03 Nov 2015

Joining Together: NAFER 2015 Annual Conference

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NAFER-267We had a wonderful time at the 2015 NAFER Annual Conference in San Diego, California last month, meeting with insolvency professionals from across the country that support receiverships. We hope that all BMS clients who attended had a great time as well!

Hosted by the National Association of Federal Equity Receivers (NAFER), the conference addressed key issues and relevant topics regarding receiverships through professional panel presentations, in-depth discussions, and more.

Federal receiverships are relatively new to the insolvency industry; however, they have grown in use in recent years and their use is anticipated to continue to grow in future years as well. A federal receivership is a solution to protect the interests of persons and entities that have been harmed or potentially harmed by a business or property subject to federal jurisdiction. For example, a receivership is often imposed on businesses that have engaged in Ponzi schemes and other fraudulent activity.

Check out highlights from the conference below!

Engaging Panel Presentations

The panel presentations featured high-profile experts in the receivership world offering in-depth perspectives on many aspects of receiverships, such as ethical dilemmas faced by receivers, concluding receiverships, and recent developments in litigation relating to receiverships.


Ira Bodenstein

NAFER President Ira Bodenstein led the conference Opening Remarks—welcoming attendees and looking at the tremendous growth that the association has experienced in a short four years. As the only national forum for Federal Equity Receivers, the association has grown its membership to over 150 members, and has expanded its annual conference to now annually host over 185 attendees from across the country. A BMS client, Ira is now in his second year as president of NAFER.

“The record-setting attendance at the recent San Diego conference and the exponential growth in membership is a testament to the quality of the educational programs and the previous void which NAFER fills in the world of federal equity receiverships,” Bodenstein said. “I would like to thank BMS and all our sponsors for helping us achieve this growth.”

S. Gregory Hays

NAFER President-Elect Greg Hays presented in the panel discussion, “Things that Cause Receivers to Have Sleepless Nights,” which dove into personal liability for taxes, environmental problems, preservation of unique assets, and lawsuits against receivers. The panel made the case that a receiver should act within the receivership appointment order and make sure that the order specifically authorizes all actions that the receiver contemplates doing through the closing of the receivership. Also a BMS client, Greg will be inducted as the 2016 NAFER President at the upcoming annual conference in Washington, D.C. on October 13-15, 2016.

Other panel presentations included:

  • Advanced Fraudulent Transfer Issues – moderated by Gianluca Morello (Wiand Guerra King, Tampa, FL) featuring panelists: Robert Wing (Ray Quinney & Nebeker, Salt Lake City); Gil Miller (Rocky Mountain Advisory, Salt lake City), and John Berry (Trial Counsel, Div. of Enforcement, LA Regional Office, SEC). The panel addressed issues confronted by Irving Picard, the trustee of the Madoff estate, which may arise in federal receiverships initiated by secured creditors over a defaulting borrower. Discussion questions included: “What can be clawed back from ‘winners’?” and “Should ‘net losers’ be sued?”
  • Must-Know Quirky Litigation Issues – featuring panelists: Gary Caris (Dentons, Los Angeles); Charlene Koonce (Scheef & Stone, Dallas): Terence Banich (Shaw Fishman Glantz & Towbin, Chicago); and Edward Davis (Astirraga Davis, Miami). The panelists discussed recent developments in litigation, such as the creative use of class actions, how to deal with arbitration provisions, and requests for service under the Hague Convention in the context of pursuing international assets.

Interactive Discussions

The plethora of engaging panel presentations brought forth many in-depth discussions, especially when attendees interacted with the panels through the conference mobile app –  shedding new light on several of the topics at hand.

During the panel presentation, “Ethical Considerations for Receivers,” moderator Kathy Phelps asked the audience, “Can a receiver be ‘friends’ with an appointing judge on Facebook/LinkedIn, or the regulators that brought the receiver in?” Attendees interacted by responding to called out questions through the conference app. Attendee feedback was widely divided between: a) Yes, it would be okay as long as the judge is not presiding over the receiver’s current case; and b) No, any preferential treatment by a judge during the case would have harmful implications.

Additionally, during the previously-mentioned “Things that Cause Receivers to Have Sleepless Nights” presentation, panelist Scott Williamson answered questions from receivers on how to get started or get more work as a Federal Equity Receiver. Williamson answered that while receivers do have to be appointed, it is possible to increase one’s chances of being appointed by working on several state cases and getting referrals from former federal receivers.


BMS Team Members: Brian Soper (left), Doug Bradley (center), and Morgan Wisbey (right) present to the attendees at the NAFER 2015 conference.

BMS Booth & Presentation

As one of two diamond sponsors at the conference, we had a great time meeting with attendees from across the country at our booth. We also had a chance to inform all attendees about the BMS Advantage – specifically, our TrustWorks software with its deeply integrated banking functionality combined with the unique-to-the-industry levels of customer support and service. Many attendees commented that they enjoyed our presentation and wanted to learn more about TrustWorks for their receiverships.

MacBook Air Raffle

Throughout the week, we ramped up our interaction with attendees by putting together a special conference quiz which allowed attendees to enter into a raffle for a MacBook Air!

NAFER 2015 - Macbook Air

Congratulations to Peter Davidson, Partner at Ervin Cohen & Jessup LLP, who won the raffle!

Questions included “True or False: A party in litigation nominates a receiver; the court then appoints the receiver,” and “What percentage of NAFER members use BMS software?” Many participants thought that 90 percent of NAFER members were BMS clients; however, the answer is 17 percent! Foreshadowing…for sure!

BMS Recharge Room

In addition to giveaways at the BMS Booth, attendees were invited to refresh and recharge at the BMS Recharge Room. Snacks and beverages were provided, as well as a station for attendees to recharge their phones, tablets and laptops.

BMS Cocktail Reception & Dinner at Osetra

On Friday night, BMS hosted a cocktail reception and dinner at San Diego’s Osetra Fishhouse. We had a fantastic evening networking with receivers and restructuring professionals from across the country, along with reuniting with many BMS clients amidst refreshing cocktails and delicious bites! What a way to cap off this amazing conference!

BMS Dinner during NAFER 2015 at Osetra

Guests enjoying the BMS dinner during NAFER 2015 at Osetra Fishhouse