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AFP 2019: The Inside Scoop on Treasury

Sep 17, 2019

AFP 2019 has a wealth of learning opportunities for treasury professionals who want to stay ahead of the curve. From the practical application of new technologies to the Libor transition to the adoption of real-time payments, practitioners will find insights into the most pertinent topics facing their profession.

EMERGING TECHNOLOGIES

New this year is the AFP Mindshift Stage, which features real case studies from treasury practitioners on how they successfully implemented new technologies. And our Mindshift Keynote, Rana el Kaliouby, PhD, is co-founder and CEO of Affectiva, is a pioneer in the field of artificial emotional intelligence (Emotion AI). Theorizing that empathy is the key to AI truly achieving human trust, el Kaliouby is currently developing software that can detect human emotions and cognitive states. 

This year’s Treasury Management track also features a number of sessions that focus heavily on emerging technologies. 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.”

For example, in the Treasurers Innovation Panel, practitioners will hear from their peers on the unique challenges they faced when undergoing innovate technology projects. Attendees will walk away with insights into how new technologies like blockchain and robotic process automation (RPA) can improve tasks like global liquidity management, risk management and payments processing.

Other sessions take a deeper dive into specific technologies. In Artificial Intelligence Within the Financial World: How Will it Help You, attendees will learn how AI is changing the landscape for modern treasury functions. By eliminating the need for manual input, AI can reduce manual input errors, mitigate operational risk and enable greater visibility into transactions. Practitioners who attend this session will learn how they can apply this technology to their organizations.

LIBOR

The upcoming transition away from the London Interbank Offered Rate (Libor), slated to take place in 2022, is clearly a hot button issue for treasury professionals and that’s why this year’s Treasury Management and Capital Markets & Investments tracks have 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,” said Christopher Norrod, CTP, senior manager, treasury risk and liquidity, Volkswagen Group of America and another member of the Task Force.

In the session, Preparing for the Transition from Libor, financial professionals will hear from practitioners and other experts on how to plan for multiple scenarios, including alternatives such as SOFR, a rehabilitated LIBOR, or a combination of the two. They’ll also receive an update on developments from the Fed and the ARRC committee, along with the steps forward-thinking treasurers are taking to prepare for a smooth transition.

In the session Emerging Benchmark Interest Rates: Accounting and Valuation Observations on LIBOR Replacement, experts will delve into the potential alternatives to Libor rates emerging across the globe, as well as mechanisms for establishing contractual fallbacks and adjustments to Libor-indexed financial instruments. The coming changes will impact treasury systems and derivative instrument structures and valuation, and so practitioners need to be aware of what they need to do.

REAL-TIME PAYMENTS

It should come as no surprise that real-time payments are a key focus of AFP 2019’s Payments track, with the rise of multiple faster payments solutions in the United States and abroad.

Barbara Landolt, CTP, assistant treasurer for CSAA Insurance Group and a member of the Task Force, called real-time “the biggest change in like 30 years in payments.” She noted that AFP 2019 will give attendees a glimpse into whether real-time would be beneficial to their organizations. “Is it important for either a consumer that you're working with, if you’re on the retail side, or a vendor to get a payment in real time? The conference will allow you to look at the pros and cons, the costs of doing that, and whether you should think about implementing it,” she said.

The session Moving Money & Data Together: Making Payments Smarter, Not Just Faster looks at how new technology is allowing for treasury departments to effectively and accurately move both payments and payment data together at near real-time speeds. Additionally, two sessions look at how corporate practitioners are leveraging The Clearing House’s RTP system, and a pre-conference session focuses on the fundamentals of real-time payments.

DON’T MISS OUT

Carol Samayoa, CTP, senior treasury manager at Emergent BioSolutions and another member of the Task Force, 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.”

The full list of Treasury Management sessions is available here. Register for AFP 2019 here.