There was so much going at EuroFinance in Copenhagen this year that we had to make some tough choices. Here is a selection of things that we heard and found particularly inspiring.
No less than 1,800 treasurers attended EuroFinance Copenhagen, a must for the financial community, which dropped anchor in Copenhagen, Denmark, from 23rd to 25th September.
Is Europe fit for business?
The tone was set with a grand opening and the staging of high profile speakers such as The Economist Editor-in-Chief Zanny Minton Beddoes, former president of the EC, José Manuel Barroso, and ex-head of Marks & Spencer, Lord Rose. The question everyone was asking in the kick-off session was “Is Europe fit for business?”, as speakers shared their views on whether the main economic challenges that Europe is facing are likely to be met. Naturally, the issue of Brexit was also on everybody’s mind.
Customers are “masters of the universe”
Away from geopolitics and closer to business, Lord Rose argued that the customer had gone from being “king” to “master of the universe” due to current digital trends. Rose went on to argue that the role of treasurers had become significantly more strategic.
Day 1: Gateways to a resilient treasury
The various streams that took place on the afternoon of Day 1 were dedicated to flexibility and how to cope with volatility. Discussions were led by treasurers from major companies which had streamlined their treasury activities making them better-equipped to overcome macroeconomic obstacles - from markets’ offshore debts and currency issues to funding and cyber risk. These were hotly debated as part of Eurofinance’s Treasury Panel.
Day 2: Fit for life, fit for work?
Day 2 was dedicated to achieving best practices via strength and speed, with some truly inspiring testimonials on “How exceptional companies think” (Michael Raynor) and “Optimising human performance” (Jogi Rippel) – an approach that focuses on what happens in our brain when we’re under extreme pressure, and how to develop our own coping strategies.
While Day 2’s Treasury Panel focused on strength and agility, the afternoon streams had treasurers present their solutions to placing their excess cash, allocating internal vs. external resources as part of a treasury centralisation programme, and managing FX risk. Meanwhile, other discussions explored whether the RMB might become a reserve currency, as treasurers shared their China experiences particularly in the light of the recent “Great Fall”.
Meanwhile, on the BNP Paribas stand…
This year in Copenhagen, BNP Paribas was staging a newly-designed stand at the heart of the exhibitors’ hall. Away from the crowd, our customers could attend two high profile lunch workshops (eBAM, Collections and Virtual Accounts), comfortably sitting in quiet rooms and intimate meeting spaces which allowed much interaction and opportunity for in-depth exchange.