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Your Complete Guide to the ABA Regulatory Compliance Conference in New Orleans

11 min read
May 29, 2019

Every year, the American Bankers Association hosts the Regulatory Compliance Conference. This is one of the premier events for compliance professionals in the country, and this year, it’s happening in New Orleans! From what to pack, to where to eat, this is the complete guide to how to have a successful ABA RCC.

The ABA Regulatory Compliance Conference will be kicking off in a few weeks in New Orleans. From June 9 through 12, almost two thousand banking compliance professionals will be in the Crescent City. There will be plenty of bankers, regulators, and of course, vendors. Will you be one of them?

If so, you probably want to make sure that you have a successful conference! This post will provide you all the basics you need to know to make the most of the ABA RCC next month.

In this post, you’ll learn how to prepare for a successful ABA RCC in New Orleans from June 9-12!

Remember, TRUPOINT was acquired by Ncontracts earlier this year! That means that there will just be the one Ncontracts booth, although a lot of your friends from TRUPOINT will be in attendance. (More on that later.)

For now, let’s jump right in, starting with what to pack:

What to Pack for the ABA RCC

As we’ve said before, conferences are a marathon, not a sprint.  The ABA RCC is one of the top conferences in the industry, so it’s got a ton to offer, but it can be easy to get overwhelmed.

You will have four days jam-packed with sessions, roundtables, exhibit hall walks, catered lunches, dinner invitations, and more. Plus, since the conference is happening in New Orleans in the summer, you need to be prepared for the humidity.

To help you pack for this amazing event, here is a short list of things to remember:

  • Bring Your Phone and/or Tablet and Download the Mobile App
    • The ABA does a fantastic job of providing lots of opportunities for an engaging digital experience, particularly through the mobile app. Make sure to download it on your phone and/or tablet, so that you can connect with other attendees, get easy access to presentations, take notes, answer surveys, and get live updates as they happen.
    • Ncontracts will also be announcing the winners of our daily and all-conference drawings on the app. We’ll have lots of smaller gifts, plus a few larger ones! If you don’t have the app, you might not find out if you won until after the conference is over!
    • The app does not appear to have been released yet, so keep an eye on your email from updates from the conference organizers.
  • Wear Comfortable Walking Shoes
    • This year, the ABA RCC will be taking place at the Hyatt Regency New Orleans. This is a pretty big conference venue, with multiple floors and a lot of different spaces for sessions. (Check out the floor plan here.)
    • This is not the conference for sky-high heels. Make sure to wear comfortable walking shoes, so that you can focus on learning and networking, rather than trying to find a comfortable place to rest.
  • Wear Breathable Clothing, And Bring Layers
    • New Orleans in June can be pretty muggy, but conference venues are often kept cold. To thread both needles, we recommend wearing breathable clothing (like a linen button-down), and packing an extra layer with you.
    • If you tend to run warm, you may want to pack a small fan, just in case.
  • Bring Business Cards
    • The last thing you want to do is run out of business cards at the conference! You’ll be using them for networking, as well as to enter to win prizes. Bring more than you think you need. It’s better to take some home with you than it is to try to print out your name, title, company, and email on small pieces of paper at the conference business center. There are going to be just under 2,000 attendees; even if you only meet 5% of them, you will need 100 business cards.

In addition, we always recommend to pack some convenience items to make sure that you feel comfortable during the conference. You may want to consider bringing the following:

  • Mints or gum
  • Travel-sized toothbrush and toothpaste, or Wisps
  • Band-aids
  • Extra hair elastics, clips, or combs
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Deodorant

Define Your Top 3 Goals

Attending a conference like the ABA RCC represents a substantial investment on the part of your financial institution. To ensure that your institution's money and time is well-spent, you’ll want to outline some key goals for the conference. Do you want to make new industry contacts? Learn more about a specific area of compliance your bank is focused on? Get a bunch of free resources? Research a potential new compliance software? Find out more about the Trupoint acquisition? Win a prize that you can take home to your grandchildren? No matter what your goal is, spending a little time thinking about it can help ensure that the conference is a success.

banking-conference-successIn general, we recommend that you build a short list (1-3 bullet points) of goals for the conference. Rank them in order from most to least important, and then draft a little plan for how to achieve them.

For example, if learning more about UDAAP is a key goal, you’ll want to spend some time with the schedule to ensure that you don’t miss a session. If you’re looking for an all-in-one compliance partner, it may be wise to review the exhibitor list to find out who you want to meet.

Find Out Who You Want to Meet

One of the great things about industry conferences is that you get a chance to meet other industry professionals, as well as thought leaders like regulators and lobbyists.

To find out who is going to be there and who you want to meet, review the schedule and look at the names of the moderators and speakers, and check out the vendors. If your goal is to connect with other attendees, the app is a wonderful way to talk to other compliance professionals.

This conference is exceptional for networking. That said,  if you don't approach it strategically, it may be hard to meet people.

We hope that part of your plan is to meet our team!

As mentioned above, TRUPOINT was recently acquired by Ncontracts. Since we’re now part of Ncontracts, there will only be the Ncontracts booth, so look for us there! It’s booth 313.

For current customers, this will be a great chance to meet your account managers and even see some of the Ncontracts leadership team.

Below are some of the faces from the company formerly known as TRUPOINT that will be so excited to meet you:

          Trey-Sullivan-CEO-TRUPOINT  Kimberly-Boatwright-Compliance-TRUPOINT  Justin-Smith-TRUPOINT   Mark-Piccolo-TRUPOINT    

         Harrison-Shaw-TRUPOINT   Jordan-Hicks-TRUPOINT   Katie-Headshot   Kinsey-Sullivan-TRUPOINT

From left to right: Trey Sullivan, President; Kimberly Boatwright, CAMS, CRCM; Justin Smith, VP - Relationship Management; Mark Piccolo, VP - Relationship Management; Harrison Shaw, Account Manager; Jordan Hicks, Relationship Development Rep.; Katie O'Brien, Relationship Development; Kinsey Sullivan, Marketing.

Determine which Sessions You Want to Attend

As we’ve written before, you would be surprised how many people just show up to a conference without really planning what they want to see. This is a recipe for stress, and increases the chance you miss that important event you really wanted to attend.

The ABA RCC always has a lot of fantastic sessions. This year, they have their sessions organized into the following different tracks:

  • COMPL - Compliance Risk Management (Governance/Measuring, Reporting/Exam Management)
  • LEGAL - Legal/Regulatory Risk
  • CONSMR - Consumer Protection
  • LENDING - Lending
  • LEADER - Leadership/Talent Management: The Futured Focused Compliance Officer
  • INFOSEC - Information Security/Financial Crimes
  • INNOV-A - Innovation Track A: Tech Tools for Compliance Officers - Understanding How it is All Changing
  • INNOV-B - Innovation Track B: Technology Priority Issues: Challenges and Solutions
  • INNOV-C - Innovation Track C: Technology Planning and Managing for the Future

Depending on your goals, you could decide to follow all the sessions in a particular track, or you could mix-and-match. Here are a few of the sessions that we are most excited about this year:

  • Deep Dive 1D: Next Gen Compliance Management Systems: This Ain't Your Grandma's CMS!
    • CMS 3.0 is here but what should it look like? This panel will address practical approaches for all bank sizes to further develop an evolving CMS that is dynamic and responsive to regulatory changes and expectations, while addressing industry trends, and providing tactical tools to better leverage your own risk indicators.
      • Moderator: Maureen Carollo, CRCM, CAMS, Senior Vice President, Director of Compliance, Great Plains Bank
      • Speakers:
        • Stephanie Boryla, Senior Vice President, Chief Compliance Officer, UMB Financial Corporation
        • Pamela Perdue, Executive Vice President and Chief Regulatory Officer, Continuity
        • Thomas W. Williams, CRCM, CCBIA, ACT Specialist, Senior Vice President, United Bank
  • Deep Dive 1F: A Banker's Guide to New HMDA Data
    • You survived the 2018 HMDA data collection and reporting processes. What do you do now?  After a review of what the national aggregate data, our panelists will discuss how you can use that information and your own data in your fair lending and CRA compliance programs, with a focus on how to prepare for a HMDA and fair lending exam.
      • Moderator: Gary A. Pacos, Senior Vice President, Director of Fair and Responsible Banking, KeyBank  
      • Speakers:
        • Anurag Agarwal, President, RiskExec, Asurity
        • Matthew Darragh, Vice President, Compliance Risk Management, Fair Lending Officer, M&T Bank
        • Rick Freer, Senior Director, Examination and Compliance Programs, Center for Regulatory Compliance, American Bankers Association
        • Carl G. Pry, CRCM, Managing Director, Treliant
        • Shannon Thomason, CRCM, Senior Vice President, Chief Compliance Officer, Central Bancompany
  • CS-1A: Compliance and FinTech: From Onboarding to Monitoring and Everything in Between!
    • Banking FinTechs is a great source of new revenue for banks large and small.  However, the adoption of new disruptive technology can create compliance pain-points. Presenters in this session will discuss the compliance risks for banking FinTechs and provide practical solutions for how to mitigate this risk from the due diligence stage and onward.
      • Moderator: Sterling W. Hening, CRCM, Vice President, Compliance, Capital One Bank (USA) NA
      • Speakers:
        • John A. Beccia III, Co-Founder and CEO, FS Vector LLC
        • Patti Hartsfield-Davis, SVP, Consumer & Business Practices Compliance, Fifth Third Bank
  • CS-1G: Top CRA Challenges and How to Solve Them
    • Join us as we review current Community Reinvestment / Community Development challenges, emerging risks and hot topics. The session will explore exam management and structure, CRA effects of Home Equity HMDA reporting, M&A considerations, and working with community groups. We will also discuss whether aiming for Satisfactory is enough. NOTE: The Flash Session on CRA will deal exclusively with regulatory updates.
      • Moderator/Speaker: Krista Shonk, Vice President, Regulatory Compliance Policy, Center for Regulatory Compliance, American Bankers Association
      • Speakers:
        • Staci Glenn Short, CRCM, CRP, Senior Vice President, Community Development Program Director, Huntington National Bank
        • Martie North, Senior Vice President and Director, Community Development & CRA, Simmons Bank
        • Carmen Ramirez, Assistant Vice President, CRA and Fair Lending Manager, Hancock Whitney Bank
  • CS-1I: Leading Indicators to UDAAP Risk: Being Customer Centric Without Compliance Compromise
    • A view from the eyes of the consumer and strong metrics and risk assessment are key to identifying leading UDAAP indicators at your institution. In this session, experts will explore both and they will provide great takeaways to help you as you collaborate with your business lines to identify UDAAP risk early.
      • Speakers:
        • Barbara Boccia, Senior Director, US Advisory Services and Regulatory Relations, Wolters Kluwer
        • Emily Porath, CRCM, Vice President, Operational Risk, UDAAP Program Office, Wells Fargo Compliance
  • CS-4F: Fair Lending Hot Topics: What is Keeping You Up at Night?
    • If you need a drilled-down review of all of the recent enforcement trends and emerging fair lending concerns – this session is for you.  We’ll not only review hot topics, but we’ll provide you with compliance management strategies to mitigate risk and satisfy examiners. This must-see session will help you align your fair lending priorities.
      • Moderator/Speaker: Cara C. James, CPA, CRCM, Senior Vice President and Chief Compliance Officer, Arvest Bank
      • Speakers:
        • Carl G. Pry, CRCM, Managing Director, Treliant
        • Christopher J. Willis, Partner, Ballard Spahr LLP

Those are just a handful that we’re excited about. Make sure to take a look at the schedule, and mark a few for yourself!

[Read Also: 7 Most Confusing Areas of Compliance, for Compliance Pros]

What to Eat in New Orleans

New Orleans is one of those cities famous for its cuisine. While breakfast and lunch will be provided at the conference, you’re on your own for dinner. This is a great chance to meet with fellow compliance pros and unwind.

Note: there is public transportation in New Orleans, but the best way to get around is either by foot, or with a taxi, Uber, or Lyft.

To help you plan your dinners, here are a few of the best restaurants in and around the conference center area, called the Warehouse District, and the French Quarter. We’ve also put a few famous watering holes on this list, just in case you want to sample some of the local libations.

  • Meril: Meril is a casual American restaurant is run by famed New Orleans chef Emeril Lagasse. The menu is mostly made of shareable plates, so this is a perfect restaurant for a small group.
  • Cochon: This James Beard-award winning restaurant consistently ranks as one of NOLA’s finest. The menu is very pig-centric, so vegetarians beware. Reservations recommended.
  • Palace Cafe: This elegant all-day cafe is led by another New Orleans legend, Dickie Brennan. On the edge of the French Quarter, this is the perfect place to begin a night out.
  • Napoleon House: In the heart of the French Quarter, this palm-filled spot is the place to go for a Pimm’s Cup or an authentic meal.
  • Herbsaint: This elevated French-American fusion restaurant around the corner from the hotel is a great dining option from the chef who brings you Cochon (David Link). Reviews are incredible, and it’s open for both breakfast and lunch.
  • Trenasse:  If you’re looking for Cajun-Creole cuisine near the conference center, Trenasse is your best bet. This award-winning restaurant serves all kinds of local specialties, from oysters to frog legs.
  • Patrick’s Bar Vin: This lovely little wine bar is in the French Quarter, but somehow tucked away from the madness of Bourbon St. There’s no food, but plenty of great wine by the glass.

Remember, the whole Ncontracts and TRUPOINT team is excited to see you in New Orleans! Make sure to stop by Ncontracts' Booth 313 to say hey and enter to win prizes.

Related: What Is A Compliance Management System And Why Your FI Needs One


In the meantime, here is a totally free Fair Lending training module, just in case you didn't have a chance to download it yet:



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