Pershing’s 14th annual Insite conference, and it’s ninth here in Hollywood, Fla.’s Westin Diplomat hotel, kicked off Wednesday with a flurry of well-timed announcements. Pershing broadcast that it will be the first custodian to offer 529 plans on its platform, released a guidebook about attracting Gen X and Gen Y clients and unveiled an improved NetExchange Client Investor Access Platform.

Just over 2,000 attendees descended on Florida for the conference and packed into keynote speeches by Bill Clinton Wednesday on the state of the global economy, the wonders of science and the need for a politics of compromise. Deepak Chopra speaks today about leadership.

Pershing executives say the firm has made some enhancements to its conference structure this year after requesting feedback from attendees: panels that repeat so that attendees don’t have to miss anything, more healthy choices in food, and a 3K beach run first thing Thursday morning.

Crowded panels and sessions covered topics such as mobile and online technology, alternative investments, the regulatory environment, practice management strategies, emerging markets, among others.

Pershing’s new 529 offering is meant to help financial advisors overcome the hurdle of managing 529 college savings plans outside clients' investment portfolios.

“With Pershing's new solution, investment professionals can now operate more efficiently and manage these investments alongside the other assets and investments of their clients,”said Rob Cirrotti, director of retirement and long term savings at Pershing.

As for Gen X and Gen Y, Pershing says they are the future of the advisory business, but courting and winning them will take some effort. “Studies show that almost 90 percent of prospective heirs say they will move assets to another firm once they receive their inheritance,” said Kim Dellarocca, head of segment marketing and practice management at Pershing. “Financial organizations should be looking to connect now with Gen X and Gen Y investors, whose viewpoints on money and investing and the service they demand will be very different than those of their parents.”

Through the NetExchange platform, Pershing advisor and b/d clients can now extend to their clients access to Albridge Wealth Reporting via single sign-on integration from NetExchange Client and offer “anytime anywhere” mobile functionality on a wide variety of devices, the firm says.