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Who is your treasury hero?

Written by: Laurel Egan Kenny, President, Turningpoint Communications

When I think of heroes, sure, I think of Wonder Woman and The Incredibles, but, when it comes to MY heroes, I think of cape-less people who inspire me to be the best version of myself. I have people like that in the treasury world.  They are my mentors, supporters, educators, my inspiration. The world of treasury management is a small one, with colleagues serving 10 to 30 years or more, moving from one role to another and from one employer to another – even one region to another. Career paths are often well defined and chronicled, with insiders well aware of colleagues’ roles – present, past and future. Connections are essential if one is to maximize a treasury management career. I hope my industry colleagues are lucky enough to have admirable colleagues who, support, educate, mentor and inspire.  Do you have these “actors” in your treasury management life? Why not call them out or call them up today to say thank you today?

A mentor is an experienced and trusted advisor. Do you have someone like this in your life? My mentor, Patricia Mullin, Cambridge Trust Company, took me under her wing, as I got my start in treasury management at State Street corporation’s Global Cash Management division in 1998. As a very young professional, I was charged with building out a marketing discipline which required a great deal of content development for executives and clients – not an easy feat, when the world of treasury management was foreign to me. Patsy took me aside, took me to lunch, and took the time to not only tell me, but show me, how treasury worked – and how our solutions solved operational problems our customers were facing. Decades have passed and Patsy still answers my calls for ideas, clarification and even a request to present or train with me. She remains my calming force, motivator, educator.

A supporter is a person who approves of and encourages someone. Do you have a supporter with no agenda in your life? My supporter, Lee Ann Perkins, Assistant Treasurer, EON Corporation works 1600 miles southwest, but is never very far – always reachable – here for me – and most of the time, I don’t even need to ask. She is always willing to help, no matter the ask or the task – whether presenting, serving as a panelist, starring in a webinar, providing treasury perspectives. She always has a kind word and is often the first one to like just about anything I post on LinkedIn. She also has a great sense of humor, pranking me on occasion. Her smile is infectious and she welcomes new experiences. She is an industry leader, champion and advocate.

An educator is a person who provides instruction or education; a teacher. Do you have someone who passes along his/her intelligence, experience, without judgement?  My educator, Raymond Vines, has served in a corporate treasury leadership capacity for 30 years. His perspective is invaluable to me. He also has a great way of explaining highly complex ideas in layman’s terms, and no question is ever “dumb.” Ray is never short on opinions on just about anything – and never afraid to share those opinions! He shares his treasury goals, realities, his wish list so I feel like an insider into the corporate practitioner side of the business. This comes in handy as we train together, bringing a day in the life of a treasury team to treasury teams from back office to front line professionals.

An inspirer is someone who fills another person with the urge or ability to do or feel something, especially to do something creative. Ginger Gidden, Senior Vice President, Treasury Management Sales, Wells Fargo, inspires me. She epitomizes grace under pressure, eloquence and intelligence. When others send a text, Ginger picks up the phone, delivering good or bad news in context. This style has earned her trusted advisor status among her clients and as a result, she engages in deeper conversations with these clients – and gets her job done more efficiently and effectively than most people I know. As an industry advocate, Ginger is not afraid to share her experiences (with the appropriate levels of confidentiality, of course), presenting with me at national and regional treasury management conferences.

Go Out of Office

Written by: Laurel Egan Kenny, President, Turningpoint Communications

When there is too much to do, we are short-handed, and we are looking to cross items off of our ever-expanding lists as treasury leaders, it is difficult to even think about getting out of the office for an hour or two, never mind two and a half days.

“There is no time!” “Who will set the cash position?” “How will we approve wires?” “Who will sign for….”

But, getting out of the office for professional development purposes may be exactly what you need!

First, there are people who are performing very similar roles for other companies, all across the Chicago area and beyond, come together as part of TMAC monthly and for the Windy City Summit once a year. While companies may compete for market share, market position, sales, customers, treasurers and their teams are not “competing” with other treasury teams. Seek them out. Get to know them. Talk to them. Confide in them. Tell them about your struggles. Ask them about solutions. Ask them what worked, what failed?

Secondly, treasury solutions providers attend Windy City Summit. The best ones would be more than happy to have a discussion about your business challenges and discuss industry best practices and solutions. They are highly knowledgeable about industry trends and mandates. They may even provide demonstrations of how their products and services work. They may also connect you with current customers with similar situations to discuss how the product or service works in their environment.

Thirdly, work shouldn’t be ALL work! If you can escape for a few hours every month or even every other month or so, TMAC will set you up with a great meal, even better conversation, and a highly relevant topic and an engaging thought leader. If you can escape for a couple days each year, Windy City Summit provides a number of social opportunities from keynote lunches to cocktail receptions to exhibit hall breaks. Odds are, with 1200 treasury and finance professionals attending, you will find some new friends – or connect with “old” ones.

Fourthly, who better to present topics of interest to other treasury and finance professionals than you? TMAC – Chicago (monthly) and Windy City Summit (annually) are looking for experts just like you to lead discussions and contribute to panels to promote the treasury industry and take deep dives into topics of interest. Reach out to a TMAC – Chicago leader for more details.

Fifthly, (is this even a word?), you may be inspired to “step up” or take the next step to become part of the organization. TMAC (including our WCS team) is/are always in the market for active committee members who may one day step up into a director or officer position.

Last, but not least, you are in a great position to identify educational and networking opportunities for your team. As an active and engaged member of the TMAC community, you and your team will be notified of upcoming events by email – and of course, you can always find information on our website and via social media networks.

So, mark my word, it is worth it for you to mark your calendar to go Out of Office for the third Thursday of each month for TMAC-Chicago Meetings for treasury and finance practitioners – and 5/19/2020 to 5/21/2020 for the 34th Annual Windy City Summit. See you soon!

Advice for the Young Professional

Written By: Windy City Summit

As a young professional entering the field, have you defined your treasury focus area? Windy City Summit is here to help you explore and grow your treasury knowledge now and throughout your professional career in the treasury and finance industry.

This year’s Summit consists of over 100 educational sessions in 17 different treasury and finance session tracks. The knowledge these sessions offer will assist you in nurturing your career today and in forging your profession down the road. Windy City Summit speakers will present ideas on how to complete day to day tasks more efficiently and effectively and new ways to make your job easier. At no additional cost to you, these classes can be used toward the Certified Treasury Professional (CTP) and Financial Planning & Analysis (FP&A) accreditation. As someone just entering the industry, you won’t want to miss out on these opportunities.

Windy City Summit offers ample networking during luncheons, exhibit hall events, sessions and breaks. Utilize this time to create new connections and develop existing relationships. Connect with CEOs, CFOs, business leaders and peers in the industry while you bolster your LinkedIn and Twitter networks. These connections can assist in advancing your career.

The Windy City Summit is two and a half days of education and networking with industry peers that will help you define your treasury focus area.  Use your time at this event to maximize your potential, streamline your processes and strengthen partnerships to excel in treasury management.

Solidify Your Company’s Industry Presence

Written by: Windy City Summit

We still have a few exhibit booths available at the Windy City Summit, one of the largest treasury management conferences in the country.  Exhibiting at Windy City Summit opens a multitude of doors to expand your industry presence. As an exhibitor, you can showcase your company’s latest products, meet new customers, catch up with your existing clients, build your brand and showcase your company as a legitimate resource for treasury management solutions.

Collect leads onsite from attendees that could keep your team busy for months connecting with prospects and closing deals. Being on the Windy City Summit exhibit floor gives you direct access to attendees, many of whom are seeking solutions for issues they encounter on a regular basis. Add the Passport option to your booth! This will ensure that attendees will stop to get their Passport stamped which gives you the perfect opportunity to showcase your products.

Exhibiting at the Windy City Summit also allows you to get a pulse on the treasury management industry and see what your competitors are doing. Take the time to walk the exhibit hall floor to see what attendees are talking about and what products get the most attention.  This year we have added opportunities for exhibiting companies to present 25-minute educational sessions in the Learning Lounge and provide 10-minute technology tips showcasing your products in the Technology Lounge.  Make the most of your time at the Windy City Summit by adding these options to your booth as well.

We want you to be part of the excitement we have in store for 2019!  You can review our exhibit floor plan and purchase a booth online using this link. Reserve your booth today!

An Invitation from Robert Gosma

Written by: Robert Gosma, 2019 Windy City Summit Conference Chair

On behalf of the Treasury Management Association of Chicago (TMAC), I am honored to invite you to attend the 2019 Windy City Summit at the Navy Pier Convention Center in Chicago. Designed to be an exceptional networking and educational opportunity for all treasury professionals, this two-and-a-half-day meeting is one you do not want to miss.

This year our educational offerings include 100 breakout sessions in 17 different educational tracks. Whether you are an industry veteran or just starting your career, there are sessions available to help streamline your daily operations. We have added a Treasury Technology track this year and will offer presentations on topics including blockchain, digitization, biometric authentication, robotics processing (RPA), fintechs, artificial intelligence and more.  Additionally, we will offer shorter Learning Lounge sessions in the exhibit hall to increase your learning options and your ability to earn continuing education credits! Are you taking the CTP Exam this year? Attend our CTP Preparation courses at no extra charge. Three amazing featured speakers round out our educational component:  Chicago’s own personal finance guru, Terry Savage; Emmy Award winning journalist John Stossel; and original Saturday Night Live writer Alan Zweibel.

Networking opportunities are abundant at the Windy City Summit. We brought back our opening reception so you can connect with more than 1,200 of your peers on the first night of the meeting. We also offer an optional tour of the Money Museum, two lunches and two continental breakfasts in the exhibit hall. All these social events are great opportunities to catch up with friends and meet new colleagues.

Treasury professionals of all experience levels should plan to attend the Windy City Summit to maximize their potential, streamline processes and strengthen partnerships to excel in treasury management. I look forward to seeing you at the Navy Pier Convention Center in May!

Register here.

Sincerely,

Rob Gosma, CTP, MBA

Vice President and Treasurer, Donnelly Financial Solutions

An Experience You Can’t Afford to Miss

Written by: Windy City Summit

 

Treasury professionals of all experience levels are invited to attend the Windy City Summit to maximize their potential, streamline processes and strengthen partnerships to excel in treasury management.  Windy City Summit is one of the largest treasury and cash management conferences in the country.  We consistently offer outstanding education, the newest tips and trends in the industry and an exhibit hall full of treasury management experts with information that benefit attendees and their companies.

We have three amazing featured speakers this year who will offer valuable knowledge that can be applied to your business and personal world.

TERRY SAVAGE: Author and expert on personal finances, the economy and the markets. She was named a Top 5 Speaker of the year by Speakers Platform. She also frequently appears on TV and radio programs.

JOHN STOSSEL: Host @ Fox Business Network, is a 19 Emmy Award winning journalist who has been honored 5 times for excellence in consumer reporting by the National Press Club.

ALAN ZWEIBEL: Is an original Saturday Night Live writer and best-selling author. Alan has won Emmy, Writers Guild of America and TV Critics awards. He is an author, playwright, screenwriter and producer.

This year Windy City Summit added the Technology Track to our breakout sessions including presentations on fintech, digitizing B2C payments, faster payments, blockchain and more.  We have 100 educational sessions to choose from including CTP exam review classes at no additional cost.  We are also an affordable way to earn continuing education credits for CTP, CCM, FP&A (Association of Financial Professionals), C.P.E. (Illinois Board of Public Accountancy) and AAP (NACHA).

We are also excited to announce the new Learning Lounge in the exhibit hall featuring short sessions on the latest innovations in treasury management.  These sessions will be another opportunity to earn continuing education credits.  While in the exhibit hall, attendees can speak with more than 60 exhibiting companies to review their products and decide which one will be the best solution for their company.

As you can see, Windy City Summit is planning an incredible meeting right here in Chicago offering affordable education and the chance to network with more than 1,000 treasury professionals and the best companies in the industry. This year’s summit is more than a conference, it’s an experience you cannot afford to miss. Register today!

 

Treasurers to Focus on Interest Rates, Strategic Alignment in 2019

Kevin Kane | Manage Cash Flow | Jan 15, 19

Treasurers to Focus on Interest Rates, Strategic Alignment in 2019

 

Interest rates, shifting trade policies and stock market volatility are among the issues CFOs and treasurers will contend with in 2019.  also discusses the importance of strategic alignment and cross-border opportunities.

 

Set New Records for Payables Speed and Efficiency

Submitted by: Wells Fargo

The cheetah. Track and field star Usain Bolt. The bullet train. All hold amazing records for speed.¹ With the U.S. launch of faster payments, your transactions can achieve new milestones in speed and efficiency, too. In November 2017, it took just three seconds for a Real-time Payment to move funds between two U.S. bank accounts.²

In an era when “now” has become the new normal, all types of faster payments — Same Day ACH, Zelle®, push to card, and Real-time Payments — can help you stay relevant with your customers, suppliers, and employees. However, with all the buzz in the market, moving beyond the hype to actual implementation can seem daunting.

Fortunately, it’s not difficult to accelerate your transactions, improve your efficiency, and strengthen your key relationships. Many “faster” methods are easier to deploy than you may expect, and require little technical integration.

Replace checks and boost satisfaction

Accounts payable disbursements make the perfect starting point. One quarter of these payments still occur by paper check, adding operational costs and hampering customer experience. Consumers, in particular, prefer electronic payments, ranking their satisfaction with receiving checks at an abysmal 4.4 out of 100.³
Numerous customer and supplier disbursement opportunities exist, across industries and audience segments:

  • Merchandise returns at retailers
  • Tax refunds by government entities
  • Claims payments from insurance companies
  • Loan proceeds from lenders
  • Settlements from law firms
  • Rebates and incentives from businesses
  • Supplier invoices for just-in-time inventory

Even employees can benefit. Faster payments can speed reimbursements for out-of-pocket expenditures, facilitate bonus compensation, or pay temporary workers at the end of a shift. In the gig economy, companies that hire contract workers find immediate payments differentiate their brands in the market.

Choose the right methods for your organization

A thoughtful planning process will ensure success. Follow these steps to move forward with confidence.

Build your use cases. Start by prioritizing specific audience segments: key suppliers, retail customers, or contract employees, for example. Then, clearly define which transactions will be eligible for faster payments. Creating guidelines upfront — for dollar amounts, approvals, and other parameters — will ensure organizational support and a smooth implementation.

Pinpoint your need for speed. Even within the category, different levels of “faster” exist. For example, Real-time Payments arrive in seconds, while Same Day ACH transactions settle within 24 hours. Review the options available, then match the right speed to your business needs.

Assess your requirements. Evaluate the information needed to execute the payment, the remittance data you want to transmit, and whether these choices require updates to your accounts payable or ERP system.

Zelle transactions, for example, move with only the recipient’s email address or cell phone number, while push to card routes funds with the payee’s debit card number. Same Day ACH requires a bank account and routing number, but uses the same process as traditional ACH transactions. Remittance formats also vary by payment method. Reach out to your bank for complete details and support with technical resources.

Take an agile approach. Whichever method you choose, consider launching with a pilot project. Starting small helps you get up-and-running fast, demonstrate value quickly, and build support for a full-scale rollout.

Lastly, remember that speed is just one part of the equation; audiences today expect both immediate and effortless. To truly transform your payment experience, you may need to adjust your finance processes as well as payment velocity.

For example, what’s required to onboard a new supplier? Does the process take several days and multiple forms? Does payment type default to checks? As you embrace faster payments, take a holistic look from your audience’s perspective. Even small changes will make a substantial impact.

For more information, contact your treasury management representative.

1. Guinness Book of World Records, www.guinnessworldrecords.com/products/books/superlatives/fastest
2. PYMTS.com, “Real-Time Payments Successfully Gets Through Its First Test Drive,” November 14, 2017
3. PYMTS.com, “Disbursements Satisfaction Index,” Q2 2017

 

New Technology – Understanding Basic Concepts

Written by: Francesco Tonin
Bloomberg L.P.

I was recently planning content with a TV producer for a show on currencies, including crypto currencies. I asked if she knew how a bitcoin miner can verify that you possess your private key without the miner knowing your private key. I understand when you pay online with a credit card the bank has a record of the card number on file, they verify the number was inputted correctly. But a bitcoin miner does not know your private key, so how in the world can they verify that you have one?

Her answer was a very simple blanket statement, similar to other responses I have received to the same question. Her reply, “it was possible thanks to blockchain technology.” This is the right answer if you currently work in corporate treasury and will never have anything to do with blockchain. But it accepts our inability to crack the concepts that make blockchain technology so powerful. If we as treasury professionals do not understand, own, direct and manage those powerful tools, then we will be relegated to the corner.

This blanket statement is not the same answer you will find at the Windy City Summit!

Soon, firms will adopt software that will run on blockchain technology for payments, document processing or other workflows. It is a sound financial decision for firms that will increase profits. We must prepare today for tomorrow’s technology. Educating ourselves today will give us the ability to understand the basic concepts to be able to contribute to the discussion on the new blockchain technology, this will not be difficult, but it requires a little effort, a little attention and a little self-challenge.

At the 2018 Windy City Summit I presented the core concepts of blockchain. I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of attendee interaction. The questions, ideas and insight from the attendees was extraordinary. The Annual Windy City Summit encourages attendees to be part of the debates, to challenge the speakers, examine new technology and see how it may or may not impact their day-to-day processes. That is why people attend the Windy City Summit year after year: to gain exposure to new ideas, to discuss and engage in questions about hard concepts on which a Google search is unlikely to shed much light.

Those who attended the blockchain technology presentation last year will not be relegated to the corner when blockchain becomes a reality at their firm. They will manage these powerful tools all because they are prepared.

I hope you attend the 2019 Annual Windy City Summit and start preparing for your technology future.

New Treasury Technology Track

Written by:  Robert Chan, CDK Global, 2019 Windy City Summit Program Chair

The Windy City Summit is excited to announce a new track of sessions available at the 2019 meeting.  The Treasury Technology track will feature sessions on Innovative technologies in the treasury and financial industry that create new and improved financial services for companies and users.  Some examples include FinTech (APIs, process automation, artificial intelligence, computer software), disruptive technology, POBO/ROBO, blockchain, digital wallet, cryptocurrency, cybersecurity, machine learning, robo-advisers, etc.

Technology can help treasurers simplify and streamline their day to day tasks but there is also a concern as to how new FinTech will impact treasury jobs. The Windy City Summit will provide educational sessions to help attendees utilize the assistance technology provides while managing any risks associated with it.

We are rolling out this new track in our Call for Presentations which opened on October 15 and will close on Friday, November 30.  Have you implemented one of these new technologies at your company? Can you help your colleagues choose a software to maximize their ROI?  Do you have a case study to share?  We welcome your submission to the Call for Presentations and look forward to many robust sessions in this growing and evolving area. Call for Presentation Guidelines are located here.