Black Financial Professionals Gather for Conference

Shari Wright | 5/6/2009, 10:58 p.m.

Steve Sanders, Co-founder, Chairman and CEO of First Genesis Financial Group, an office of MetLife, lead a workshop at the Fourth Annual Conference for African-American Financial Professionals, April 28 and 29th. The topic was The Economy: Emergency Room Situation. Sanders compared the current economy to a sick patient; detailing the economy in a medical analogy.

In 2007 it arrived ill, had a heart attack in the 3rd quarter of 2008 due to overspending, debt build-up and loose regulation, and would need to be resuscitated or bailed-out. Now, a transplant is needed and the economy will remain on the operating table going into this summer; it will then move to ICU and onto rehab in 2010.

€While this is the worst time in the financial industry, there are 272 people registered this year, which is a major increase. People are hungry to learn,€ Sanders said. Representatives came from various financial firms such as MetLife, NorthWestern Mutual, New York Life, Prudential and State Farm Insurance Company to attend and offer their expertise at the conference, which was sponsored by MetLife, NorthWestern Mutual, Bankers Life and Casualty Company, The Washington Informer, and The American College.

Through a series of workshops, panels and discussions, with forum titles and subjects ranging from €Agent€s Action Plan: Merging the Art and the Science for Maximum Productivity,€ to €Selling in the Senior Market€ to €Marketing Matters: Keeping Pace with a Changing Environment€ majors and workers in the field of finance were able to interact with and ask about and internalize the progressive ideas of today.

Many prominent financial figures and leaders spoke at the conference, which was held at Howard University, including Carla Harris, author of Expect to Win: Proven Strategies for Success from a Wall Street Vet, Billy R. Williams who is the author of Don€t Let Your I.C.E. C.R.E.A.M. Get Messy, and President of Inspire a Nation Business Mentoring Services, Joseph L. Davis, financial advisor and insurance broker of 25 years and William Granville III, Financial Representative with the Northwestern Mutual Financial Network and Partner with Bank Financial Services Group.

All of the speakers stated their views on the state of money matters today, as well as how other industry members should handle their business transactions and do their best to stay relevant and prosperous.

Davis gave tips during his panel session about what is necessary for financial newcomers to solidify themselves in the business and make a well enough impact. His tips included finding a mentor, encouraging the purchase of things that increase in value as opposed to those that depreciate, joining a professional organization and others in the field.
€You can€t waste time doing things yourself; to get big, partner up. Joint work is key,€ Davis said.

Sanders described the €divine nature€ involved with finances.
€We need to do what€s good for the people, and forget our commission; we need to do what€s right and God will take care of our commission.€ According to Sanders financial advising can not be done without God, given the sensitivity that surrounds monetary dealings, €but we complicate the process out our own need and greed.€

The manager of First Genesis of Virginia, Kenneth Royster, explained how advice from conferences such as these can manifest into accomplishments
€I believe everything they tell me, all that is said to be successful in sales. I listen, I do it and it works.€