Participating in today's call will be Kenneth Bernstein, President and Chief Executive Officer; Michael Nelsen, Chief Financial Officer; and Jon Grisham, Chief Accounting Officer. Following management discussion, there will be an opportunity for all participants to ask questions.
At this time, I would like to turn the call over to Mr. Bernstein, please proceed, sir.
Thank you. Good afternoon. Thanks for joining us. Today I’ll start with a brief overview of the progress we made in the second quarter and the trends we are seeing. Then Jon Grisham will review our earnings, operating metrics and key drivers. And finally, Mike Nelson, Jon and I will take questions.As an overview, we’ve spent time reviewing our second quarter results in the context of the improvements in the economy and financial markets over the past year, but also in light of the more recent mixed macroeconomic data on housing, employment, consumer spinning and the resulting market volatility. As we said in our last quarterly call, while we’ve been experiencing a strengthening or recovery in most aspects of the business, we also felt that it was prudent to be prepared for a bumpy road ahead before we entered into a full blown recovery. Now, halfway through the year, we’re seeing a continued year-over-year strengthening or stabilization of the key drivers of our business. In many instances in excess of our original forecasts but our economy has certainly also experienced its fair share of recent turbulence. So today we’ll discuss what we’re seeing in key components of our business. First our core portfolio, secondly, our balance sheet and third, finally, our external growth platform. And when we compare and contrast this performance with the headline data, what we’re seeing so far is that the volatility associated with macroeconomic reports is not translating into new operational softening.