For startups looking for funding, the Milken Institute Global Conference is not a bad place to be to learn from some of the most creative minds in the venture capital industry. The conference featured a colorful panel discussion entitled How New Investors Are Influencing Venture Capital. SmartBrief chatted with Dave McClure, founding partner of 500 Startups, after the session to hear more of his thoughts on the current VC landscape.

There was a lot of talk during the panel about whether or not we are in the middle of a VC bubble in the US, but you said you are more concerned about China. Why?

I would love to be investing in China. There are great entrepreneurs there, but I think $#!+ is overvalued. It is starting to calm down a little bit now. The public market in China blew up during the last year or so. The private markets are still a little crazy, but maybe that will calm down enough for us to jump in more frequently next year. (read more…)

The economy is on the mind of virtually every American these days. CME Group Managing Director and Chief Economist was on hand Tuesday at the Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills, Calif., to participate in the “U.S. Overview: Will Recovery Prevail?” panel (scroll down for video of the session). SmartBrief caught up with Putnam after the panel to talk commodities and other factors that are bound to impact the U.S. and global economy.

What impact will the strategic plan released recently by Saudi Arabia have on global oil markets?

What we are learning about the Middle East is that they planned for $80-$100 per barrel oil prices forever. Now with prices at $40 or $45, they are really hurting. The Saudis actually had to go borrow money, and that hasn’t happened in forever. These countries are basically producing flat-out and we are going to see even more production with Iraq and Iran coming into the market. (read more…)

Technologies like blockchain and artificial intelligence were hot topics at the Milken Institute Global Conference this week in Beverly Hills, Calif. The “The Transformation of Finance: Technology’s Impact on Wall Street” panel featured Nasdaq President and COO Adena Friedman (scroll down for video of the panel discussion). SmartBrief chatted with Friedman after the panel to hear her thoughts on how certain technological advances are changing the way Wall Street does business.

What did you think of the discussion during the panel about blockchain; particularly the concern about public blockchain vs private blockchain?

I was on the same panel last year and all the focus was on robo-advisors. I mentioned the topic of the blockchain once and people didn’t know what I was talking about. One year later, everyone knows about it. It is really interesting to see how quickly the concept of the technology has been adopted and turned mainstream. Now it is about turning that concept into a reality. (read more…)

Broadridge Financial Solutions is making news at this week’s SIFMA Ops conference in Miami with the unveiling of its Global Post Trade Management solution, a tool that enables investment banks and broker-dealers to standardize post-trade processing via a consolidated platform. By doing away with duplicative operations and connecting information that was previously siloed, GPTM helps banks and broker-dealers reduce costs. A major investment bank has already adopted GPTM.

“Financial institutions globally are adjusting to a new market and regulatory landscape that requires more information and increased transparency for regulators, clients and their risk and finance functions,” said Celent analyst Arin Ray. “As a result, standardized and streamlined post-trade processing and management across all capital markets functions is increasingly critical. The GPTM solution is an innovative platform built on Broadridge’s proven technology capabilities and decades of expertise and is designed to meet banks’ current needs as well as provide a model for future strategic business growth.”

Using GPTM, banks and broker-dealers will be able to realize operational efficiencies and reduce costs by streamlining operations across markets, asset classes and businesses globally. (read more…)

The direct participation program industry appears poised for strong growth as a dynamic environment lies ahead for its products, say Investment Program Association Chairman Tom Sittema, CEO of CNL Financial Group, and Chair-elect Mitchell Sabshon, president and CEO of Inland Real Estate Investment Corp.

Sittema and Sabshon also discuss their commitment to the IPA and the association’s importance to the industry. (read more…)