The theme of this year’s convention, “Connect, Grow, Succeed,” represents the many networking and educational opportunities the event offers. There is no better place for you to connect with industry leaders and gain information that will help you grow both personally and professionally so that you will succeed.

This year’s convention committee, chaired by Jill A.G. Zellmer of GE Capital, Corporate Finance, has worked hard to create a program that will ensure that your time spent at the CFA convention will be well worth the days out of the office.

Our keynote speaker, sponsored by RedRidge Finance Group, is Dr. Robert M. Gates, Secretary of Defense (2006-2011). He will offer his perspective on the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars.

This year’s convention has top-quality content to offer as well, including two general sessions. The first, “Views from the Top,” sponsored by Clear Thinking Group, is moderated by Barry Bobrow of Wells Fargo Capital Finance. Four of the top players in commercial finance will discuss how their strategies have been shaped by their parent organizations, their views on the current environment, and what challenges and opportunities they see for the market going forward. Panelists include John E. Goldthorpe, Chase Business Credit; Henry Jordan, Wells Fargo Capital Finance; Jeffrey McLane, Bank of America Merrill Lynch; and Thomas M. Quindlen, GE Capital Corporate Finance.

The second general session, “Loving and Mastering the Art of the Deal,” features Anthony Smith, an advocate, practitioner and master coach of breakthrough leadership, which empowers the performance of corporate CEOs, executives, public leaders and entrepreneurs to reach business success that exceeds any reasonable expectation.

There will also be nine educational panels to keep you current on what is happening in the industry. Here are a few highlights:

In “Factoring Unplugged: Experienced Insight into Tomorrow’s Challenges,” attendees will gain valuable insight from industry leaders with extensive experience and broad perspective on market, credit and management trends to help you face tomorrow’s challenges.

Interested in cross-border issues? Then be sure to attend “Global Case Study: Things to Consider When Asset-Based Lending Crosses International Borders.” This panel will discuss case studies concerning recent transactions completed in the cross-border space and demonstrate the dynamic structural and legal perspectives of lending within Canada, Mexico and Europe.

Economists from JP Morgan Chase and Bank of America Merrill Lynch Global Research will discuss the outlook for growth, inflation and policy in the year ahead in “The Economic Outlook: Boom, Bust or Both?”

In “But He Had an Honest Face!” you will hear from a crisis manager who has overseen large fraud cases, an FBI supervisory special agent who handles criminal cases involving insider trading and fraud, the author of a book on spotting deception, a leading forensic accountant and the head of a firm that performs background checks for lenders.

The CFA convention also offers exceptional networking opportunities. Wednesday evening promises to be special. The opening reception will be held at The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum. Friday night will be a fun evening with tickets to two hit Broadway plays  (Jersey Boys and How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying) available for purchase.

CFA is also offering its Advanced Account Management Workshop immediately before the convention on November 15-16 at the Marriott Marquis. The workshop is designed to assist the account manager in navigating complex issues pertaining to borrowers in asset-based lending especially in a difficult economic climate. Those who register for both the workshop and the convention will receive 20% off of the convention registration fee.

For a full list of activities and to register, visit