CHICAGO, June 15, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- HighTower's second annual Apex conference, held June 2-4, brought provocative insights from the financial services industry and beyond to over 300 attendees at the Ritz-Carlton Chicago. Keynoters Jeffrey Gundlach and Daniel Pink set the pace for a high-powered roster of speakers, addressing the trends and challenges that will shape the industry for years to come.
"When brilliant thinkers and industry iconoclasts come together, new opportunities for disruption emerge," said HighTower CEO Elliot Weissbluth. "Our second annual Apex event captured the dynamic culture of innovation, growth and collaboration that drives HighTower's elite advisors."
Mr. Gundlach, CEO and Chief Investment Officer of DoubleLine Capital, predicted the Federal Reserve will not raise interest rates in 2015, contrary to popular belief. "When hourly earnings are rising, it's a good signal the Fed will raise rates," he said. "It's one of the most important indicators. If it goes higher, I think the Fed will have a clearance to tighten, but we're not there yet." A renowned expert in bond and fixed-income investments, Mr. Gundlach also countered the notion that junk bonds do well in a rising interest-rate environment.
Mr. Pink is the author of five provocative books, including the long-running New York Times bestsellers "A Whole New Mind," and "Drive." Discussing his latest bestseller, "To Sell is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others," he offered a fresh take on the art and science of sales. "Having access to information doesn't give you an advantage – the ability to curate information does," he said, stressing that careful listening is key to understanding a client's interests.
In addition to the keynote speakers, this year's event included a session entitled "The Power of Brand," featuring Mr. Weissbluth and Steve Hayden, co-creator of the famous "1984" campaign for Apple and one of the most celebrated and admired creative leaders in advertising. Mr. Hayden, who worked closely with Mr. Weissbluth on the development of the HighTower brand, said brand building is a "steady investment…brands are more important than ever [because they] are ownable. They save us time and money."
The HighTower Shark Cage featured four members of 1871, Chicago's hub for digital startups, who presented their companies' value propositions and offerings to the financial services industry. They were then judged by a panel of three innovator executives: Howard Tullman of 1871, Jud Bergman of Envestnet and Steve Hayden of Ogilvy. The audience vote went to Robert Brown's "Options Away," which offers airline options as a cheap and convenient way to hold the best airfare price while you finalize travel plans.
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HighTower is an industry-leading financial services firm offering a unique platform that blends objective wealth management advice with innovative technology. Our dedication to transparency in wealth management for investors and comprehensive support for independent advisors sets us apart. See www.hightoweradvisors.com.