Booking the Best: Kevin Burke on Bringing Big Names to Yahoo Finance Summits
After moving to New York City from Dublin, Kevin Burke held roles as a producer at CBS, CNN, and Fox Business Network before hopping to Yahoo Finance. Now he's the behind their latest epic All Markets Summit. From brand-name CEOs (Zillow, PayPal, BlackRock) to presidential advisors, he's assembled an elite roster.
Taking place in Times Square on September 20th, it promises to be an excellent event. Let's hear from the man who put it all together.
How did you land on this summit's theme—A World of Change?
There's so much going on right now—from early-stage revolutions in AI and robotics to rapid changes in our political and financial systems. We love that Yahoo Finance is a part of how people receive their financial news and manage their investments, so we feel it's important to help fans understand and navigate these changes.
A lot of that change is driven by technology, and conversely, some concern that technology is moving too far, too fast. Consider robotic warehouses or drone delivery. We're at a point where a lot of these different political, economic, and financial changes are all converging. So we wanted to capture a lot of that with our latest All Markets Summit.
If they're familiar with the brand, they're a lot more comfortable appearing. So when reach out as Yahoo Finance, they already know us and—most importantly—trust us. We're as influential and recognized as some of the big financial media brands out there, like Bloomberg, The New York Times, or Wall Street Journal. That trust and recognition are two of the most important things.
A lot of the potential guests use Yahoo Finance. When we call, they'll quickly note their love of the product and ask how they can participate. It's really quite gratifying to know that, and it's testament to the hard work that the whole team does everyday with their reporting, breaking news stories, and daily shows. That's all part of building up the profile, the brand, and the trustworthiness of Yahoo Finance.
The topics on tap are diverse and thought provoking. How did you develop them?
The biggest issue is getting to the center of the conversation immediately. If you have a particularly good guest, what can they talk about that will be insightful and important for the person watching live. With such a wide variety of guests, from sports and business to entertainment, how can we best distill what they're going to talk about.
We often have an idea of what we're looking for, like millennials and money. Starting from that idea, we go after the notable people we think may fit that bill. We've got the CEO of PayPal, who's terrific, and mobile payments are a huge thing.
Many of our users are entrepreneurs and want to hear stories about how very successful entrepreneurs did it. To that end, we have Ken Langone, co-founder of Home Depot, and the CEO of Tapestry (owner of luxury brands like Kate Spade). It's great to get a first-hand account from people who've built and managed multi-billion dollar businesses.
Who are you most excited to see?
I think that cryptocurrency is a very interesting topic, and we have Mike Novogratz, the CEO of Galaxy Investment Partners. He's calling crypto "The People's Revolution." It's one of those topics that confounds the traditional Wall Street professionals. The idea of cryptocurrency as a way to connect the world financially is fascinating.
I'm also excited by the new president of the NAACP, Derrick Johnson. He's a terrific, motivating speaker, and it will be interesting to hear what he has to say. We have also the head of the New York Public Library. The NYPL is developing new ways to encourage reading and we'll hear all about it at the Yahoo Finance All Markets Summit!
Follow along live on Thursday, September 20th from 9am to 5pm ET, or watch all the action and highlights after the fact.