Due to the state of the world, treasury is in a place it has never been before, and there are various challenges hitting at once. However, with challenges come the opportunity to explore new solutions. At AFP 2021, taking place Nov. 7-10 in Washington, D.C., attendees will have the opportunity to gain innovative solutions and to share ideas that address areas of concern within the industry.
Gregory Henry, CTP, FPAC, vice president of Treasury and Middle Office at AGNC Mortgage Management, LLC at AGNC Investment Corp, and member of the AFP 2021 Capital Markets and Investments and Risk Management Task Force, caught up with AFP to discuss what the task force has planned for the Capital Markets and Investments and Risk Management track, and what he is personally most looking forward to about attending AFP 2021.
AFP: As a member of the Capital Markets and Investments and Risk Management Task Force, describe for us the process for building the agenda and selecting the content for AFP 2021.
Henry: The Task Force receives submissions from different groups focused on various themes, and chooses which topics are most relevant to the greater treasury community. When making our decision, we ask questions such as: How relevant is this to treasury in the current environment? Are there corporate practitioners involved who can give real-world experience? How innovative will this session be? We want attendees to find these sessions useful so they can bring what they learn back to their organizations.
AFP: What about AFP 2021 are you most excited about?
Henry: I am most excited to be in person. Virtual life has been busy for most, and we are constantly getting pulled into different online meetings. Attending AFP 2021 will allow me to take off work and focus on learning as much as I can. While distractions are sometimes inevitable, I try my best to let my team know I am signing off and will get back to them when I can.
Another big factor of excitement is, after having been cooped up in the house for a year, getting out and seeing people again. I want to meet up with other participants whom I have met in the past, catch up with banks that my company deals with, network with new people in my community and attend sessions in person.
AFP: What will be the biggest takeaway for attendees during the Capital Markets and Investments and Risk Management track sessions?
Henry: Treasury is in a new arena right now; a place we have never been before. There are a lot of forces at work, including dealing with the economy; coronavirus pandemic; negative rates in Europe; and environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues. That being said, the capital markets and investments sessions will capture the wide range of challenges hitting us right now in one offering.
While some sessions will be broad, others will target main concerns in the current treasury marketplace. We hope attendees will leave these sessions with new, innovative ideas or solutions that they have never thought of before.
AFP: What is a common theme or issue within the Capital Markets and Investments and Risk Management track?
Henry: The most common theme is ESG, as there are many societal impacts affecting the world right now. How do you increase diversity in the workplace, as well as in an individual’s day-to-day activities? How can you make a social impact in your company? The task force saw a lot of tracks tackling those types of issues, and it is at the forefront of capital markets and risk management. The next two common issues within this track include LIBOR and the issues from pandemic itself.
AFP: Did you attend last year’s AFP 2020 Virtual Experience? If so, please share your experience or any tips for attending a meeting virtually.
Henry: I attended the AFP 2020 Virtual Experience and thought it was a great success. I enjoyed the presentations and the ability to watch them again if I wanted. The virtual experience was also beneficial because I was able to attend more sessions than I would have in person. If two offerings were at the same time, I could simply go back and watch what I missed at a different time.
In addition, AFP 2020 Virtual Experience took place over a longer amount of time than it would have in person. I had more time to experience more sessions and content. I took advantage of the flexibility to watch anything I missed later in the evening, or after I finished work.
AFP: How can attendees bring the education they learn at AFP 2021 back to their organizations?
Henry: Ask questions! These sessions are not meant to be one person speaking to a crowd about abstract ideas. The task force aimed to get as many corporate practitioners in the presentations as possible so they can provide real-world experience attendees can take back to their own workplace. After the presentation, network with the presenters, get their contact information and ask for any guidance in your own experience.
AFP: How has attending these meetings benefited you in your career?
Henry: Attending these events has helped me tremendously with networking. I have found members of the community who have done my job before me and can provide firsthand advice. It has also helped me network and learn from others who might not be in my exact role. For example, I do not do currency trading. However, I enjoy meeting people that do, and expanding my knowledge in different areas that I am not typically exposed to. You never know what your future holds, and it is wise to be knowledgeable about all aspects of the business.
The certification process is also top of mind at these conferences. It brings everything back to the forefront and keeps me updated on new things within the industry such as new software or ways of doing certain trades or investments. These conferences have kept me “in the know” and in the middle of what is going on, and that has been the largest impact to my career.
AFP 2021, an integrated in-person and virtual event, takes place Nov. 7-10 in Washington, D.C. Attendees will be provided with a diverse education around Capital Markets & Investments, including Risk, Resilience and ESG: Building it from the Ground Up at Dealer Tire, Inclusion in the Capital Markets is Spelled MWVBE, and more. Register here. For a sneak peek of the educational sessions, speakers, networking and solution providers planned for the event, download the AFP 2021 brochure.