Every year, the Executive Institute at the AFP Annual Conference features an impressive lineup of sessions that focus on what matters most to senior level practitioners. But this year, this conference-within-a-conference, sponsored by PNC, is widening its scope.
As you may have noticed, this is no longer the Corporate Treasurers Council (CTC) Executive Institute. As Craig Martin, director of executive programs for AFP noted in a recent AFP Conversations podcast, rebranding the Executive Institute allows it to reach a wider audience. “We've decided to rebrand it to the executive community, which broadens the scope,” he said. “It's not just about treasurers, for treasurers.”
Furthermore, treasurers’ concerns these days are much different from what they were a decade ago. “If you think about the treasurer, we didn't just change it to change the brand. The treasurer isn't just doing treasury anymore,” Martin added.
Tuesday, Oct. 25
The second day of the Executive Institute begins with Beyond Transformation, Treasury Transcending at 8:30 a.m. Panelists Laurens Tijdhof, partner with Zanders; Liam O'Caoimh, director, corporate treasury practice for Zanders; Brian Begg, treasurer for WESCO Distribution; and Eric Matheny, vice president, corporate finance and treasury for Allianz Global Corporate and Specialty; will discuss the things that are likely going to impact treasury beyond the next five years. Based on a recent whitepaper co-published by AFP and Zanders, this session lays out four possible key areas to consider: big data, fintech, industry 4.0 and corp2corp.
The concept of “treasury transcending” has been a bit of a pet project for Martin. “Everybody talks about treasury transformation, finance transformation,” he said. “I'm always trying to look out and look forward for what the next step is for the treasurer. What's beyond transformation? I came up with this notion—it really was beyond transformation—treasury transcending. How do you transcend your everyday role?”
Keeping with the treasury theme, the second session of the day is Separating a Treasury Function at 10:30 a.m. Meredith Vance, CTP, assistant treasurer for PayPal, and Robert Ceske, principal, advisory for KPMG LLP, will discuss how eBay Inc. had to establish a separate treasury function for PayPal after it split its organization into two publicly traded companies.
The Executive Institute concludes with the luncheon, Total Leadership: Be a Better Leader, Have a Richer Life, at noon. Stew Friedman, professor of management and director of the Wharton Work/Life Integration Project, will describe the skills needed to create harmony between work and the rest of life, and illustrate them with riveting stories of great achievement and impact.
In conclusion, Martin noted that the Executive Institute is always a hit at the AFP conference because it give executive level financial professionals an opportunity to interact with their peers. “We can create publications and we can put on sessions, but I think the most valuable thing that we do for them is create an environment where they can get together and talk to one another,” he said.