AFP asked members of its Board of Directors about their biggest challenges and accomplishments in 2015. Board members were also asked about their focuses headed into the New Year. Chairman Anthony Scaglione, CTP, Executive Vice President and CFO, ABM Industries Inc.What do you think will be the biggest challenge in 2016?
Geopolitical unrest and its impact to world growth. This, coupled with an election year in the U.S., may cause many industries to pause on major expansion efforts until there is more clarity on the U.S. and the world political and economic front. What’s the biggest project you have planned for next year?
We are undergoing a major transformation here at ABM. We are calling it our 2020 Vision. That is the biggest project we are undertaking and will involve a major reorganization of our business lines from a service-based approach to a solution vertically focused approach. What are you most excited about for 2016?
Professionally, I am excited about the execution of 2020 and building out the organization’s FP&A function. I have a great team that is very dedicated to moving our organization forward and equipping our operating leaders with data that will help improve our margins over time. What would you say was your biggest professional success in 2015?
Being promoted to CFO at ABM and having the unique opportunity to kick off this year’s conference in Denver with President Bush and closing it out with Itzhak Pearlman!Vice Chairman Roberta Eiseman, CTP, President, Comcast Capital Corporation
What do you think will be the biggest challenge in 2016?
Convergence of regulatory and environmental changes. As practitioners and banks are learning to operate in a new depository environment from Basel III, we also have preparations for money market fund forms, as well as other changes such as same-day ACH. Liquidity management is becoming more challenging and many of the logistical details around how these changes are going to work have yet to be determined… not to mention interest rate uncertainty and its impact on investment returns. There are so many moving parts and ‘what if’ scenarios still in play that determining a vision for liquidity management over the next 12-18 months is anything but routine—but that’s also what makes the job fun and interesting!What’s the biggest project you have planned for next year?
Other than preparation for MMF reform implementations, the next biggest project is increased transparency and visibility into global bank balances. While many people think of Comcast as a U.S. domestic business, the NBCUniversal side of the business has a broad and far-reaching geographical scope, resulting in cash balances around the world. We’re planning on expanding our bank reporting and improving cash reporting to senior management. What are you most excited about for 2016?
Clarity and resolution around the mechanics of the MMF reform implementation so that we may develop short-term investing plans that are appropriate for Comcast.What would you say was your biggest professional success in 2015?
Being selected to become a Comcaster and lead the Comcast Capital team.
Vice Chairman Jeff Johnson, CTP, CPA, Chief Financial Officer, Amesbury TruthWhat do you think will be the biggest challenge in 2016?
The combination of an economy showing signs of life in parts and acting rather anemic in others will be a challenge. Talent always seems to be a challenge and with the continued pace of change in our profession, next year will be no exception, both in finding talent, as well as growing and developing skills in the talent we already have. Finally cybersecurity, especially the social engineering aspects, will loom large.What’s the biggest project you have planned for next year?
My list is full. We have embarked on a footprint rationalization and an ERP project just to name a few, all while reorganizing my finance and IT organizations to be positioned for our future growth.
What are you most excited about for 2016?
For me success is all about the team. I am excited about the team I have and the team I am developing.What would you say was your biggest professional success in 2015?
Learning a new industry while building a stronger, more robust financial team.Read more of the board’s thoughts on 2015 and its predictions from 2016 in the December edition of AFP Exchange.