2018 Texas Traders Convention

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September 6th – 8th at The Four Seasons Resort at Las Colinas

Featuring two separate panels of industry veterans who will dive into the exciting world of “New Alternative Investments”. In addition to a recent Supreme Court ruling favoring commercial sports betting nationwide, the ongoing debate in state legislatures across the country over legalizing recreational cannabis has spring boarded these topics from the street corner to the front office of money managers worldwide.

Discussion will include thoughts and Q & A session on these developing trends.


Our Keynote Speaker, Michael “Large” McCarthy, is a 25 year veteran of Wall Street with experience primarily in equity position trading, making a cameo appearance at the DSTA’s 2018 Texas Trader’s Conference. See biography here.

Our room block has expired at the Four Seasons, however you may still be able to get a room.

This year’s event will also include an STA Update from our very own Mike Rask, STA Chairman, and two separate informative panels: New Alternative Investments Discussion #1: Commercial Sports Gambling with Nick Colas, Moderator and Stephen Grambling, Gaming Analyst, Goldman Sachs. And New Alternative Investments Discussion #2: Beverage, Tobacco and Cannabis with Nick Colas, Moderator, Dan S. Ahrens, Portfolio Manager, AdvisorShares Vice ETF (NASDAQ: ACT), Vivien Azer, Beverage, Tobacco, and Cannabis Analyst, Cowen and Mark Mersman, CEO, Newbridge Global Ventures, Inc.

Learn more about sponsorship, meeting topics and speakers below.

2018 Texas Traders Convention Sponsors – Thank you!

Additional Convention Information

Room block expired, contact us and maybe we can help!

For more Information call Conference Headquarters at (847) 673-2013 or Email us at info@mflassociates.com

Review AgendaMail In Registration

Business Meetings

STA Update

Mike Rask, STA Chairman,
Hodges Capital

Banquet Dinner

Keynote Speaker

Michael “LARGE” McCarthy


Meeting Speakers and Biographies

See below

Keynote Speaker


Michael “LARGE” McCarthy

Michael “Large” McCarthy is a 25 year veteran of Wall Street with experience primarily in equity position trading.

He started his career on the floor of the American Stock Exchange in 1993 before transitioning to the NYSE three years later, eventually landing as a US Cash trader for multiple desks over the better part of 18 years. The list of the firms he’s either resigned or been fired from include JP Morgan, CITI, Suntrust, ICAP, and Canaccord Genuity.

In June of this year, Large decided to abandon the trading desk life and took a position as creator of the Barstool Finance page for Chernin owned Barstool Sports in their NY office. He is also a contributor to multiple podcasts within Barstool and recently began co-hosting Barstool Breakfast morning radio show with Super Bowl champ/ex-NY Jet/Pittsburgh Steeler offensive lineman, Willie Colon on SIRIUS radio, Channel 85.

Large is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame, and currently lives in Ridgewood, NJ with his wife and 3 wonderful children.

Large was keynote for DSTA in 2008 on the heels of the popularity of his website takeareport.com, and we are thrilled to have him back to get an update on trading markets from his perspective, and some details on his recent career shift.

New Alternative Investments Panel Discussion

Nick Colas, Moderator, Data Trek Research

Nick is a 30+ year veteran of Wall Street with experience in equity research, money management and investment banking.

From 1991 to 1999 he was the senior equity auto analyst at First Boston (now Credit Suisse). In addition to his duties advising clients on investments in the sector, he was also active in a range of equity offerings and M&A assignments. These included several equity underwritings for Chrysler, as well as its eventual sale to Daimler Benz, along with IPOs in the auto parts, rental car, and Chinese auto industry sectors.

From 1999 – 2001, Nick was an analyst and portfolio manager at SAC Capital reporting directly to company founder Steve Cohen. From 2003 – 2017 he was Director of Research and Chief Market Strategist for first Rochdale Securities and then Convergex Group. In the latter role he authored the firm’s Morning Markets Briefing, which became a daily must-read for thousands of Wall Street professionals.

Nick is regularly on CNBC and Bloomberg TV/Radio and is widely quoted in the financial press.

Nick received his MBA from the University of Chicago in 1991 and his undergrad degree from Haverford College in 1986, majoring in Near Eastern Archaeology. He is a lifelong New Yorker, born and raised in Manhattan.

Dan S. Ahrens, AdvisorShares Investments
Portfolio Manager, AdvisorShares Vice ETF (NASDAQ: ACT)

Dan Ahrens is a Managing Director and the Chief Operating Officer of AdvisorShares Investments, LLC and is the lead portfolio manager of AdvisorShares Vice ETF (NASDAQ: ACT). He joined AdvisorShares in 2008. Prior to joining the Advisor, Mr. Ahrens founded Ahrens Advisors, L.P., an SEC-registered investment advisor, where he was portfolio manager of the Ladenburg Thalmann Gaming and Casino Fund from 2006 to 2008.

Before forming Ahrens Advisors, he was President of the MUTUALS.com Funds. He served as portfolio manager of the Vice Fund (VICEX), which he started in 2002, and the Generation Wave Growth Fund. During that time he also was President and Chief Compliance Officer of Mutuals Advisors, Inc. and acted as President, Treasurer and Financial & Operations Officer of an affiliated Broker Dealer firm. He is the author of Investing in Vice (St. Martin’s Press, 2004) and has appeared on numerous financial programs, including CNBC, CNN, ABC News and Bloomberg, to discuss “Vice Stocks.” He has been featured, along with funds under his management, in major national and trade publications including The Economist, New York Times, Financial Times, and The Wall Street Journal. He earned a Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance from Texas Tech University.

Vivien Azer, Cowen
Beverage, Tobacco, and Cannabis Analyst

Vivien Azer is a managing director and senior research analyst specializing in the beverage, tobacco, and cannabis sectors. Ms. Azer is the first senior Wall Street analyst to cover the emerging cannabis sector, resulting in notable press coverage across periodicals such as The Economist, Barron’s and Forbes.

Ms. Azer’s coverage of the tobacco sector earned her a spot on Institutional Investor’s All-America Research Team on several occasions. She has consistently been ranked by Thomson Reuters Analyst Awards (StarMine), and in 2017, she was ranked #1 and #2 for stock picking in beverages and tobacco, respectively, and #2 for earnings estimation in tobacco. Prior to joining Cowen and Company in 2014, she spent over nine years at Citi covering consumer staples. Ms. Azer holds a BA from the College of William and Mary and an MBA from NYU’s Stern School of Business

Mark Mersman, Newbridge Global Ventures, Inc. (OTCQB: NBGV)

As CEO of Newbridge Global Ventures, Inc., Mark leads a team of veteran cultivators and operators in building out a cannabis vertical located in northern California. Owning several facilities in the Oakland, CA “green zone” as well as a farm in Mendocino (in the “Emerald Triangle”), Newbridge is focused on clone and premium flower cultivation, advanced extraction capabilities, and distribution throughout California.

  • Led the strategic purchase of 6 California cannabis companies in July 2018. Cultivation, extraction and distribution facilities.
  • Named CEO of Newbridge Global Ventures, Inc. to lead pivot into cannabis industry – October 2017.
  • Co-founder of Medican, ApS – one of only 13 medical cannabis companies to be licensed in Denmark in 2017- building out +/- 60,000 sq. ft. of indoor medical cannabis facility – licensed in December 2017.
  • In early 2017 worked with David Nagel, Esq. of Feldmann Nagel, LLC, a prominent cannabis law firm, to lobby for the passage of Colorado S.B. 25.
  • Co-Founder of Elevated Portfolio Holdings, LLC an online cannabis education company focused on educating physicians and healthcare professionals – founded June 2017; completed asset sale to NBGV February 2018.
  • Advisor to two cannabis focused investment funds the Verde Mountain Fund and Cornerstone Income Fund. In excess of $12 million invested into cannabis focused companies and hard assets – May 2016 thru October 2017.
  • Founder and President of Mersman Capital Management, Inc., a private wealth advisory firm formed in September 2007 that provided portfolio management. Mersman Capital Management’s portfolio was sold in December of 2015.

Stephen Grambling, Goldman Sachs
Gaming Analyst

Stephen Grambling, CFA covers the Lodging, Leisure & Gaming sector. He previously covered retail for eight years, including Broadlines, Supermarkets, & Hardlines, winning multiple StarMine Analyst Awards for earnings estimates and stock picking. He joined Goldman Sachs in August 2010 to cover Supermarkets and support the Broadlines retail team before picking up coverage of the remaining space in September 2013.

Prior to joining the firm, Stephen worked as an Assistant Vice President at Barclays Capital (formerly Lehman Brothers) in equity research focused on Retail Hardlines. Before joining Lehman Brothers, Stephen completed the Financial Management Program at GE Capital with Corporate Honors. Stephen graduated from Johns Hopkins University with a BS degree in Mechanical Engineering.

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