Five Distinct Tracks
Two Top Economist Keynote Speakers
&  A Memorable Luxury Cruise
Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina • November 6, 2018

The CFA is pleased to introduce our all-new members-only, invitation-only working session event targeted to mid-upper level professionals in distinct operating disciplines. Unlike other panel discussion format meetings, this highly focused deep-dive will feature peer-to-peer interactive conversations on relevant, high-impact issues moderated by leading experts.

With five distinct tracks, a general session with keynote speakers, a luxury yacht reception with CFA's Board of Directors following the sessions and countless crucial conversations, the CFA Idea Exchange
is sure to be one of the most productive and memorable industry events of the year.


Location: Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina, 333 W Harbor Dr, San Diego, CA 92101.
Price: $575
Price for Spouse/Partner to join the cruise: $195

Attendee Criteria: Please Review Prior to Requesting an Invite

Only executives from CFA member companies and invited guests are eligible to participate in the Idea Exchange. Participants should head a business, a division or hold a substantial functional leadership role within their company. Individuals who are part of the senior leadership team and/or play a critical role within their operating discipline will also be considered.

You may register for any one of our deep-dive tracks below. Registration is invitation-only. Space is limited!


Lunch with Leading Economists
"How Trade Wars Will Hurt Financial Markets: Exploring the Important Linkages and the Effects of Midterm Elections”

Speakers: Robert Wescott, Ph.D., and Elizabeth Rust, Keybridge


The Trump Administration is currently engaged in two different trade wars, one that many consider an unnecessary war with some of America’s traditional allies (like Canada, Mexico, Europe, Japan, and Korea), and also a seemingly real trade war with China.  Trade frictions with China center around persistent $375 billion annual U.S. trade deficits, but even more importantly, around China’s “Made in China 2025 Initiative”, its plan to heavily promote 10 industrial sectors for the future, including aerospace, IT, robotics, and electric vehicles—high value-added industries of the future.  In this ideas exchange session, Wescott and Rust will begin by providing background behind these trade issues, including some of the causes of China persistent trade surpluses and reasons why the WTO has not been able to deal with China.  They then will offer their views on the ways that a trade spat with China could hurt both the Chinese and U.S. economies, and, in particular, could exacerbate China’s huge corporate debt problem (currently 167% of China’s GDP), and present risks for the entire global financial system.  In particular, they will discuss possible “backdoor” ways that trade frictions could work their way into financial markets, including through non-tariffs barriers, product boycotts, etc. Finally, they will discuss the midterm elections and their potential effect on these and related issues. The exchange should stimulate debate about the possible spillover effects of trade actions to commodity markets, emerging market economic growth, and world financial stability.

Robert F. Wescott, Ph.D.  is President of Keybridge Research LLC. Dr. Wescott has more than 30 years of professional experience working on macroeconomic and public policy issues. Dr. Wescott served for four years as Special Assistant to the President for Economic Policy at the White House and as Chief Economist at the President’s Council of Economic Advisers. From 1982-93, he was Senior Vice President and Chief Economist at Wharton Econometrics (today IHS Markit), where he oversaw a staff of 60 and was responsible for all economic modeling, forecasting, and consulting operations. Dr. Wescott also was Deputy Division Chief in the Research Department of the International Monetary Fund, where he did research on global economic risks and policy challenges. In 1989-90 he was Research Director at the International Center for the Study of East Asian Development in Kitakyushu, Japan. He holds a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania, and B.A. in Economics (magna cum laude) from Bucknell University, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa.


Elizabeth Rust is in the Macro Division at Keybridge, where she focuses on macroeconomic analysis and forecasting, international political economy, and economic policy analysis. Rust speaks regularly to business and professional audiences about U.S. and global economic trends and geopolitical risks. Her recent research and presentations have covered topics such as the U.S. economic outlook, the risks of rising interest rates, the changing nature of retail, millennials in the workforce, emerging financial technologies, and the global rise of populism. She writes regular op-eds on political and economic developments in Europe as a Fellow with Young Professionals in Foreign Policy (YPFP). Prior to joining Keybridge in 2016, Rust worked at The Conference Board’s Europe office in Brussels and the Bologna Institute for Policy Research as a researcher in international and European political economy. Rust holds a Master’s degree in International Economics from Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) and a Bachelor’s degree, magna cum laude, from Cornell University.


Credit & Portfolio Management

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    Track Leader: Steve Sanicola, Director-Risk & Portfolio Management, Siena Lending

  • The Credit track brings together decision-makers and senior leaders in credit related functions (underwriting, appraisal, field exam, liquidation, portfolio management) to address the most pressing topics on everyone’s mind. From covenant trends to leveraging software to improve risk management, we’ll cover the key considerations and discuss strategies to address challenges and capture opportunities.
-Strategies Used to Lend on In-Transit Inventory (Joint Session with Legal Track)
-Covenants: Lenders Require Them, Sponsors/Borrowers Despise Them
-Appraisal Value vs. Auction Values - How They Differ

Executive Sales & Marketing

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    Track Leader: Rob Meyers, President and Chief Commercial Officer, Republic Business Credit
  • The Executive Sales & Marketing track targets senior level managers to address crucial issues in the originations function. Small, roundtable conversations create an environment for you and your peers to share challenges, best practices and successes.
-Developing Effective Marketing Strategies: Models of Success
-Recruitment, Retention, and Rewards for BDOs
-Niche Product Primer (Construction, Healthcare, Technology and more)


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    Track Leader: Kim Withrow,  Executive Vice President, General Counsel, Bibby Financial Services, Inc.
  • The Legal track brings together senior leaders from the CFA legal community. General Counsels and top legal professionals from lender firms as well as independent law firms will compare perspectives on important legal trends affecting our industry.
-In-Transit Financing: How are Lenders Structuring These Transactions and Managing the Perfection Risks? (Joint Session with Credit and Portfolio Management Track)
-Deal Structures and Intercreditor Issues Between Lenders and the Private Debt Market
-Bankruptcy and Workout Trends and Issues

Operations & Technology

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    Track Leader: Mike Culbertson, Business Ops Director, Credit Markets Risk Management, Commercial Banking, J.P. Morgan
  • The Operations and Technology track will bring together senior-level executives within these disciplines to talk about impactful trends in servicing, reporting, the future of the industry, and dealing with inevitable service complaints.
-ABL Finance Co vs. Bank ABL
-Future State: Ops Shop Talk
-Client Reporting

President & CEO

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    Track Leader: Al Spada, Former Head of Santander Business Capital

  • The Executive Track brings together Senior Executives who lead the secured lending businesses for their respective companies. CEOs are given the opportunity to share ideas and best practices on critical issues with senior-level cohorts in the industry. This unique forum lets you build relationships while leveraging the collective experience of industry peers to tackle the complex problems facing your business. 
-People/Talent Development
-Processes and Systems
-Trends/Future of the Industry


74th Annual Convention

Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina
333 West Harbor Drive
San Diego, CA  92101