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A new year means new initiatives, programs at NICSA

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Since joining the leadership team at NICSA, I have witnessed a remarkable transformation across the group and the industry as a whole.

NICSA, an asset management trade association, and our members, have strong, relevant and diverse voices in every important market segment in the global asset management industry.

Our group aims to gather new member firms that see the value and benefit from added focus on front-office business lines every year. And every year, more asset managers, broker dealers, advisors and wealth managers are coming to the NICSA table to share ideas and solutions to industry challenges.

Much of our success comes from connecting and leveraging the thought leadership of a vibrant asset management community.

From specific best practices to leading industry trends, our diverse membership continues to drive programs aimed at enhancing business models and benefiting investors.

Acting in many ways as a platform for industry dialogue, NICSA has a bird's-eye view of the creative solution trends that are top of mind for industry executives.

Technology initiatives are crafting client service offerings. Data management strategies are shaping distribution models. Creative product development and strategic intermediary partnerships are driving the development of asset allocation models. We see firsthand how collaboration among industry leaders can effectively spark innovative solutions to critical business issues.

As we move into 2020, NICSA is proud to connect all facets of the global asset management community in order to develop, share, implement and advance leading practices in many of these areas.

In the coming months, NICSA will take on a new look and feel — a refreshed brand, if you will. We are excited to bring our members a host of new content and community engagement tools in 2020. We welcome your feedback and encourage your input.

Another important focus for NICSA in 2020 will be accelerating diversity and inclusion within the asset management industry.

Late last year, NICSA launched the Diversity Project North America, a cross-company program that distinguishes itself through collaborative leadership among senior executive-level business leaders who control headcount and budgets, and who have the power to solicit and effect change within their organizations.

Executives involved in the Diversity Project understand that diversity and inclusion are essential parts of business sustainability. They are ready to pilot programs and processes, to spend budget dollars and to employ their own teams on actionable best practices.

Much of the work the Diversity Project North America is doing is aimed at setting an example for how business leaders can own the diversity issue, in conjunction with HR, and embed inclusion into the day-to-day fabric of how they run their businesses.

It is this top-down approach that we feel makes the Diversity Project unique, and provides the project's mission with the best chances for success. To date, the Diversity Project North America has onboarded over 30 firms (and growing) that have demonstrated a keen interest in moving the needle in a positive direction on the diversity and inclusion front.

Senior executives across the asset management industry have been acutely focused on addressing key trends and challenges resulting from evolving business environments — issues such as intermediary partnerships, fee compression, shelf space, tech-inspired client services, product structure and data analytics, to name a few. NICSA has listened — and evolved.

We have expanded our reach among global asset management industry participants over the past several years.

NICSA membership now spans a vast array of business lines, including distribution, technology and data science.

Industry focus on topics such as product development, artificial intelligence, digitization and the use of analytics has led to new committees, events and content at NICSA.

As a trade association that serves all facets of the asset management industry, covering a vast array of business functions, NICSA is in a unique position to offer our members a broad platform upon which firms can build best practices for executing strategies and programs. As the industry evolves, so will we.

We hope to continue connecting a diverse set of members and accelerating the best practices that ultimately serve investors worldwide.

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