In February, the AFP Conference Planning Task Force sifted through a multitude of session submissions to determine which ones were the best fit for the Global Treasury & Finance track at AFP 2017. Given the current volatile state of the global economy, liquidity management has become critical for treasury and finance practitioners operating internationally, and this year’s session track reflects that. A preview of these sessions is available in the conference brochure.
“Every time the conference task force gets together, the first thing we do is lay out what the issues are and make sure that the sessions we bring in cover all the topics we think are important,” said Craig Martin, director of executive programs and treasury practice lead for AFP, who assisted in selecting sessions for the track.
This year, liquidity management rises to the top of the list. Although nearly a decade has passed since the global financial crisis, ensuring that the company has adequate access to liquidity remains one of the top priorities for the C-suite and the board of directors. “You never know what could happen, so you’d better have good liquidity,” Martin said. “So we have several sessions on liquidity management.”
AFP 2017 will also feature a look at some other recent developments that have the potential to seriously impact the global treasury and finance space, such as Brexit and the advent of blockchain technology. “We have one session from the banks on how to prepare for Brexit, and we have a session on blockchain standards with the Federal Reserve, IBM Blockchain and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST),” Martin said.
Of course, no conference would be complete without covering certain evergreen topics which have been significant for treasury and finance professionals for years, such as regional treasury centers. AFP 2017 has several sessions that cover different issues surrounding these. “Most companies have a centralized treasury that has ownership over a lot of the functions, but then they also have regional treasury centers. We have sessions that address how that all works,” Martin said. “We also have some sessions that look at how these treasury centers affect global banking.”
Investments are also key for treasury practitioners operating across borders. Trapped cash in particular creates a lot of stress. “If your cash is here in the U.S., you don’t have the greatest yield. But if you’re in Europe, you have potentially negative yields. Where are people investing their cash? So we have three investment sessions with incredible corporates like Qualcomm, FedEx, eBay and Dell,” Martin said.
So whether you are attending your first AFP conference or your twentieth, there will be plenty of sessions at AFP 2017 that can provide you with insights and solutions to issues you’re facing as you navigate the complex world of global treasury and finance. See you in October.