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The Financial Communications Forum to Provide Insight on Enhancing Customer Relationships

Press release from the issuing company

Boston, MA – November 27, 2003 – Insight Forums, LLC, today announced that the Financial Communications Forum will offer senior-level management, marketing, and Information Technology (IT) professionals with information on the latest technology and communication strategies to help financial companies better reach and support their customers. A major focus of this year's event, taking place at the Sheraton Boston Hotel December 15-16, is on cultivating and maintaining personal customer relationships in a market that is experiencing tight IT budgets and restrictive industry regulations. The content for the conference has been developed by Art Plus Technology in collaboration with an advisory board representing industry leaders such as Schwab Retirement Services, Fidelity Investments, Manulife Financial, Pershing LLC, ADP Retirement Services, and Columbia Management Group. The Financial Communications Forum helps attendees understand and leverage document design, publishing technology, workflow processes, and delivery strategies for more effective customer communications. In June 2003, IDC, a leading industry-analyst firm, surveyed 27 banks about their strategic priorities and the role that IT will play in addressing these priorities. The leading responses were: Managing the Customer Relationship, Meeting Regulatory Requirements, Managing Risk, Reducing Costs, and Attracting New Customers. In addition, the conference offers attendees with real-world, proven communication tactics and strategies. "Financial marketers have fewer dollars to spend and their customers have less free time – targeted, meaningful, relevant communication is the best way to break through with a message that resonates. Both new and established institutions across all fields of finance are surprisingly turning to similar approaches to customer relationship marketing during these times of tighter marketing budgets," said Bill Wreaks, President of the Financial Communications Society. New to this year's event is a special focus track on the impact of industry regulation on financial communications and customer relationship management. Judith Hasenauer, principal with the law firm of Blazzard, Grodd & Hasenauer, P.C. and the chair of the National Association of Variable Annuities (NAVA) Regulatory Affairs Committee will kick off this regulatory focus with an executive briefing on regulations affecting marketing, sales, and account management communications. This year's conference program (http://sales.insightforums.com/insight/cfagenda.html) includes a broad range of topics, including: - Measuring the Effectiveness of Financial Communications - Patriot Act – Compliance Without Disruption - The Impact of Do Not Call and Anti-Spam Legislation on the Sales Process - Electronic Presentment and Archiving - Regulatory Impact on Customer Relationship Management - Evaluating Content Management Needs - E-Mail Accountability and Compliance: Issues, Trends, and Alternatives - Designing Award-Winning Communications In a recent American Bankers Association (ABA) and TowerGroup study, survey findings indicate that banks will leverage customer relationships to increase revenues and reduce costs by managing risks and improving efficiency of customer service. Further, ABA executive-vice president, Edward L. Yingling recently stated, "Banks are eager to invest in technology that will improve services for their customers." In addition to the comprehensive conference program, technology companies exhibiting their latest technology solutions for the financial marketplace include Art Plus Technology, Data Impact, EPSIIA, Exstream, GMC Software Technology, Group 1 Software, Oce, and Standard Register. The 2003 Financial Communications platinum sponsors include Art Plus Technology (APT) and Arnerich Massena & Associates, Inc. "2004 is the year when the industry will begin to see the tangible results of a range of long-term cost management projects. The heart of today's IT spending story is strategic cost management. And the question all financial institutions should be asking is, How can I save money in existing IT budgets, in order to spend money to innovate and compete?" said Virginia Garcia, senior analyst in the financial services strategies and IT Investments practice at TowerGroup. "Our Advisory Council has requested a program that addresses business and technology issues as they relate to improving relationships between financial institutions and their customers," said Elizabeth Gooding, President of Art Plus Technology. "Each year, the Financial Communications Forum helps to raise the standards of investor communications. After a hiatus last year due to the impact of the September 11th tragedies on the financial community, we are ready to once again offer this community with a very unique and essential event." To learn more or to register contact Joe Richard at 781-821-6734, [email protected]