By D. Channing Muller Posted September 18, 2008, 11:58 AM EDT
This week the Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort in Naples hosted the inaugural Global Financial Leadership Conference, a three-day event filled with discussion forums, speaker panels, and educational programs from the some of the top decision makers and influencers in the financial world.
Put on by CME Group, a Chicago-based derivatives exchange company, and designed and executed by Jack Morton Worldwide, the conference began on Monday with a welcome from CME executives, followed by an afternoon of discussion panels with representatives from the top financial institutions in the world including Bank of England, Citadel Investment Group, HSBC Finance Corporation, and Bank of Canada. The first day wrapped up with a poolside reception.
Tuesday, however, was the biggest day of the conference, and the day with the biggest names. Tony Blair, former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland, was the main keynote speaker for the day.
Bob Costas and Terry Bradshaw followed him at the luncheon sponsored by SFO Magazine's American Hero series. Taking a cue from the keynote speakers, the decor was all about sports, including an ice sculpture of the Heisman trophy, classic football images on display throughout the space, and football centerpieces.
The day wrapped up with the conference's gala and after-party, sponsored by Nasdaq. The Ritz employed midnight blue linens and draping to create instant ambience inside the tent for the gala, which was then accented by silver Chiavari chairs, chargers, and other metallic accents. Following dinner, guests proceeded to the grand ballroom for the after-party featuring Chicago-based band Maggie Speaks.