APRIL 10, 2018
BAY LA SUN HOTEL & MARINA,
KING ABDULLAH ECONOMIC CITY
American Express, in association with the Top CEO Conference & Awards, is launching the AMEX CFO Summit on April 10, 2018, at King Abdullah Economic City, Saudi Arabia. The role of finance professionals in the GCC is going through a fundamental transformation. At the helm is the Chief Financial Officer, whose function, role and scope of influence within the organization is changing. New technologies, economic crises, low oil prices and the current geopolitical situation have impacted businesses and necessitated a long-overdue change. From maintaining control to driving efficiencies throughout the organization, CFOs are also facing challenges in the execution of their role.
The CFO Summit will be an elite private gathering of top executives and decision makers on CFO leadership. Combining best practices through the sharing of optimal insights, with knowledge-driven discussions and on-site networking opportunities, the CFO Summit will be the first of its kind in the region.
From cost control to cost reduction, the CFO’s role in GCC businesses has changed. With an emphasis on growth, the mindset of the finance team is evolving, focusing more on the search for company profitability and new developments. Global surveys show that CEOs’ priorities are on growth and that CFOs are required to help implement this growth strategy through various means, from mergers and acquisitions to organic growth and geographical expansion. What is expected of CFOs in the GCC region? How has their role changed? Are they given enough legroom to operate this transformation? From mergers to growth strategies, what are the key priorities for regional CFOs? An open conversation on the coming challenges and opportunities for the finance department.
HARNESSING DATA TECHNOLOGY
In the era of digitalization, the challenges for CFOs revolve around how to implement technologies that not only allow the automation of tasks, but can also prepare the company to harness and use data, from fraud detection to compliance and corporate governance. A CFO’s strategic value for the organization is on how to apply financial data to achieve profitable growth. Ensuring the alignment of financial planning to the corporate strategy and the CEO’s vision is one of the key priorities in the coming years. “CEOs expect their CFOs to take the initiative to apply financial data analysis to explore new products, markets and channels.”
THE CASH FLOW DRAIN
The year 2017 has been perceived as an annus horribilis in terms of cash-flow management for most GCC companies. From GRE to private companies, cash was the missing element of 2017. What were the causes of this cash drain and how can companies cover this risk in the future?
TOP 5 CHALLENGES FOR 2018 AND BEYOND
Risk management, cost and profitability management, technology, changing regulatory environment and talent management were high on companies’ list of concerns in 2017. What will be the top risks for regional businesses and CFOs in 2018 and beyond? How can these risks be mitigated? How can businesses in the region adapt to these challenges?
THE CHANGING REGULATORY ENVIRONMENT
VAT, taxation and regulations are some of the unknowns facing regional companies and CFOs. With limited visibility and an expected impact, GCC governments are changing their regulatory environment. Companies need to be ahead of the curve and anticipate possible changes for systems, processes and control deployment. According to a KPMG global survey, 61 percent of business leaders see regulations as an opportunity to derive competitive advantage, while 51 percent of CEOs see them as an opportunity to utilize data analytics. What do CFOs need to do to adapt to this fastchanging environment?
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