two day event. The presentations included a variety of engaging topics on behavioral finance, fundamental indexing, philanthropy, asset allocation, and many other topics pertinent to a financial advisor. With roughly a quarter of all charterholders now working in wealth management this conference was very relevant to our membership.
Two final thoughts. First, I want to wish the best of luck to the North Dakota State Research Challenge team as they head to Chicago on April 11th to compete in the CFA Institute Research Challenge Super Regionals (and hopefully the International Finals the next day). They did a fabulous job at the Regional finals in February and will be a tough team to beat.
Second, I want to personally thank Kris Kautzman for the work she did for the Society over the past five years. Many of you knew her through her work on volunteer coordination, member engagement, or with our prep classes. She has moved on to her dream job, combining her non-profit expertise with her love of music, and I wish her all the best.
Joshua M. Howard, CFA
President, CFA Society Minnesota