Backshop user conference and Metallica show

I am just back from our 2009 Backshop user conference in New York. Bank of America hosted it in a beautiful board room overlooking Bryant Park. About 10 clients invested the day with us to go over our accomplishments from last year and help set priorities for next year.

Backshop User Conference
We unveiled our new look for Backshop that we undertook as part of converting Backshop from a ASP/ASP.NET hybrid application to a 100% .NET application.

The new look and feel was really well received, and we got some good feedback on some additional design tweaks. Check out the Backshop web site in the near future as we will be adding a Software Tour section featuring the new design.

We also had time for informal discussions on customers’ outlooks for 2010 and beyond. I would say no one expects 2010 to be a good year as far as originations go. The belief is a few low leverage deals will get done, but traditional conduit origination will be small.

Asset management and deleveraging were much more the talk than originations. However, for the first time in a while people were talking about some allocation of capital for 2010 new loans, so we will see.

Into the belly of the beast.

The real fun started on Saturday night when a group of 16 of us met at Stout Bar (on west 33rd street) for a pre show dinner.

We got to the Metallica show right when the house lights dimmed and watched them kick off the show. As usual (this was my 7th time seeing this show), they were awesome. Sellout crowd, downtown New York City, flames, lasers and 20,000 outlets of energy.

While I was cruising around back stage, I ran into John McEnroe getting a drink in the green room. Last time I had seen him was at a Metallica show a few years ago out in the Meadowlands. He is a big fan.

The after party was at Del Posto, a great restaurant owned by Joe Bastianich and Mario Batali on 10th Avenue at 16th street.

We arrived with about half the crew still standing and all got in and had a great time. I went to Boston College with Joe and we played rugby together (I was the hooker, he was a prop) so it was good to see him also.

I got to spend a few minutes with Lars and could not thank him enough for the hook up. Food, drink and famous people. Not a bad way to spend an evening.

Robert and Lars rock the bass and beat.

Metallica plays “Turn the Page” at Madison Square Garden:

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Jim Flaherty is CEO of and the creator of the Backshop loan origination system. He is a trained credit professional with experience installing enterprise underwriting systems for commercial real estate lenders, rating agencies and investors.

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