The Structured Finance Industry Group, under fire for a lack of emphasis on advocacy, has canceled a conference devoted to its policy agenda.

In a statement emailed Wednesday afternoon, the trade group said that its annual meeting and conference in Washington, D.C., that had been scheduled or Sept. 30-Oct. 2 was being “postponed.” It cited “recent and extensive conversations with industry participants about time constraints this fall.”

Rather than set a new date, however, SFIG will supplement the agenda at a residential mortgage finance symposium to take place in New York in late October with additional panels focused on industry advocacy.

The announcement comes just a few weeks after SFIG’s founding executive director Richard Johns resigned amid a reported split with the board over compensation and perceived lackluster advocacy results. In an email issued to SFIG members on June 29, the Washington-based trade group’s board of directors announced that Johns had voluntarily stepped down “to pursue other endeavors.”

Wednesday’s email is signed by members of the operating committee, Covell Adams, Sairah Burki, Daniel Goodwin, Kristi Leo, and Leslie Sack.

“We know that our members view advocacy and policy as a critical component of our annual conference schedule, evidenced by sponsorship support for the SFIG D.C. conference that exceeded our expectations," the letter states. "However, we also understand our members need to balance team staffing in light of a busy end to the year ahead. As the SFIG Board considered these conversations it was clear that it is easier for us to shift our conference schedule than create any challenges for our members.”

"Advocacy and policy continue to be essential to SFIG’s mission. Given membership feedback, we look forward to enhancing member opportunities to engage in policy debate and key advocacy initiatives. Consistent with this approach, we anticipate amplifying advocacy content at SFIG Vegas in early 2019."

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