Date: Wednesday, April 17, 2019 | Time: 5:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Location: Miami Airport Hilton, 5101 Blue Lagoon Drive, Miami, FL 33126
Moderator: Frank Gonzalez, Managing Partner, Morrison, Brown, Argiz & Farra, LLC
Panelists: Bert Lopez, EVP/CFO, U.S. Century Bank
Alejandro Safie, EVP/CFO & CIO, International Finance Bank
Sydney Garmong, Partner, Crowe
(Miami, FL) – On April 17, 2019, the South Florida Banking Institute hosted a CFO Financial panel focused on providing insights on current accounting and regulatory issues affecting the banking community from a local to national level. Detailed discussions were moderated by SFBI’s Frank Gonzalez. Panelists included Chief Financial Officers and members of Certified Public Accounting firms, Bert Lopez, Alejandro Safie, and Sydney Garmong.
Some topics of discussion included Current Expected Credit Losses (CECL), Capital Leases, Cyber Security, Regulatory Examinations, and how the CFO role has evolved over time. Panelists noted on the topic of CECL that banks should have an auditor involved and data should be readily accessible. Panelists also noted on the topic of cyber security that financial institutions cannot afford to have no protection. Financial institutions have to maintain reputation and mitigate financial risk. Regulatory examinations with the FDIC were also reviewed with exams focusing on deposits, deposit volume and liquidity. Examiners are now taking a more consultative approach to understand risk and the control of risk and are raising the bar- especially with smaller banks.
The panel concluded with the topic of how the Chief Financial Officer position has evolved over time. Panelists defined the CFO position as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO)’s strategic partner with a financial level head, keeping CEO honest and leveling the bank towards realistic expectations. One of the biggest challenges for a CFO is to take data and transpose into information. The CFO position helps drive various aspects of the bank and is a huge information provider and facilitator. Formerly viewed a ‘no’ person, the CFO position is responsible for providing solutions and bring a different perspective and guidance to the overall organization.