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Treasury at AFP 2019: Tech, LIBOR Take the Spotlight

Mar 11, 2019

This November, thousands of financial professionals will convene in Boston for AFP 2019. And AFP’s annual conference wouldn’t be the biggest event in treasury and finance if it didn’t boast a stellar Treasury Management track that encompasses both the latest trends in the profession, and core topics that practitioners have focused on for years.

EMERGING TECHNOLOGIES

It likely comes as no surprise that this year’s track features a number of sessions that focus heavily on emerging technologies. However, it was important to the AFP 2019 Planning Task Force, who helped determine the session track, that this year’s presentations featured practical solutions. “The last thing you want to do is hear about hypothetical technology and bots,” said Jennifer Herdin, CTP, vice president, international treasury for Viacom, and a member of the Task Force. “We want to make sure that when people come, they’re leaving with an action plan.”

Christopher Norrod, CTP, senior manager, treasury risk and liquidity, Volkswagen Group of America and another member of the Task Force, agreed. “When an attendee joins a session on emerging technologies, what we’re looking for them to see is practical examples and business cases for these emerging technologies, whether its [robotics process automation (RPA)], blockchain, artificial intelligence, or what have you,” he said.

LIBOR

The upcoming transition away from the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR), slated to take place in 2021, is clearly a hot button issue for treasury professionals and that’s why this year’s treasury track will have two sessions on the subject. “If an attendee is going to see a session on LIBOR, what they should expect to see is what is going to happen when LIBOR ends, what are the impacts of the treasury organization and what they need to do actionably to move forward with the treasury team,” Norrod said.

Herdin noted that last year’s LIBOR sessions were very well attended and it’s a topic that is going to become even more relevant as the deadline draws closer. This year’s LIBOR sessions will feature key insights on the actions that treasury professionals need to begin taking. “I think the takeaways are how to take your inventory? What are you going to use? What does that mean on your working capital cost? We have some great presenters, and I think that it would be really good for practitioners to attend those sessions,” she said.

For all the latest updates on LIBOR, visit AFP’s LIBOR Transition Guide.

CORE TOPICS

Of course, the treasury track at AFP 2019 will also feature multiple sessions on topics that are central to treasury’s responsibility. Many sessions focus on the core topics of cash forecasting, foreign exchange, interest rates, geopolitical risk, regulations, taxes, and of course treasury management systems. Of course, as treasury evolves, emerging technologies are finding their way into many of those core functions.

“There are many sessions that discuss the nitty-gritty of treasury management,” said Carol Samayoa, CTP, senior treasury manager at Emergent BioSolutions, who also participated in the Task Force. “And especially how treasury management systems and technology are changing to automate all of the core functionality of a treasury group, treasury management systems that address daily cash positioning, cash forecasting and automation, and different technology such as AI and robotic and bot usage for automating mundane tasks that happen in treasury.”

DON'T MISS OUT

Samayoa urges treasury practitioners not to skip AFP 2019, so that they can stay ahead of the curve in their profession. “There’s a lot of really great things happening in the field of treasury management right now,” she said. “Changes are happening so fast within technology application in finance and treasury, as well as changes in regulations, taxes—there’s all kinds of great information that treasurers and operational folks in treasury really need to be aware of and keep abreast of.”

Register for AFP 2019 here.