Finance Professionals Series
Finance Professionals is a series of free seminars hosted by the Macquarie Applied Finance Centre (MAFC). The seminars are designed for professionals working in the finance industry. Covering a range of topics, industry leaders from the financial, professional services and corporate sectors discuss current challenges and opportunities.
The seminars are held at our CBD Centres, usually during lunch-time, and are open to anyone working in the finance or related industries.
Continuing professional development (CPD)
Attending Finance Professionals talks can count towards CPD points for institutions such as CPA and CFA. Contact your relevant institution for information.
There are currently no Finance Professionals scheduled at this time. Subscribe to our mailing list to be notified of upcoming seminars.
17 August 2018
ESG (Watch out!): Companies and Investors simply cannot afford not to care
22 June 2018
The Rise of Sovereign Wealth Funds: New Investment Strategies
The rise of sovereign wealth funds (SWFs) has created an investor class with some particular attributes not available to the average investor. Chief amongst these is a truly long horizon and strong liquidity profile. These add to tax and cost advantages. The impact has been a development of alternative forms of portfolio construction and investment strategy designed to best use these endowments.
Specifically, we will investigate:
11 & 18 May 2018
Natasha Hall (Panel Host)
5 years on from SPS220: Risk Management Maturity in Superannuation
Nearly five years after the implementation of prudential standards for risk management, it seems appropriate to investigate risk management maturity in the superannuation sector. The Australian superannuation industry exists to help Australians save for and live comfortably in retirement, complementing the age pension. This task carries with it substantial and complex risks. Ensuring that the industry is well equipped to manage these risks is of the utmost importance. The research team used mixed methods (interviews, analysis of documents and employee surveys) to address the following questions:
How can risk management maturity be defined/assessed?
Download the full paper here.
26 March & 9 April 2018
Susheela Peres da Costa
Shareholder Activism in Australia - investor and company perspectives
There is a surging torrent of shareholder activism facing Australian companies. This global phenomenon could be a powerful disruptive force creating positive change to the Australian corporate governance and management landscape. Alternatively, it could simply be a hugely inefficient waste of company resources and therefore undermine shareholder value.
To help us understand the issues we have two experts examine shareholder activism from the perspectives of investors and companies. They consider whether there is a distinction between engagement and activism in relation to the potential impact on companies. The panel also discuss the rise of real “activists” – i.e. those attempting to bring about corporate change to achieve positive social outcomes and potential increase in shareholder value. We look at how companies and investors can make sense of NGO campaigns which employ public market processes to facilitate their goals. The panel also look at how boards and senior management respond to the challenge of acting in the long term interests of shareholders and other company stakeholders.
|27 February 2018 |
Portfolio Manager, Equities & Global REITs, Dimensional Fund Advisors
Smart Beta: Why the popularity and what's under the bonnet?
In 2017,both domestically and globally, the capital allocated to smart beta strategies accounted for more than half of all capital invested. Over the past 10 years, these strategies have enjoyed an enormous increase in popularity reaching close to USD$1 trillion in total funds under management. Such rapid growth has the regulators genuinely concerned, placing scrutiny on the viability of some of these offerings. All in all, there is no doubt that Smart Beta is now a mainstream investment approach. Slava Platkov, Portfolio Manager (Equities and REITs) at Dimensional Fund Advisors, will provide an introduction to Smart Beta, the type of strategies encompassed as well as some of the potential risks.
|25 October 2017 |
Professor of Environmental Finance
Navigating the Upcoming Clean Technology Revolution
In December 2015, representatives from 195 nations gathered in Paris to negotiate terms on what would become a world-first agreement to address the increasing threat of climate change. As science and politics digests the long-term impacts of this agreement, businesses are also grappling to understand the potential implications for their sectors and industry.
Individuals and companies that hold clean tech patents (of which there are thousands!) are now taking this opportunity to commercialise their patents, which will inevitably lead to a technological breakthrough in the clean technology sector.
12 and 14 September 2017|
Sydney and Melbourne CBD
Associate Professor, Macquarie Applied Finance Centre
Exploring opportunities in treasury management
16 August 2017|
Dr Leila Fourie
CEO, Australian Payments Network
Is China’s Shenzhen to Fintech what the United States’ Silicon valley is to technology?
China’s Fintech valuation of US$96 billion is more than a hundred and fifty percent that of the US and nine hundred percent greater than the rest of the world combined*. Moreover, China’s already substantial Fintech economy is growing at a much faster rate than any of its peers. Much of China’s Fintech success is attributed to the trio of big names, all of which started as Fintechs; Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent, commonly referred to as the Bats. The Bats have achieved unprecedented growth and in so doing, have rewritten the rules and restructured the payments and digital economy. For example, Tencent’s WeChat application has grown from approximately 195m active users in 2014 to 806m in 2016, a growth rate of 43% and equivalent to two and a half times the population of the U.S.**
10 August 2017|
Associate Professor, MAFC
Are profit-based incentives compatible with risk culture?
This Macquarie University experimental study is the first of its kind – find out what happened when over 300 financial services professionals came to our laboratory earlier this year. At the event you will hear first-hand what this experimental research reveals about the relationship between risk culture, incentives and the behaviour of financial services staff. This study of risk management behaviour focused on compliance with risk policy – the minimum standard currently required of finance professionals.
27 July 2017|
CEO, Australian Digital Finance
Look out for the BEAR!!! Is the Banking Executive Accountability Regime a game changer?
In the recent federal budget the government announced that it will legislate a new Banking Executive Accountability Regime (BEAR). A similar scheme in the UK (Senior Managers and Certification Regime) has dramatically changed the banking landscape, creating genuine accountability with regard to conduct risk.
Financial Services Executive Steve Weston has recently returned from the UK where he experienced first-hand the revolution in conduct risk. Steve’s story is a compelling one and he is not afraid to tell it like it is, predicting that we will follow the UK path. Steve will point out the similarities between Australia and the UK five years ago when banking executives were complacent about the future and completely unprepared for radical change. He will explain the impact the executive accountability regime had in the UK and with it, the shift in priorities away from shareholder returns to treating customers fairly.
A fintech approach to housing affordability: How can fractional property investing contribute to the solution?
Australians have an unwavering fascination with property. Lately the spotlight has been focused on housing affordability and the inability of many Australians to jump on the property train.
The Australian dream has also evolved - from owning large property, to holding an entire investment portfolio. But rather than focusing on affordability, perhaps we should focus on accessibility.
Since launching in September last year, BRICKX has burst onto the Australian Fintech scene, disrupting property ownership as we know it by offering one potential solution to the housing affordability issue.
Anthony Millet, BRICKX CEO, will talk about his views on the current state of the fintech industry, the innovative property investment product and discuss the company’s route to success winning the Best Fintech Startup at the Startcon Australasian Startup Awards in 2016 and the CANSTAR 2017 Innovation Excellence Award.
23 May 2017|
Founder and Director, Behavioural Finance Australia (BFA)
Overcoming the hidden biases in financial forecasting
Financial forecasts and predictions for the future underpin decision‐making made by governments, corporations and investors. Forecasts can have substantial financial, economic and social consequences. However, many forecasts are systematically biased by decision‐making traps. In this talk Simon Russell will explore some of the psychology behind common forecasting errors, and strategies to help identify and overcome them.
20 April 2017|
Associate Professor, MAFC
The Strategic CFO - the potential for corporate finance skills to create value
CFO’s have moved into a new era. In addition to their traditional responsibilities the modern CFO is expected to be a strategic partner to the CEO and senior management. In this presentation Associate Professor Tony Carlton reviews key dimensions of what this ‘strategic’ role means, and identifies key corporate finance skills that will help the CFO fulfil this challenging role. Specific dimensions include: value champion, performance measurement, capital allocation, risk management, financial strategist, and intermediary between markets and business. Tony will explain how to apply modern corporate skills and tools will help the CFO create value in these roles
16 March 2017|
Head of Retirement Income Research, Challenger
Managing consumption velocity
The challenge of how much retirees can spend safely has been debated by academics and practitioners for many years. Yet it remains a challenge that many advisers grapple with their retiree clients. Super funds face the same challenge, and the government’s response to the FSI in regard to retirement products highlights that improvements can be made.With any plan the actual endpoint is important and in this retirement is no different. Aaron will introduce the concept of consumption velocity and show how it can be measured and used to help retirees maximise their spending (best lifestyle) in retirement without blowing up their capital early This presentation is based on a working paper on consumption velocity, which was also used in a workshop with FEAL executives late last year.
14 February 2017|
22 February 2017
Associate Professor Elizabeth Sheedy
Macquarie Applied Finance Centre
Revisiting the Lehman Sisters Hypothesis: Does Diversity Improve Financial Risk Management
In the financial services industry where risk management should be sine qua non, diversity is an issue for ongoing debate and scrutiny. This study scrutinises the supposed benefits of diversity for risk management on the dimensions of gender and age. The analysis is based on staff survey responses drawn from ten banks headquartered in Australia, Canada and the UK.
Elizabeth Sheedy published the article 'Senior female bankers don't conform to stereotypes and are just as ready to take risks' in The Conversation on 30 January with more than 10,000 reads, which proves the relevance of diversity themes in risk management.