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The Resource for the Global Finance Profession

AFP 2011 Executive Institute Wrap-Up

  • By Andrew Deichler
  • Published: 2011-11-08

AFP’s Seventh Annual Executive Institute, sponsored by PNC, provided senior-level corporate practitioners with insights on some of the most pressing issues in the corporate treasury and finance industry. This year, the Executive Institute looked at the challenges surrounding investment, forecasting, managing a cash portfolio, risk, corporate growth and innovation.

At Monday’s luncheon, guests heard from Baruch Lev, Philip Bardes Professor of Accounting and Finance, NYU, Stern School of Business and Director, Vincent C. Ross Institute of Accounting Research, in the session “Winning Investors Over.” Experts discussed the myths and fears that could prevent that top prospect from making an investment in your business, such as adverse consequences of investors’ short-termism, earnings guidance, shareholder lawsuits, voluntary information disclosure, social corporate responsibility, and more.

Immediately following the luncheon was the session, “To Forecast or Not to Forecast, Therein Lies the Question.”Julia Kirby, Editor-at-Large at the Harvard Business Review moderated a panel discussion on how financial executives can plan for the future amid unpredictable circumstances such as the Arab spring, a multitude of natural disasters, and the European debt crisis. Panelists included Justin Fox, Editorial Director, Harvard Business Review Group; Aaron Brown, Risk Manager, AQR Capital Management and Author, The Poker Face of Wall Street; and Jean Furter, Vice President-Treasurer, Brocade Communication Systems, Inc.

The Executive Institute wrapped up on Monday with the session, “Managing Your International Cash Portfolio in Volatile Markets.” Christopher Stavrakos, CFA, Managing Director, Chief Investment Officer, Cash and Securities Lending Group, BlackRock, and Justin Meadows, Founder and Chief Executive of MyTreasury, weighed in on the importance of alleviating investment risk within a corporation’s international cash portfolio. Executive Institute veteran Simon Mendelson, Managing Director and Chief Operating Officer at BlackRock moderated the session.

Tuesday morning kicked off with the session “Strategic Risk Management: What It Means to the Treasurer. Although risk management is the top priority for many treasury departments, they often focus too much on execution tactics and not enough on long-term strategy. In this session, Jiro Okochi, CEO of Reval, and Mario J. Cornacchio, Jr., Treasurer, Bose Corp. discussed how to confront risk at the strategic level. They also weighed in on cash flow at risk, as well as operational, financial, credit and liquidity risk management.

Next up was the panel discussion, “Corporate Growth: The Treasurer’s Role.” Michel Bekkers, Senior Vice President, Group Treasurer, Adidas Group, and Todd Picken, Corporate Vice President &Treasurer, Mass Mutual Financial Group examined treasurers’ primary concerns as corporations shift back to growth mode in a session moderated by Jim Graham, Executive Vice President, Head of Treasury Services, PNC Financial Group.

The 2011 Executive Institute concluded with a special luncheon, “America’s Innovation Edge.” Dr. Anne-Marie Slaughter, Professor, Politics and International Affairs, Princeton University and Former Director of Policy Planning, U.S. Department of State, discussed the importance of innovation in the business world. Despite a tough recession and the rise of the emerging markets, the United States remains a leader in innovation. Slaughter explained how you can build an innovation culture in your business, developing talent reserves and unlocking creative capital.


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All rights reserved.

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