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Treasury in transition: where next? Over this series of high-level plenaries and in-depth case studies, treasurers will find a wealth of information to help them balance agility and innovation with the need to run BAU more efficiently and cost effectively as treasury manages its transition to new models and responsibilities.

The new big picture. Hyper-connectivity and mobile, AR and VR, AI and ML, digital currencies, a social media maelstrom pumping out new “Robloxes” and “Vibers” and “TikToks” every few months … the present doesn’t last long and the future may look nothing like it. But what are the key big picture themes on which businesses need to focus, away from the seething mass of everyday change? How do they affect planning and strategy – and therefore treasury? In our series of keynote sessions we will look at the trends and themes that are impacting business and therefore treasury and where the focus for the future is required.

The all-singing, all-dancing digital treasury utopia described by consultants is an unrealistic aspiration for most treasurers, and a distant prospect even for those with the resources to create it. In the meantime, unless starting from scratch, treasurers need to ensure their business-as-usual processes are efficient and, more importantly, resilient. The basics matter more than ever.

Moderated by:
  • Damian Glendinning

    Principal, Treasury Matters

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Gone are the days when your bank or tech provider hands you a solution off the shelf that works for them and leaves you just a little bit underwhelmed. Today banks, both fintech and traditional technology professors are working alongside companies to develop solutions that better match a treasurer’s needs and expectations. This series of case studies highlights the new collaborative world of treasury.

Moderated by:
  • Simon Jones

    Independent treasury expert

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The digital march continues. In-depth case studies on how to choose the right technology, how to get the most out of your technology and how to implement the latest add-ons to treasury technology like APIs and AI.

Moderated by:
  • Daniel Blumen

    US-based treasury consultant

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From protecting your balance sheet to putting into place FX and commodity hedging programmes and cyber resilience strategies, our risk sessions have you covered.

Moderated by:
  • Robert Novaria

    EuroFinance tutor and partner, Treasury Alliance group

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As new business models, covid and the looming major global tax reform change the very nature of business, treasury too has new roles, new skills requirements and needs to go about its daily business in very different ways. 

Moderated by:
  • Adrian Rodgers

    Senior EuroFinance tutor and director, Arc Solutions

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8:00am -9:10am

Registration & light breakfast

9:10am -9:20am

Chair’s introduction

9:10am -9:50am

Opening keynote

  • Guy Verhofstadt

    Member of the European Parliament

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9:50am -10:30am

Something old, something new: our chaotic world

While the digital revolution promises a brave new world of data-driven everything, augmented reality and a full-on “Metaverse”, a lot of today’s economic and political news could have come straight out of the 1970s. Inflation is back. Governments are still printing money, prompting a flight to unusual assets that pay no interest (remember exotic gases?). A culture war is raging between old and young, country and city. Populist and authoritarian politics are gaining ground across Latin American and even in parts of Europe, and a new cold war has arguably already begun. This chaotic and unpredictable environment requires a radically different approach to the pre-pandemic era – an era whose stability will be a source of nostalgia for those who lived through it. So, what is that approach? How do we isolate our signal from all this noise? And is treasury a spectator or a strategic driver as businesses struggle to find their place in this new-old world?

10:30am -11:10am

Refreshment break

11:10am -11:50am

When traditional treasury is not enough

Treasurers at high-growth companies often struggle to cope with the increases in transaction volumes, currencies, and new locations that come with business success. This company’s cash grew from $88 million to $2.2 billion within four years, prompting a search for solutions that would not only automate and replace existing manual processes but also provide powerful analytics tools that enabled data-backed decisions. Implementing a traditional TMS would have been time-consuming and would have required a lot of support from internal IT resources, potentially delaying the journey. Thinking outside of the box, this treasury team chose disruptive technologies based on APIs and machine learning. So how did they come to this decision? How did they get internal support to take the non-traditional route? And how does their solution outperform those traditional systems?

  • Priti Kartik

    Senior director of treasury, CrowdStrike

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11:10am -11:50am

Building a better treasury team

What does a modern treasury look like today and what might it look like in three years? With technology change and economic disruption driving rapid business evolution, treasurers were already having to adopt more agile working processes, improve forecasting and get on top of revolutions in payments and other core treasury bailiwicks. Now, as treasury technology itself gives companies more (and sometimes conflicting) choices around automation, outsourcing, centralisation and the extent to which treasury is seen as a strategic versus mid-management function, the question of treasury recruitment is more complicated than ever. Will treasury go the way of the car factory (or the bank FX dealing room), with most staff replaced by technical experts keeping the robots running? Or will it become the data-driven nerve centre of the business, providing real-time intelligence that genuinely drives strategic business choices? Or something in between the two? Knowing what your treasury will look like is the beginning of building a staffing strategy. These treasurers have definite views on both.

  • Steven Krippner

    Group treasurer, Baker Hughes

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11:10am -12:30pm

Conference breaks into streams, Discovery Labs and the Future of Money stage

11:10am -11:50am

Driving digital business through digital treasury

For many companies, digitalising their business model starts with a simple move online into e-commerce. For some, that is as far as they have got. But the pace-setters have gone much further. Integrating financing and payments into sales and marketing models drives up sales; embedding other financial services into client-facing platforms and integrating CRM data into them can create new ecosystems around the business and lead to entirely new revenue streams; existing products can themselves be modified to take ‘in-app’ payments to access additional functionality or even sell other companies’ products; and mobile apps related to the underlying business can create new opportunities, as auto insurers have found, for example. Indeed, many of these innovations have been seen in the wider automotive sector as cars become connected devices. In this session see how treasury was at the centre of enabling these new initiatives and how digital treasuries can drive the digitalisation of the whole business not just in the automotive sector but in many industries.

11:50am -12:30pm

Getting M&A right: a treasury perspective

Post-M&A integration can make or break the deal. For treasurers, this means everything from setting treasury strategy for the new business to making sure the ownership change is communicated to banking partners. This treasurer will explain their approach to the M&A process including: preparing the treasury team for the transaction; understanding legacy structure and the legal framework for the deal and its implication for treasury; the many complexities of working with partner banks before, during and after the transaction; and the many critical details that must be done quickly and accurately to ensure that the deal delivers value to the business.

  • Rada Djurdjic

    EMEA treasurer, AbbVie

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11:50am -12:30pm

Women in finance

In the future, there will be no female leaders. There will just be leaders’. Is leadership in finance still a man’s world? Are we at a point where women navigating leadership roles in finance is run-of-the-mill, ordinary, unremarkable? This panel will discuss the progress that has been made for women in the world of finance and what more can be done. How have changing company policies helped, or have the inhibited progress? How has society’s infrastructure changed to enable successful careers for women? Do some cultures do better than others when it comes to diversity, equity & inclusion? Hear from the perspective of the women and men working in the evolving world of finance, what path they took to hold the leadership roles they do today, and the struggles they faced along the way.

  • Yang Xu

    Senior VP, global finance and treasurer, Kraft Heinz

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  • Priti Kartik

    Senior director of treasury, CrowdStrike

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  • Bruce Edlund

    Senior director, assistant treasurer, Citrix Systems Inc

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Moderated by
  • Debbie Kaya

    Senior director of treasury, Cisco Systems, Inc.

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11:50am -12:30pm

Debt financing in a volatile environment

An abrupt spike in inflation, rising interest rates with the expectations of more and a volatile macroeconomic environment have radically changed the corporate funding landscape. Treasurers used to stable debt markets and ultra-cheap funding have found bond and loan deals more difficult as conditions can change significantly between deciding to go to market and structuring and pricing deals.  This company needed to raise funds to close on acquisitions and planned to issue $1 billion of senior unsecured notes, but market upheavals encouraged a pivot in strategy to use a mix of bonds and loans instead. So how did the treasury cope with the market volatility? How easy was it to restructure the capital raising? And what lessons did the team learn that will be useful as we enter what looks like a prolonged period of unpredictability?

  • Connie Miner

    VP, assistant treasurer, News Corp

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11:50am -12:30pm

Digging deeper, forecasting better

Aggregating the relevant data from across a complex enterprise is, of course, a foundational problem of forecasting. But assuming that a reasonable core dataset exists, the challenge then changes: how can treasurers extract the most detailed insights from what they’ve got. There are many answers to this question, but increasingly machine learning models and smart pattern detection algorithms are being used to find correlations and causalities in large, disparate datasets. That said, it is also extremely important to ensure that the metrics chosen to evaluate the accuracy of the models are themselves right. With the wrong metrics, ML models can, for example, appear to be able to use historical random data sequence as a training set to predict future data points accurately – an impossible task. Whichever methods of analysis are chosen, better forecasting can improve everything from resource allocation, to inventory management, to hedging and product development. So what does forecasting at the cutting edge of best practice look like today? Find out in this session.

12:30pm -2:00pm

Lunch

2:00pm -2:40pm

Case study: Treasury in a crisis

Every company may face different sets of difficult circumstances, but all should prioritise a similar set of responses. At least that is the lesson that comes from talking to the treasurers of a number of large cap MNCs who have weathered storms and come out the other side of crisis. First, sort out the balance sheet and get debt structures, covenants and tenors right. Second, make sure key liabilities such as pensions are under control. Third, strengthen strategic banking relationships and focus on liquidity. And only then start to consider operational treasury and the P&L. Not everyone will agree with this list but in this session hear the treasury team who put this plan into action explain why they think it is the right way to work. And express your views on why you would take a different tack.

  • Yang Xu

    Senior VP, global finance and treasurer, Kraft Heinz

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  • Sayan Mukherjee

    VP, Group Treasurer, Nexperia

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2:00pm -2:40pm

Panel discussion: Digitising borrowing and deposits: better yields via blockchain and borrowing at lower prices

It is hard for any provider of treasury services to anticipate corporate needs in a vacuum. And even if that need is obvious – a way to increase the yield on cash deposits for example – it is often hard for just one corporate and one partner to develop a solution: a one-client product is usually unattractive. The securitisation and trading of unsecured cash deposits and the creation of a digital marketplace for institutional money market borrowing and lending is one example. Developed in conjunction with a large network of banks, corporates, asset managers, insurance companies, public sector counterparties, and others, a new blockchain-enabled marketplace for liquidity management and funding has been created, including new electronic promissory notes for short-term financing and payments. This panel of bank, fintech and corporate practitioners will look at this from the borrower’s perspective as a way to raise alternative sources of funding at more favourable rates than banks and with a more efficient, digitalised process. It will also consider the deposit-related solutions to earn increased yield.

2:00pm -2:40pm

Panel discussion: The beauty of APIs – but let’s stop talking about the tech and instead the solutions

For the providers of APIs and their associated functionality, it’s a lot more complicated, but for users – here treasurers – ‘APIs’ mostly just means ‘software functionality’ usually accessed via a web interface or an additional field or screen in an existing application. In essence, new apps, or additions to apps, whether provided by banks or fintechs are delivering better, faster versions of old tools and creating entirely new ones. Treasury pain points in forecasting, hedging, KYC, tracking balances in real-time, credit control and inventory management all boil down to questions around where data is, how it can be aggregated, verified and reconciled, and whether demands for data from internal or external parties can easily be met. Treasurers without the skills or resources to build their own connectivity using the actual APIs should therefore simply be asking their traditional providers whether a particular connectivity or data exchange or verification problem is being solved. APIs, if we still want to talk about them, are the mechanism for that connectivity and the real story is how the banks and large software and infrastructure providers have had to concede defeat in the battle to preserve some level of exclusive perimeter to their offerings. So, the key question is: which pain points are really being solved as a result of traditional providers’ recognition that they must open up their systems and data? This session will provide the answers with a panel of treasurers at the forefront of implementing solutions off the back of APIs.

2:00pm -2:40pm

Transform the business, transform the treasury?

Energy companies are at the frontline of business transformation as they evolve from fossil fuels toward renewables. TechnipFMC is a leading technology provider to both the traditional and new energy industries. Over the last several years, the company has executed both a merger and the spinoff of a business unit as it repositions for growth. In conjunction, TechnipFMC has undertaken an aggressive deleveraging plan to balance sustainable growth with shareholder returns. The scale and pace of these developments impact everything from capital structure to FX risk management to in-house banking. This treasurer is leading a global team transforming the company’s balance sheet and the people, process and technology that support it – all driven by evolution of the business while embracing the digital disruption around us. They are rebuilding teams, replacing legacy infrastructure and adapting how they work to meet a new set of corporate priorities. In this session hear their practical examples of how aligning the finance function with corporate purpose drives better treasury decisions.

2:00pm -2:40pm

Case Study: Treasury central

Questions around treasury centralisation haven’t gone away, but they have changed. The data requirements of digital treasury have highlighted the fact that while centralised data is critical in achieving core treasury goals around visibility, and so improved cash and risk management, that centralisation does not have to be reflected in physical locations or resources. Even treasuries unable to move to the most sophisticated digital models will find it necessary to think about centralisation in terms of technology, data aggregation and analytics, and to find ways to assimilate that with their traditional operations. This company has done just that. Here is how they took a mapping of their core needs and used data and other technology centralisation to help achieve them.

  • Tony Fargher

    Head of transactional banking, BP Treasury

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2:40pm -3:20pm

Case study: Living the dream – in FX risk management

Like other treasury processes, FX risk management is best executed if all relevant systems (ERP, TMS, FX risk management platform, FX trading platform) are connected with real-time STP. The more upload/download/reconcile via manual processes, the more inaccurate and inefficient the overall process. And as with other treasury bottlenecks around data exchange, treasurers have at least two or three different potential solutions. They can build the connectivity themselves either via an intermediary data lake or using APIs (if they exist); they can export the data to a third-party ETL provider for reimportation into their systems; or they can direct the data to a dedicated external FX risk-management platform where data aggregation, hedge calculations and execution can be carried out. This treasurer chose the latter and in just three months went from pain point to dream state. Hear how they did it.

2:40pm -3:20pm

Virtual cash management at its best

The pros and cons of virtual bank accounts have been debated for some years, but as the ecosystem around them has grown, in terms of technology, additional virtualisation procedures for ledger accounts, and in terms of dashboards, use cases have proliferated. Done well, virtual structures save time and resources, offer better enterprise cash visibility, as well as near real-time reporting, and help to rationalise bank accounts and bank relationships. They also lower the barriers to entry for POBO/COBO. In fact, combining OBO structures with virtual accounts and ledgers creates the most efficient and strategically valuable version of virtual cash management, as this treasurer explains. Hear how they implemented this structure and see the benefits they accrued including reductions in fraud, KYC risk and compliance.

2:40pm -3:20pm

Building a data driven treasury

Well over a decade ago, this treasury director realised the importance of the data scattered across their company. He had a background in both IT and finance, but lacked the technology and the data scientists to achieve what they wanted. Fast forward to today: their team has built a real-time analytics application in-house which is now being used globally to deliver real-time visibility into the company’s liquidity position and allows forecasts based on historical data on which multiple business factors can be applied. So why did they go in house? What technologies have they used to create this level of visibility? How did they develop the team skills required to do this? And how has the business responded to being able to see not simply cash positions and balances, but the underlying drivers of those numbers? In this session, these questions are answered, they explain how they built a business case for the Board; and looks forward to the next challenges in treasury technology.

  • Mario Del Natale

    Treasury director, global digital treasury, Johnson Controls

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2:40pm -3:20pm

What are you really paying your banks?

Bank fee data isn’t just useful as a way to compare how different providers charge for their services. Because it covers most treasury and AP/AR activity, it can help justify the economics of moving to a TMS, or implementing a new payments process or some other initiative. The problem is, despite a more standardised adoption of more granular fee codes and the TWIST BSB standard, there are still differences between banks and regions in what data is available in what formats. These differences mean that detailed fee analysis still means manual processes, looking. through Excel spreadsheets and even PDF documents. However, responding to this need, a number of providers have developed new systems to help treasurers automate the importing, aggregating and analysis of fee data. In this session a treasurer will explain how they worked with a service provider and bank to get to grips with fees.

2:40pm -3:20pm

Treasury priorities in this uncertain world

Covid, the on-going Ukraine-Russia war, soaring inflation and fast-changing business models have left treasury scrambling to manage ever more and different risks. Against this background, The Economist Impact team recently surveyed 150 treasurers globally to identify top disruptions and subsequent mitigation strategies. Treasurers were most concerned about the reversal in globalisation and the impact to the business, but other notable areas were the promise and the challenge of using data to more efficiently manage in uncertain times. Prioritising investment portfolios in the current climate was also high on the agenda along with managing cyber crime and the impact of tax and regulatory changes. In this panel discussion hear from the treasury community about the actions they are taking to balance multiple priorities.
3:20pm -4:00pm

Refreshment break

3:20pm 4:00 pm

Refreshment break

3:20pm - 4:00 pm

Refreshment break

3:20pm -4:00pm

Refreshment break

3:20pm -4:00pm

Refreshment break

4:00pm -4:40pm

Managing commodity chaos

The last two years have been a white-knuckle ride for treasurers trying to manage commodity exposures and 2022 has started no better. All of the usual drivers of volatility have been joined by COVID disruption, climate change and de-carbonisation – all of whose effects are essentially politically mediated – and now other forms of extreme geopolitical turmoil. And now there is the war in Ukraine. Energy prices in particular have whipsawed faster than alternative supplies can come on stream and given current levels of volatility, treasurers’ well-known and long-standing dislike of options will be difficult to overcome. So, what are the choices? Once uncertainty has exceeded normal boundaries, and unprecedented political circumstances are the key driver, is simply securing commodities more important than the price? If so, what is Treasury’s role right now?

  • Jeremy Hamon

    Head of group finance, CFO, Primetals

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  • Tony Tiscornia

    CFO, Coupa Software

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4:00pm -4:40pm

Panel discussion: Making virtual accounts better

Modern virtual account management (VAM) platforms allow corporates to map their existing bank accounts at any bank(s) globally to a virtual account structure. Multi-bank solutions of this kind then allow users to centralise their cash management function and create POBO/COBO services, in-house banking, and a range of other functions that depend on a single view of cash, liquidity, payments and receivables. These solutions – allegedly – overcome many of the previous obstacles to the adoption of virtual accounts and can be implemented without disrupting BAU operations. As well as immediate liquidity concentration, the elimination of the need for physical cash sweeps and significant cost reductions in manual processing, some treasurers have also reported a reduction in physical bank accounts of up to 50%. So, is it better to go with the solution provided by your most significant banking partner, another bank or a third-party fintech? How should you evaluate VAM platforms against each other? And is post-implementation service a more important variable than, say, cost savings?

  • Elise Hoyet

    Head of virtual account and payment factory domain, Societe Generale

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  • Aakar Desai

    Global cash management, Wabtec Corporation

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  • Stefan Windisch

    Sr. cash manager-treasury operations, Roche Finanz AG

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4:00pm -4:40pm

Panel discussion: The connectivity conundrum

Most corporates still have relationships with a large number of different banks. Pulling information from these service providers, normalising the data and aggregating it so that it can be used to deliver real insights is a continuing challenge. Treasurers can choose from an increasing number of platforms and methodologies to solve this connectivity, from fintechs and APIs to established ERP giants with their own communications channels and financial message exchange systems. Key to the success of any of these systems is their delivery of real solutions to treasury pain points such as better visibility and control, reduced operational risk and the faster onboarding of financial partners. So how can treasurers pick the right multi-bank connector for their company? What levels of service come at what cost? And how much of this functionality is already embedded in their existing TMS and ERP systems?

  • Lena Myklebust

    Head of cash management infrastructure, Equinor

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4:00pm -4:40pm

Case study: POBO/COBO, virtual accounts and VIBANS: from theory to practice

Whether it is to facilitate the development of an in-house bank, to better centralise payments or receivables in other ways or to ease a variety of reconciliation problems, the various on-behalf-of structures have proved useful to an increasingly broad set of companies. They are particularly suited to the digitalisation and automation of reconciliation and account posting and now that ISO 20022 formats include a structured field to indicate the entity on whose behalf a payment is being made, some of the remaining obstacles to widespread adoption seem to be gone. This company spent some years evaluating the alternatives and now has their own OBO implementation. Here the treasurer explains the evaluation process and why they chose to go ahead. He will also present where the legal- and tax-related challenges have been during the preparation phase and will cover the most important lessons learned from that project so far.

4:00pm -4:40pm

The resilient treasury: how Spotify and Ericsson are navigating 2022 and preparing for 2023

While the past 36 months have delivered uncertainty followed by extreme volatility, treasury leaders have repositioned their teams for growth, uncovering new methods to drive business continuity and greater efficiency. In this session Spotify and Ericsson discuss their treasury transformation success stories, focusing on extreme efficiency to minimize the effects of labour disruption from Covid; technology automation to improve business continuity; optimising liquidity and eliminating financial vulnerability; and finally supporting a growing business without increasing headcount.

4:40pm -5:20pm

Winner of the EuroFinance treasury excellence award for digital transformation

Announcement coming soon!

4:40pm -5:20pm

Rewiring trade finance

Co-creation does not always mean a partnership between client and provider. Some of the most significant developments in trade finance are the result of co-creation initiatives involving multi-bank groups. Harking back to the days when bank cooperation created the modern financial marketplace, innovation in trade finance, particularly around the blockchain, is being led by bank groups developing electronic letters of credit, end-to-end trade and supply chain finance solutions, specific pre- and post-shipment trade finance solutions, and KYC solutions. This session will provide an update on innovations in all areas of trade financing and show how APIs and other techniques are overcoming issues of legacy system compatibility to make it easy to transition to more efficient ways of working.

4:40pm -5:20pm

Modelling the costs of tax reform

With so much uncertainty over the implementation of global reforms, one starting point for companies trying to work out a longer-term plan is a flexible model with sophisticated scenario toggling. Just to determine the pillar one and pillar two base cases for an individual company is non-trivial, but only then can firms look at how alternative company structures, billing and cash management arrangements and other changes might influence future tax planning. With the reforms affecting so much on a jurisdictional and industry basis, modelling must be specific to individual organisations and use as much real data as possible. This tax and treasury team have developed a model for their business and are here to share some of their initial thoughts.

4:40pm -5:20pm

Global tax change: not business as usual for treasurers

Recently announced international tax reforms are already being called the most significant in over 100 years. In fact, they are representative of broader changes to tax systems across the globe. Common themes include greater transparency, harmonisation of tax principles, and more tools for tax authorities to challenge perceived tax planning.

The changes have implications for business models, including many employed in the digital age, cash flow, balance sheets, and treasury structures companies may be using. There will be demands on treasury. Treasurers need to start preparing, rather than wait to find it is not Business as Usual. We discuss recent developments, implications, and some of the key considerations for treasurers for planning ahead

  • Graham Robinson

    Partner, PwC

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  • Ron Chakravarti

    MD, treasury and trade solutions, Citi

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4:40pm -5:20pm

Treasury lessons from growth companies

One of the most important challenges for acquisitive companies is making sure finance teams keep up with the business. Aside from the key audit and accounting issues that can arise when M&A runs ahead of firms’ ability to run the numbers, there are core treasury challenges to meet too. As small organisations become large fast, the treasurer can no longer be an all-in-one accountant, legal, tax and business strategist. But neither can they necessarily be the kind of treasurer a mature organisation might need. As the deals flow, a project treasurer is ideal, perhaps with less specific treasury knowledge and more project management and audit skills. With the business at a certain size, the treasurer must then be able to build up a treasury team with banking, FX and cash management expertise. And as expansion continues, treasury must be able to deliver the cash to fund operations and growth, to build up sophisticated working capital management and to deliver timely information to an increasing roster of stakeholders. Hear how this treasurer has overseen the rapid evolution of their treasury through a period of rapid growth and see what lessons they have for all of us.

  • Clemence Tarenne

    Head of group treasury, Babilou

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5:20pm -7:00pm

Networking reception

Day two continues with the theme of key drivers causing business and treasury transition.

The all-singing, all-dancing digital treasury utopia described by consultants is an unrealistic aspiration for most treasurers, and a distant prospect even for those with the resources to create it. In the meantime, unless starting from scratch, treasurers need to ensure their business-as-usual processes are efficient and, more importantly, resilient. The basics matter more than ever.

Moderated by:
  • Damian Glendinning

    Principal, Treasury Matters

    bar1 bar2

Gone are the days when your bank or tech provider hands you a solution off the shelf that works for them and leaves you just a little bit underwhelmed. Today banks, both fintech and traditional technology professors are working alongside companies to develop solutions that better match a treasurer’s needs and expectations. This series of case studies highlights the new collaborative world of treasury.

Moderated by:
  • Simon Jones

    Independent treasury expert

    bar1 bar2

The digital march continues. In-depth case studies on how to choose the right technology, how to get the most out of your technology and how to implement the latest add-ons to treasury technology like APIs and AI.

Moderated by:
  • Daniel Blumen

    US-based treasury consultant

    bar1 bar2

From protecting your balance sheet to putting into place FX and commodity hedging programmes and cyber resilience strategies, our risk sessions have you covered.

Moderated by:
  • Robert Novaria

    EuroFinance tutor and partner, Treasury Alliance group

    bar1 bar2

As new business models, covid and the looming major global tax reform change the very nature of business, treasury too has new roles, new skills requirements and needs to go about its daily business in very different ways. 

Moderated by:
  • Adrian Rodgers

    Senior EuroFinance tutor and director, Arc Solutions

    bar1 bar2
9:00am -9:10am

Chair’s introduction

9:10am -9:50am

Feeling the heat: how climate change changes business

It is hard to overestimate the impact of climate change on business. De-carbonisation and moves away from polluting energy sources fundamentally change the value of vast chunks of the global economy, as well as spurring the development of new ones. The fact of climate change itself will drive business decisions from product lines to procurement to location. And ESG regulation will affect funding, banking relationships, supply chains and financial reporting. The problem is when? What does a sensible climate strategy look like? Is moving first smart or existentially risky? How are investors and other stakeholders responding to the green strategies of global MNCs today? What happens if politicians row back from previous commitments? How can firms evaluate the pros and cons of change versus BAU?

  • Göran Carstedt

    Former head of IKEA North America, IKEA retail Europe, Volvo France & Volvo Sweden

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9:50am -10:30am

The drivers behind a changing treasury strategy

Managing the business model changes brought about by new technology and ESG is a challenge for most companies. So, imagine what it must be like for the companies actually creating that change. For firms at the forefront of Big Tech, or automotive transformation, or de-carbonisation, radical and unending change is almost their product. As industries and business models get upended, this session will look at three companies in a period of great transformation and why treasury needs to understand and respond to the underlying company’s business vision. In these firms, how does the business cope with such rapid mutation? How does that business cycle affect the finance function? And how do they in turn build mindsets, skillsets and processes that can deliver what the business needs? In this panel, three leaders at the frontline of the digital and climate revolution take us through some of the bigger-picture developments they see within their own companies for the future and their finance functions.

  • Andreea Laplace

    Director - strategic financing and venture business development, Eaton

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10:30am -11:10am

Refreshment break

11:10am -11:50am

Understanding the new dynamics of global treasury operations function

Treasurers have spent much of their time over the last decade tweaking existing systems and processes. In a largely stable environment, their focus has been on incremental gains in efficiency and risk mitigation.. But incremental evolution is no longer the best approach in a world of rapid, extreme and sometimes chaotic change. This requires new approaches not just to treasury staples like forecasting, liquidity and risk management but also to the fundamental structure and management of the treasury function. So, if tweaking is not enough, what should treasurers really be thinking about? As industries and business models get upended, this session will look at three companies in a period of great transformation and why treasury needs to understand and respond to the underlying company’s business vision. What might treasury look like in the future and how are banks and tech partners supporting this change? These treasurers have a plan (or already started in that journey) and supporting vision for changes to talent, required skillset, changes to the structure of treasury operations and changes to both treasury and enterprise technology and data governance. They know that to be an effective and strategic treasurer requires in-depth understanding of the business, address implications of business changes on liquidity and risk management, and continuously evolve treasury operations talent, tools and structure to respond to these changes. In this session hear from treasurers as they describe their visions for their own operations and the drivers of those transformations.

11:50am -12:30pm

How fragile is agile: the key to making change

The benefits seem clear: agile principles allow large, complex projects to be broken into manageable pieces of work, with all the relevant stakeholders engaged in measurable and peer-reviewed processes. In practice though, many agile programmes fail. Even those that succeed can end up delivering outcomes to meet a series of short-term objectives rather than truly solve a strategic problem. In tech, the iterative sprint process can create a series of ‘minimum viable products’ that end up as technical debt, rather than a fully-formed, robust solution. Yet many agile implementations seem to deliver the opposite. So, is agile truly agile? Does true agility in business and finance arise from these kinds of formal methodologies or is it something else entirely? And if so, in which other ways can companies organise themselves to be able to respond quickly to profound and unpredictable change? 

12:30pm -2:00pm

Lunch

2:00pm -2:40pm

Cash forecasting from pilot to practice

For a company of any size, the problem of cash forecasting is not simply that the future is tough to predict, it’s that data – and the people who gather and distribute it – are scattered across dozens of business units, systems and geographies. Solutions to forecasting pain points that focus only on cognitive analytics, AI or other new technologies are avoiding the key issue: garbage-in-garbage-out. Cloud-based applications hold out the promise of delivering the cleaned, normalised data lake companies find so difficult to build in-house. Push disparate data sources straight out to the SaaS provider and let them aggregate the data and then apply the smart analytics you need to derive previously unobtainable insights. At least that’s the theory. In practice selecting a partner, verifying their ability to execute and also to deliver at enterprise scale, and actually getting a system in place that does what you need can be a lengthy and fraught process. So, can co-creation drive better outcomes? This treasurer says yes.

  • Kiera Agnew

    Assistant treasurer, Kellogg Company

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  • Brian O’Grady

    Assistant treasurer global cash management and banking operations, Bristol-Myers Squibb

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  • Dr. Duncan Cole

    Client advisory and partnerships, Citi

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2:00pm -2:40pm

So much cash, so little time: what to do with the money

Depending on who you count and how, non-financial companies in the Euro area, Japan and the U.S. now sit on nearly $10 trillion of currency and deposits, about twice the level of a decade ago. The pandemic prompted firms to bolster already enormous cash piles through massive issuance in the capital markets with rates near zero in case of long-term and catastrophic economic disruption. But is this level of cash necessary to hedge the uncertainties created by COVID, digitalisation, de-carbonisation and renewed great power rivalry? How can firms deploy these cash mountains productively now? And if they do not, how are they managing them to mitigate the drag on shareholder returns without incurring excessive risk? This treasurer explains both the big picture thinking that has driven their cash accumulation strategy, the rationale behind their current cash management strategies and the longer-term cash scenarios they are planning for.

2:00pm -5:20pm

Conference breaks into streams, Discovery Labs and the Future of Money stage

2:00pm -2:40pm

Case study: As business models upend: a new and different approach to treasury

De-carbonisation: in a single word lies the upending of today’s global economy. That big picture is fraught, complex and probably many years in the future, but for individual firms, from banking to energy, decisions must be taken now to ensure future viability. For treasurers at those organisations, this represents a challenge unlike most they have faced. Take an energy company rooted in fossil fuels that wants to pivot to green and renewable energy sources. Asset disposals, new capacity development, new products and services for new clients, and a new story for investors and ratings agencies are just the start. For treasury those big-picture issues feed through into pretty much every process, necessitating a root-and-branch rethink. This treasurer has taken the opportunity to build a state-of-the-art treasury organisation, including a new, combined centre of excellence and shared service centre. This treasury resource acts as both core treasury and strategic consultancy to the business. It’s early days, but this is how things are going so far.

  • Tor Stian Kjøllesdal

    Vice president, head of treasury and tax competence center, Equinor

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2:00pm -2:40pm

Use it or lose it? Wringing more from your TMS

Some say humans only use 10% of their brain power. They’re not correct but we do know that most treasurers are not using anything like the full capabilities of their TMS systems. Or do we? Certainly companies with suboptimal bank account structures or with limited systems, and so data connectivity, will be unable to use a TMS to fully optimise cash positioning, forecasting or liquidity management. The same problem will be true in payments and risk management. It may also be that firms underestimate the time and expense of fully implementing a TMS and so after an initial burst have stopped incrementally spinning up modules. And it may also be true that overlaps with other systems, especially newer ERP systems, mean that some functionality will never be used. This treasurer recognised unused capacity in their TMS, this is what they did with it.

2:40pm -3:20pm

Charting technology’s shifting sands

How can anyone plan their technology needs when even technology providers admit they are exhausted by the pace of change? If the newest software is being produced by small start-ups with a VC-to-sale mentality, how can you commit to multi-year use of their products? And with today’s cutting edge tomorrow’s obsolescent, when is it ever the right time to buy? Treasurers faced with these questions, as well as the uncertainties of the actual business, cannot simply wait and see while competitors adopt better banking, payments and forecasting tools – however imperfect. So, what does technology planning look like for treasurers today? And how does it tie-in with their longer-term views for the role, structure and size of treasury? Most importantly perhaps, how do treasurers’ predictions around their staffing drive the technology planning process? This treasurer explains how they do it.

  • Aniket Kulkarni

    Partner, treasury and commodity trading technology leader, PwC

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2:40pm -3:20pm

Daily liquidity planning - you can only manage what you measure

For a treasurer it is complex to manage and forecast cash when upstream processes like accounts receivable matching have to handle multiple payment formats across geographies and different systems – especially when done manually. It is not unusual to run into late, incorrect, or incomplete data, which has a direct effect on the quality of liquidity planning. AI-based solutions that can automate the allocation of cash reliably, and without any backlogs, have the power to change things for both treasury and finance. Real-time reporting, reliable daily cash status, optimised working capital, and time savings are the benefits to be had when treasury and finance work together. In this session hear from one treasurer that has helped to reduce the complexity and better manage the outcomes of its liquidity planning.

2:40pm -3:20pm

What geopolitics, inflation and supply chain disruption mean for corporate ratings: implications for treasury teams

Global inflation pressures continue to intensify with increasingly adverse implications for the growth outlook. Meanwhile, energy and food supply disruptions from the Russia-Ukraine war are having a bigger impact on European inflation than expected. So what should treasury teams consider as we look at H2 2022 and beyond? Here we will consider how the energy disruption is going to impact EMEA corporates. Will price increases help mitigate cost inflation in the manufacturing sector? Is underlying demand sufficient to drive revenue? How has the Fitch base case changed since the start of the year and what is our outlook going forward?

  • Elena Stock

    Senior director, corporate ratings, Fitch Ratings

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2:40pm -3:20pm

Case study: Know the business, help the business: treasury working in the business

Treasury’s potential role as a strategic business enabler is sometimes more aspiration than reality. This is not only because most treasuries are flat out coping with the day to day operations and technology change, but it’s also because treasury staff, like many others in central functions, have little real idea of the challenges faced by frontline business staff. How many treasurers really know how hard sales really is? How many of them, when they ask business managers for forecasts, understand the realities of that request? And how many have any idea how hard it is to demand different terms of business from key clients? Smart treasuries put their staff into the business to see what ‘business’ really looks like when it’s not just numbers on a TMS or spreadsheet. And treasuries with a real understanding of what their companies do and how are a lot more likely to come up with helpful suggestions and a lot less likely to create work, friction and resentment. Here’s how one MNC goes about it.

  • Yang Xu

    Senior VP, global finance and treasurer, Kraft Heinz

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3:20pm -4:00pm

Refreshment break

3:20pm -4:00pm

Refreshment break

3:20pm -4:00pm

Refreshment break

3:20pm -4:00pm

Refreshment break

4:00pm -4:40pm

Who’s funding what and how: the fickle world of financing

Global non-financial companies raised $207 billion between Jan 1 and Feb 12, 2022, the lowest amount borrowed in that period since 2019. Investment-grade firms have continued to access cheap funding to pre-empt interest rate rises and maintain strong balance sheets to weather any potential slowdown to the economy. But in emerging markets, fears of both higher absolute rates and higher rate volatility have made investors jumpy. EM debt issuance is down and yields (and spreads to Treasuries) are rising.  And in high-yield markets in general, investors believe that record issuance and record low defaults are unsustainable as we enter a more volatile economic situation and rates rise. In this environment treasurers will have to get smarter about how they raise funds. This may mean investigating green and social bonds or more use of private credit markets. For companies in some sectors it may mean issuing hybrid instruments to give investors access to the returns on real assets. In this session hear from treasurers whose funding strategies for 2022 are all about taking advantage of volatility and investors’ new appetites.

  • Victor Pausin

    Treasurer - Americas, Nissan Motors Limited

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  • Regina Ochev

    SVP, treasury, Prologis

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4:00pm -4:40pm

Getting into bed with your banks

One way in which treasury teams can genuinely help drive core business objectives is through embedded ‘banking’ products. Sales propositions can be strengthened by embedding payment and lending services into client offerings. Suppliers can be supported in the same way with trade and supply chain financing. Wrapping these capabilities up in wallet-style offerings that reside in the sales or supplier portals of the end-user, rather than just on a bank system can transform the business models of smaller and mid-sized firms adapting to enforced digital globalisation, and they can help larger organisations with visibility into cashflows and customer data that can be used to adapt product and service models. Treasury teams should be at the heart of these types of initiative and this treasurer is here to explain how they are approaching the issue.

  • Lluc Artur Castellsagué Doldi

    Insurance, financial services and mobility manager, Telefónica

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  • Ana Isabel Climente Alarcón

    Head of open banking, BBVA

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4:00pm -4:40pm

Panel discussion: Tomorrow’s treasurers today: finding, retaining and retraining staff

Wherever you are in a modern company, the biggest management challenge will likely be hiring and retaining good staff. COVID has added an additional layer of complexity by introducing flexible working as a key variable attracting the best candidates. And in treasury, this challenge has been further exacerbated by the need to move to a more digital, data-driven environment and to work with external technology and financial solution providers more proactively. Longer-term uncertainty over the role and structure of treasury in a world of off-prem applications, automation and smart analytics doesn’t help. So, what are today’s treasurers doing to ensure they have the right teams for today as well as tomorrow’s new environment? How has the mix of skills they require changed and why? What about costs – if good people cost more, are treasury budgets adapting or are treasurers being forced to reduce costs elsewhere (again!)?

  • Jan Beukes

    Group treasurer, MultiChoice Group

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  • Kirsty Craig

    European treasury lead, General Mills

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  • Pedro Barros

    VP of finance, Remote

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4:00pm -4:40pm

Panel discussion: The devil you know or the devil you don’t: how to choose the right technology

Buy, build or adapt? These are the traditional choices faced by anyone looking to upgrade current infrastructure. In IT, and in the recent past, the build option has been largely jettisoned. Unless technology is a core competence, choosing to develop proprietary, on-prem systems from scratch has been seen as foolhardy and expensive. That characterisation has been complicated by the emergence of customisable platforms, the availability of cheap and abundant processing power and data storage in the cloud and developer portals that expose multiple bank and other APIs. But still, for most treasuries, build is a risk. Buying badly is no better, especially given the amount of implementation work involved in IT projects. And a bad buy may only reveals itself later. Given all this, perhaps an incremental approach to improving existing systems is best? Start with data. Improve connectivity between existing systems and third parties. Explore cloud-based additions. Maximise TMS usage. And if you have multiple ERP instances, consolidate and upgrade. In this session three treasurers take you through three different approaches to the treasury technology problem.

4:00pm -4:40pm

Resilience versus security: how treasury can play its part

Determining responsibility for cybersecurity has been one of the defining problems of the last few years. Even organisations with advanced three lines of defence models (notably banks) have tied themselves in knots trying to fit CISOs and CISROs into conventional GRC models. And in one sense cybersecurity is much more like physical security or maintaining safety in a high-risk engineering environment like an oil refinery than it is like financial risk management. But the main reason it is so difficult is that the risk is hybrid: there is a genuine technology risk, with hackers using extraordinary sophistication to tunnel into critical systems; but there is also the plain fact that simple email phishing of employees is by far the most common attack vector. Treasury is at the intersection of these risks as digitalisation expands the technology attack surface and staff have access to more and more valuable data. So to what extent is treasury responsible for its own cybersecurity? Do treasurers ‘own’ this risk? Or should they focus instead on resilience – the ability to notice, report and bounce back from attacks quickly with little or no material damage? 

  • Cathy Fields

    Assistant treasurer, Sr. director of global risk management, Hitachi Vantara

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  • Felix Meyer

    Vice president, treasury IS manager, ABB Capital AG

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  • Guillermo De La Fuente

    Treasurer, SITA

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4:40pm -5:20pm

Panel discussion: Buy, build, co-create

Co-creation is all the rage but has anyone actually measured it against the alternatives? The traditional buy versus build choice has been somewhat blurred by the development of platforms that incorporate a high degree of user customization, but they are both still options. While absolute measures are hard to come by, and those that exist, such as TCO, rarely used, treasurers continue to choose all three of these possibilities and so have practical experience of their relative merits. In this session, three treasurers explain why they decided to buy, build some things and co-create and whether, given their time over, they would make the same choices again.

4:40pm -5:20pm

Winner of the EuroFinance treasury excellence award for digital transformation

Announcement coming soon!

4:40pm -5:20pm

Money market funds under scrutiny

The COVID pandemic caused widespread disruption to the global financial markets which amongst other areas highlighted issues in the European short-term debt markets and the money market funds which together form a closely knit ecosystem. Unexpected disruptions to cash flows combined with enormous market volatility put unusual liquidity pressure on funds, revealing areas where the existing regulation had not functioned as intended. Some policy makers felt that the MMF reforms which followed the previous financial crisis may not have proven enough to mitigate systemic risk. Industry and many other stakeholders do not agree with this view and argue that MMFs continued to perform as intended through the first major stress test of reforms implemented in 2019. A 5-year review of the effectiveness of existing EU regulation was already due to take place in 2022. Post crisis analysis led to ESMA and the ESRB proposing additional reforms with a view to further enhancing fund resilience. In addition, the UK, in a post Brexit environment, is also conducting an independent review.

So, how did MMFs perform and how did treasurers fare during the stresses of March 2020? What would proposed reforms mean for corporates who want to continue to use MMFs as a core element of their liquidity management strategies?

4:40pm -5:20pm

Winner of the EuroFinance treasury excellence award for digital transformation

Announcement coming soon!

5:20pm

End of day 2

It’s not just tax, climate change, business model departures and other much-talked about economic trends driving business transition. Blue-sky ideas and fast-paced tech innovation is also changing the very fabric of business.

9:00am -9:10am

Chair’s introduction

9:10am -9:50am

Towards a token economy

Beeple’s artwork, ‘Everydays: The First 5,000 Days’ was sold in March 2021, at auction house Christie’s, for $69.3 million. It was purchased by a Singapore-based cryptocurrency investor who paid for the artwork in Ether. The buyer did not get a physical product; he got a non-fungible token, a purely digital artifact. If much of that seems unintelligible, or simply crazy, then this session is for you. From tokens like cryptocurrencies and stablecoins, to NFTs, to the tokens created by ICOs and governments, a new ecosystem of mediums of exchange is developing. Tokenised securities challenge today’s models for exchange trading; the fractionalisation and tokenisation of real estate and real assets makes anything theoretically a liquid, globally tradable asset. But what are the implications of this new world? Are tokens just a new and de-stabilising form of derivatives? What are the effects on the stability of existing financial systems and markets? Who regulates what? And are their privacy or other issues? In this session Shermin Voshmgir sets out a vision of a tokenised world that is inevitable but must be carefully managed.

  • Shermin Voshmgir

    Founder, Token Kitchen and BlockchainHub Berlin

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9:50am -10:30am

The many futures of money

Financial systems don’t tend to change quickly. In the UK cheques were supposed to have been phased out in 2018 and fallen out of use by 2021. They’re still here. Fiat currencies will be just as hard to dislodge. But they will increasingly live alongside a menagerie of central bank digital currencies, digital wallets, stablecoins and true cryptocurrencies. These in turn will be intermediated by a complex ecosystem of new and old payments rails, delivered by banks, fintechs, SWIFT, central banks and DLT technology. On the face of it this looks like a treasury nightmare: businesses want simpler, more transparent payments processes, not a tangle of different, rapidly changing and competing mediums of exchange. So what will the evolution of money look like? What are the predicted timelines for CDDCs and other innovations? And what do treasurers need to think about now?

10:30am -11:10am

Refreshment break

11:10am -11:50am

Treasury at the bleeding edge

Managing the changes brought about by new technology is a challenge for most companies. So, imagine what it must be like for the companies actually creating that change. For firms at the forefront of Big Tech, or automotive transformation, or de-carbonisation, radical and unending change is almost their product. In these firms, how does the business cope with such rapid mutation? How does that business cycle affect the finance function? And how do they in turn build mindsets, skillsets and processes that can deliver what the business needs while maintaining focus on core treasury deliverables? In this panel, three treasurers at the frontline of the digital and climate revolution take us through some of the bigger-picture developments they see within their own companies for the future and their finance functions.

11:50am -12:30pm

Money in the metaverse

Everyone has their own idea of what the metaverse might look like, but all agree that it is some kind of interconnected virtual universe above and beyond anything the current internet (and internet of things) can create. AR/VR wearables will allow users to share experiences in digital worlds that can be facsimiles of the real world or entirely invented new environments. Workers may collaborate in VR versions of their workplace. Buying and selling could take place in virtual shops, marketplaces, cities and games-scapes. But does any of this change the fundamentals of making and receiving payments, tracking cash and managing rates and FX risk? Throw in blockchain replacements for traditional payments infrastructure and digital currencies for fiat and the answer may be yes. The problem for treasurers is that science fiction is becoming science fact faster than ever. So, what do you need to know now? 

12:30pm -1:15pm

The world reimagined

Steeped in the world we know; we find it almost impossible to conceive of one in which the rules and systems we view as fundamental have been discarded in favour of a new paradigm. A very small example might be El Salvador’s adoption of Bitcoin as legal tender – a new reality disturbing enough to rile the IMF. Web 3.0 might be another: a reimagining of the internet with data rights returned to those who create it (us). What about decentralised autonomous organizations (DAOs), ‘internet communities with a shared bank account’, whose rules and governance are coded in smart contracts on the blockchain and which run many different operating models from investment fund to social activism. And then there is the Seasteading institute, which promotes the creation of floating ocean cities as a revolutionary solution to some of today’s biggest problems. This session reveals the hidden revolutions that may be driving the future most of us cannot imagine.

1:15pm

Conference end