Public Funds Investment Act Training

We are excited to host the fourth Texas CLASS Public Funds Investment Act Training on Wednesday, May 1, 2019, at the Sheraton Austin Georgetown Hotel and Conference Center from 7:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. This is a great opportunity to enhance your knowledge of current topics in public funds management. The overall program knowledge level for this group live seminar is intermediate, and there are no prerequisites or advanced preparation necessary. Lunch will be provided, and the seminar is free of charge!

Texas CLASS is a registered CPE sponsor through the Texas State Board of Public Accountancy and a Certified TASBO Educator; attendees can earn up to 8 hours of certified CPE or PFIA credits from a variety of organizations including GFOAT.


7:30 a.m.
Registration and Breakfast

8:00 – 9:00 a.m.
Prudent Stewardship of Public Funds

Speakers: Sheila Duffy, Director of Investment Advisory Services  – Public Trust Advisors, LLC and Karen Proctor, Regional Director – Texas CLASS & Public Trust Advisors, LLC

Field of Study: Finance | CPE Credit(s): One | Program Level: Overview

Short Description: This presentation will provide a high-level overview of the various roles of the finance directors, treasurers, and other stewards of public funds. It will apprise attendees of best practices and take a deep dive into the priorities of safety and liquidity in managing public funds including talking about policy, risk management, and the various investment vehicles that can be used to manage liquidity.

Learning Objective: At the end of this session, attendees should have a high-level understanding of the many aspects of being good stewards of the public’s funds as well as an understanding of the various options for managing their funds that are compliant with the Public Funds Investment Act.

9:00 – 10:00 a.m.
How Will the Global Slowdown Impact the U.S. and Texas Economies? 

Speaker: Mark Vitner, Managing Director and Senior Economist – Wells Fargo Securities, LLC

Field of Study: Economy | CPE Credit(s): One | Program Level: Intermediate

Short Description: Economic growth slowed late this past year, as the Fed’s more aggressive rate hikes cooled the financial markets and growing trade friction with China slowed global economic growth. Slower global growth and uncertainty surrounding Brexit have caused the Fed to take a step back and hold off on additional rate hikes. Texas has so far proved resilient to slowing global growth, although hiring has somewhat moderated. The outlook for the U.S. and Texas economies will largely be driven by the resolutions of major outstanding issues this spring such as Brexit and ongoing trade negotiations with China.

Learning Objective: At the end of this session, attendees should have a better understanding of the risks facing the global economy and how they are likely to impact the U.S. and Texas economies. Attendees should also have a better understanding of why the Texas economy has proved so resilient to slowing growth elsewhere and whether or not that is likely to continue.

10:00 – 10:15  a.m.

10:15 – 11:15 a.m. 
Developing an Arbitrage Compliance Plan

Speaker: Sandee Stallings, Chief Operating Officer – BLX Group

Field of Study: Finance| CPE Credit(s): One | Program Level: Intermediate 

Short Description: This session focuses on developing an arbitrage compliance plan by reviewing the requirements and proper documentation to support compliance. A review of the arbitrage rebate and yield restriction requirements relating to tax-exempt bonds will include reporting and filing requirements, document retention, exceptions to the rules, and best practices.

Learning Objective: At the end of this session, attendees should be able to develop their own arbitrage compliance plan with an understanding of the complex arbitrage rebate regulations and utilizing the tools presented to effectively manage compliance.

11:15 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
Hot Topics in Tax-Exempt Bonds

Speaker: Barbara League, Of Counsel – Orrick

Field of Study: Finance | CPE Credit(s): One | Program Level: Update

Session Description: The public finance market went through tremendous changes in 2018 from tax law changes to rising interest rates, the looming end of LIBOR, and a number of regulatory changes. This session takes a look at the market one year later to see which issues have been settled, which issues remain hot topics, and what new topics of discussion may be headed our way.

Learning Objective: At the end of this session, attendees should understand the hot topics facing bond issuers today.

12:15 – 12:45 p.m.

12:45 – 1:45 p.m.
The Thief in Your Organization

Speaker: Missy Pope, Founder – Pope Consulting

Field of Study: Accounting | CPE Credit(s): One | Program Level: Overview

Session Description: This presentation will go over the impacts of fraud within an organization and cover how to detect and deter fraud. The presentation also includes several case examples including current trends in the fraud industry.

Learning Objective: At the end of this session, attendees should be able to identify high-risk areas for fraud within their organizations and learn how to deter fraud.

1:45 – 2:45 p.m.
The Audit – Common Pitfalls and Lessons Learned

Speaker: Rebecca Goldstein, Senior Manager, Assurance Services – Weaver Assurance, Tax, & Advisory

Field of Study: Accounting | CPE Credit(s): One | Program Level: Intermediate

Session Description: This presentation will discuss common pitfalls noted during financial statement audits of local government entities as well as how these deficiencies can best be corrected. Our discussion will also include examples of common errors noted in comprehensive annual financial reports submitted to the Government Finance Officers Association as part of the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Finance Reporting Program.

Learning Objective: At the end of this session, attendees should understand the nature of some common audit pitfalls and how they can best be corrected.

2:45 – 3:00 p.m.

3:00 – 4:00 p.m.
Evaluating the Risk Profile of Various Short-Term Liquid Investments

Speaker: Raphaele Hunter, Senior Credit Analyst – Public Trust Advisors, LLC

Field of Study:  Finance | CPE Credit(s): One | Program Level: Intermediate

Session Description: This presentation will cover the risk profiles of agency securities, commercial paper, and asset-backed commercial paper. The discussion will also include an introduction to supranationals as an alternative investment option and how to evaluate the credit risk of each of these asset classes.

Learning Objective: At the end of this session, attendees should be able to compare and contrast different short-term liquid investment options and understand why they can allow for safety, liquidity, and yield.

4:00 – 5:00 p.m.
LGIP: Prime vs Government Pools

Speaker: Tony Sekaly, Regional Director – Texas CLASS and Public Trust Advisors, LLC

Field of Study: Finance | CPE Credit(s): One | Program Level: Intermediate

Session Description: This session will discuss the rules and regulations that govern U.S. money market funds and Texas local government investment pools. A review of eligible asset classes, market trends, and investment strategy will be incorporated throughout the session.

Learning Objective: At the end of this session, attendees should be able to recognize the differences between government and prime style funds regarding regulation, asset allocation, and historical trends.

Sheila is a Director of Investment Advisory Services for Public Trust Advisors, LLC (Public Trust) based in the Southwest region where she focuses on strategy and policy development for public entities, manages client relationships, and provides comprehensive investment management services. She often speaks at conferences and client trainings on current topics in the public funds investment management field. Prior to joining Public Trust, Sheila served as the Chief Investment Officer for the State Treasurer of New Mexico. Sheila received a Bachelor of Arts in Administrative Science from Colby College and a Master of Business Administration in Finance from New York University. She is a member of the CFA Societies of Colorado and New Mexico.

Karen is a Regional Director for Public Trust based in Texas where she is responsible for strengthening and preserving current relationships with Texas clients; new business development and cultivating new relationships; and participating, attending, and presenting at conferences across the state for many government organizations. Prior to joining Public Trust, she was a Managing Consultant with BLX Group, LLC where she focused on the business development of arbitrage rebate and post-issuance compliance services. Karen received a Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies with an emphasis on Bilingual Education and Spanish from California State University at San Bernardino. She is an active member of Texas Women in Public Finance, the Government Finance Officers Association of Texas, and the Texas Association of School Business Officials.

Mark is a Managing Director and Senior Economist at Wells Fargo Securities, LLC where he is responsible for tracking U.S. and regional economic Trends. He writes for the company’s Monthly Economic Outlook report as well as the Weekly Economic & Financial Commentary, and he provides regular updates on the housing markets, commercial real estate, regional economies, consumer spending, and issues impacting small business. He has been with Wells Fargo since 1993 and before that spent nine years as an Economist for Barnett Banks. Mark received a Bachelor of Business Administration in Economics from the University of Georgia and a Master of Business Administration from the University of North Florida. He is a member of the American Economic Association and the Western Economic Association.

Sandee is the Chief Operating Officer for BLX and serves as a senior member of the management team with nearly thirty years of public finance related experience. She is responsible for all aspects of project management, client services, work quality, and the overall operations of compliance and consulting for the firm nationwide. Prior to BLX, Sandee held the role of Vice President and Manager for the Dain Group and has previously headed the Arbitrage Rebate Services Group for First Southwest Company. Her expertise in the highly complicated areas of student loans and housing bond structures is enhanced by her working relationship with Orrick Tax Partners. Sandee received a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Finance from Nebraska Wesleyan University.

Barbara League

Barbara provides tax advice for Orrick in connection with tax-exempt financing transactions for cities, counties, states, school districts, housing authorities, higher education authorities, and state agencies among others. Prior to Orrick, Barbara worked as an attorney with the Chief Counsel of the Internal Revenue Service where she represented clients before the IRS in a variety of matters such as tax-exempt bonds, audits, and private letter ruling requests. She has significant experience representing nonprofit organizations and has participated in all facets of the tax analysis associated with the issuance of governmental purpose bonds, certain tax credit bonds, and qualified small issue bonds. Barbara served on the Steering Committee and has chaired the Working Capital panel and the Bond Direct Purchase Advanced Tax Topics panel for the Bond Attorneys’ Workshop.

Missy Pope

Missy is the founder and principal of Pope Consulting. With over 15 years of fraud investigation and internal auditing experience, she is both a Certified Fraud Examiner and Certified Construction Auditor. She works closely with a number of non-profit organizations focusing on risk management, construction, finance, property tax, purchasing, and transportation. Prior to starting Pope Consulting, she worked as an Audit Director, Consultant, Federal Grant Auditor, and Analyst. She is an Associate Member of the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners and the National Association of Certified Construction Auditors. Missy holds degrees in both Business and Behavioral Science as well as an MBA, and she is currently pursuing her Ed.D from Concordia University.

Rebecca is a Senior Manager for Assurance Services with Weaver where she is responsible for the planning and management of audits of government entities, reviewing financial statements for proper reporting and disclosures, and presenting final reports to governing boards and management to explain concerns and detail recommendations. She has more than 19 years of public accounting experience focused on the public sector, government auditing standards, and single audits. Additionally, Rebecca has experience managing financial and compliance audits for large state agencies whose audits must meet specific requirements. Rebecca received a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting from Southwest Texas State University and is a Certified Public Accountant. She is a member of the Special Review Committee for the Government Finance Officers Association, a member of the Texas Society of Certified Public Accountants, and a member of the American Society of Certified Public Accountants.

Raphaele is a Senior Credit Analyst for Public Trust where she is responsible for the credit analysis of financial institutions. Prior to joining Public Trust, she spent a number of years working for S&P Global Ratings as both a Business Architect and a Primary Analyst where she worked to update the company’s digital capabilities and was a credit analyst specializing in financial institutions. Raphaele received both Bachelor and Master’s degrees in Finance and Management from the European Business School in Paris. She is a member of Ellevate: A Global Professional Women’s Network, is a CFA charterholder, and belongs to the CFA Society of Colorado.

Tony is a Regional Director of Marketing for Public Trust where he is based in Texas and is responsible for current and future client relationships, client education, and speaking at a variety of conferences. Prior to joining Public Trust, he served as a Managing Director of Fixed Income Securities at Coastal Securities for nearly twenty years where he sold bonds to cities, counties, school districts, and special districts across six states. Tony received a Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing from Lamar University and a Master of Business Administration in Marketing from the University of St. Thomas in Houston. He is a longtime member of the Government Finance Officers Association of Texas (GFOAT), the Government Treasurers of Texas, and the Gulf Coast Chapter of GFOAT.