Czech Republic: Corporate Finance Leaders Meet at the CFO Forum in Prague

Published: February 25, 2013; 11:45 · (Vindobona) · Sponsored Content

If it were possible to predict the future, corporate financiers really could be relegated to mere "bean counters." Amid continuing global economic volatilty, however, considerably more advanced skills are required.

Czech Republic: Corporate Finance Leaders Meet at the CFO Forum in Prague / Picture: © EBCG

Raising capital, managing complex banking relationships, forcasting, and financial reporting are just some of the activities today's CFO needs to handle - and financial responsibilites are only expected to rise. With daily fluctuations in currency, developing the value and potential of companies has never been more essential. Working capital management is becoming more and more strategic along with smart choices in M&A, as well as discovering new business opportunities in emerging markets.

In its short history, the CFO Forum has positioned itself to be a European gathering for chief financial officers across the globe. Last year 95 top financial executives from 25 countries in Europe, the Middle East and Asia gathered at the CFO Forum at the Strahov Castle Hotel in Prague. Attendees spent two days discussing the hottest topics: strategic leadership management, the value of corporate responsibility, outsourcing and shared services strategies, optimizing working capital, state-of-the-art forecasting, successfully raising funds and driving business through smart M&A.

A pre-conference workshop opened the CFO Forum, starting off with exciting master-level classes on such topics as "Great Communication Tools for Great Leaders," (by Jerzy Zientkowski) and "Being an Effective Leader," (by Adrian Atkinson). The keynote speech of the main conference was delivered by Mr. Ivan Miklos, MP, former Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance of the Slovak Republic. In 2004 he was awarded the title of Finance Minister of the Year by Euromoney and was named Top Business Reformer by the World Bank´s Doing Business Report.

The central part of the conference included a wide range of executive business-case experiences, all presented by CFOs and followed by a series of vivid debates. CFOs agreed that most of the growth will continue to come from emerging markets and it would be hard to see that trend change in the near term. This means CFOs and corporate treasurers will need to work under conditions many times less mature than what we have had in the old world order. This includes specialized financing schemes; and the ability to manage trapped cash situations, with interest rate and currency risks that may be hard or impossible to hedge. However difficult these trends are to manage, they represent the "new normal."

The CFO Forum will celebrate its third annual offering in May 2013. Corporate finance leaders will again meet with more than 15 CFOs, VPs and decision makers presenting their expertise and case studies. During this international meeting, the latest topics in a financial executive's agenda will be discussed with respected experts - these include corporate responsibility trends, new legislation affecting audit and consulting, and the latest regulations impacting financing business. The first day kicks off with presentations and panels, followed by two streams of dicussion focusing on different topics in corporate finance. Attendees can choose from an information rich program, including three workshops on Cross-cultural Communications, IFRS Latest Insights and Communications Skills Excellence. A networking cocktail reception in the evening will enable the continuation of discussions and networking. The second day will provide insights into financing growth and exploring emerging markets in focused roundtable discussions.

The CFO Forum is organized by the European Business Conferences Group. Established in 2010, the EBCG is a privately owned business intelligence company active in Europe, creating and promoting strategic conferences, professional trainings, in-house trainings, and webinars. The event’s website can be found here.