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To say we’re living through times of great change would be a dramatic understatement. Across the business and political landscapes, the economy, and in our everyday lives the breakneck pace of change is disrupting norms. Ultimately, recognizing and embracing change is the path to sustainable growth. That’s how you turn the tide.

“Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.” — John F. Kennedy

The IPA is changing too — quite literally. Our new name, the Institute for Portfolio Alternatives, reflects our determination to strengthen our role as the definitive voice for the Portfolio Diversifying Investments industry. The IPA will continue to be a resource for advisers, RIAs, investment managers, the investing public, lawmakers, regulators and the media. And as the pre-eminent industry advocate — the primary source for data, thought leadership, news and policy guidelines — the IPA will remain firmly positioned at the crossroads for professional connections across the PDI industry.

We’ve also strengthened our approach to policy advocacy. Anya Coverman joined our team last fall to lead the IPA’s government affairs initiatives. Her deep insights on securities regulation and legislation make her an invaluable resource for our members. Notably, we also launched the IPA Political Action Committee. IPA PAC will bind together our common purpose, so we can collectively make federal and state contributions to political candidates who support our initiatives.

We all recognize that changes in the PDI industry are occurring at a rapid pace. Perpetual life/NAV REITs, interval funds, private placement offerings and closed-end funds are all evolving, along with the needs of financial advisers and retail investors. Today’s PDI products offer more flexible structures, enhanced transparency and lower fees, while large institutions are expanding distribution in the wirehouse channel. New technology is transforming how our businesses operate, offering a more seamless experience for investors.

In the pages ahead, you’ll read about the ever-changing regulatory and legislative environment that affects our industry. The IPA’s 2018 policy advocacy agenda remains proactively engaged on a range of important initiatives, including: finalizing legislation to modernize business development companies, engaging the Securities and Exchange Commission on standards of conduct for investment advisers and broker-dealers, fixes to Section 12(g), an updated accredited investor definition and continued momentum on e-signature and straight-through processing.

According to the 18th Annual Edelman Trust Barometer, a global study of more than 33,000 respondents in 28 countries, trust and credibility are changing too. This year’s study shows significant gains across the broader business community, including CEOs, who recorded a seven-percentage point gain over the last study. Other expert voices, including technical and academic experts, financial industry analysts, and successful entrepreneurs, are now enjoying credibility levels over 50 percent.

As I scan today’s industry landscape and consider where we’ve been, I recognize that this era is an incredible opportunity for the IPA and its members. The future belongs to those who embrace change.  The IPA is proud to represent the thought leaders leading the change on behalf of the main street investor.

Anthony Chereso
President & CEO
Institute for Portfolio Alternatives