Public Funds Investment Act Training

We are excited to host the fifth Texas CLASS Public Funds Investment Act Training on Wednesday, February 19, 2020, at the Ashton in Fort Worth from 7:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Join us for an informative day of learning; this 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/Public Trust Advisors 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 PFIA/CPE/GFOAT training credits.


7:30 a.m.
Registration and Breakfast

8:00 – 9:00 a.m.
Extraordinary Dialogue for Teams: A Selection from the Extraordinary Workplace Culture Series

Speaker: Eric M. Bailey, President – Bailey Strategic Innovation Group & Nicole Lance, CEO/Managing Partner – Lance Strategies/Extraordinary Balance

Field of Study: Leadership | CPE Credit(s): One | Program Level: Basic

Short Description: There are two things that get in the way of productive dialogue in the workplace: our mouths and our brains. This session will help you understand both while providing tools to transform dangerous discourse in the workplace into extraordinary dialogue.

Learning Objective: At the end of the session, attendees will understand the neuroscience and psychology behind communication, why errors in communication occur, and how to have courageous and critical conversations with teammates at work. They will gain tools for communicating with candor and respect, learn how to navigate conversations to ensure open and productive dialogue as well as how to discuss seemingly unsolvable problems among teams, understand how to have more meaningful conversations, encourage civil discourse, and restore dignity to participants in the process.

9:00 – 10:00 a.m.
How Credit Analysts Evaluate Municipal Issuers’ Investment Strategies

Speaker: Liz Sweeney, President – Nutshell Associates, LLC

Field of Study: FinanceCPE Credit(s): One | Program Level: Basic

Short Description: When credit analysts evaluate municipal debt, they include an evaluation of the issuer’s investment policies, strategies, and portfolio performance. This session provides an overview of how third-party evaluators, such as rating agencies and institutional investors, assess risk related to an issuer’s investment portfolio and how that assessment fits into their overall credit analysis. Topics include rating methodologies, questions to expect, the role of management, the role of written policies, and differences in emphasis across municipal sectors and across various fund types (e.g. bond, pension, operating funds, endowments).

Learning Objective: At the end of this session, attendees should understand the approach that credit evaluators take in assessing investment policies, strategies, and portfolio performance and be prepared to present your approach confidently and comprehensively.

10:00 – 10:15  a.m.

10:15 – 11:15 a.m. 
Asset Class Differences and Risk Management Techniques 

Speaker: Cory Gebel, Director in Portfolio Management – Public Trust Advisors, LLC

Field of Study: FinanceCPE Credit(s): One | Program Level: Basic

Short 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, risk management techniques, market trends, and investment strategy will be incorporated throughout the session.

Learning Objective: At the end of the session, attendees should be able to recognize what asset classes are eligible for inclusion and how effective risk management techniques can improve portfolio efficiency.

11:15 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
What’s Ahead for the Economy in 2020 and the Next Decade?

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

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

Session Description: While many of the big issues hanging over the economy moved toward a resolution in late 2019, there is still plenty of uncertainty regarding the economic outlook. Real GDP growth has slowed from roughly 3% a year ago to 2% more recently, and most projections call for growth around that pace in 2020. Will the economy avoid a recession in 2020? How will the results of the 2020 election impact the economy in the coming years? These will be some of the key issues that will be discussed during this session with a focus on growth in the U.S. and Texas.

Learning Objective: At the end of this session, attendees should have a better understanding of the risks facing the global economy and how they impact the U.S. and Texas economies. Attendees should also have a better understanding of why the Texas economy has consistently ranked as one of the nation’s fastest-growing large states.

12:15 – 12:45 p.m.

12:45 – 1:45 p.m.
Overview of the Tax and Security Laws that Apply to Tax-Exempt Bonds

Speaker: Barbara League, Of Counsel – Orrick

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

Session Description: This session is an overview of the tax and security laws that apply to tax-exempt bonds with an emphasis on understanding why the regulatory framework is in place and how to issue spot both before and after issuance. In addition, this session will identify and briefly discuss common mistakes that issuers make and best practices.

Learning Objective: At the end of this session, attendees should have a better understanding of the Federal tax and securities laws that apply to their tax-exempt bonds, along with a better understanding of how to identify and resolve issues when they occur.

1:45 – 2:45 p.m.
GASB Update and Review (Specifically GASB 88 Certain Disclosures Related to Debt and an Update on GASB 72 Fair Value Measurement and Application)

Speaker: A.J. Bowers, Partner – Carr, Riggs, & Ingram, LLC

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

Session Description: GASB regularly issues new statements such as GASB 88, which was issued in April 2018 and designed to improve the information that is disclosed in the notes to government financial statements related to debt including direct borrowings and direct placements. It also clarifies which liabilities governments should include when disclosing information related to debt. We will discuss the updated reporting requirements for this statement effective for fiscal years beginning after June 15, 2018. In addition, GASB statements are complex, so we will also have a refresher on GASB Statement 72, Fair Value Measurement and Application, and the reporting requirements that were required for fiscal years beginning after June 15, 2015.

Learning Objective: This session will provide an understanding of new guidance under GASB 88 and a review on the requirements of GASB 72 focusing on how these statements apply to local governments.

2:45 – 3:00 p.m.

3:00 – 4:00 p.m.
The Triangulation of ACH, Wire, and Check Fraud

Speaker: Greg Litster, President and Co-Founder – SAFEChecks

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

Session Description: Wire fraud has almost quadrupled since 2013, with most losses unrecoverable. ACH payment fraud has also risen dramatically in the last two years. Unauthorized ACH debits and ACH payments unwittingly sent to fraudsters due to bogus and unverified change of bank and remittance instructions are not your bank’s liability. These fraudulent transactions cannot be returned or recalled after 24 hours. Despite predictions of their demise almost fifty years ago, paper checks are still used by most companies and fraudsters! Checks are now used in 70% of BEC scams, up nearly 100% since last year, a clear integration of social engineering, technology, and an old-school payment system. Fraud may shift between payment methods, but it is not going away and its scope is expanding astronomically. This session will include real-life fraud situations including what went wrong and how the losses could have been prevented.

Learning Objective: At the end of this session, attendees will be better equipped to identify current strategies fraudsters use to commit ACH and wire fraud, as well as specific and straightforward internal controls organizations can use to thwart them. Attendees will better understand check fraud including eChecks and mobile banking and how fraudsters are beating Payee Positive Pay. They will learn clear-cut strategies for preventing check fraud of all types.

4:00 – 5:00 p.m.
The Custodian’s Role in the Investment Process

Speaker: Dave Paldino, Senior Relationship Manager – UMB Bank

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

Session Description: This session will offer an overview of the control points provided by a custodian including safekeeping and protecting assets, trade settlement, and cash control. Discussion will also include value-add services provided by many custodians including cash management, securities lending, and technological advances such as straight-through processing distributed ledger technology (DTL).

Learning Objective: At the end of this session, attendees should understand the basic role of a custodian as well as the evolving functions of a custodian.

Eric Bailey Headshot

Eric is the President of Bailey Strategic Innovation Group, one of the fastest-growing human communication consulting firms in the United States, but he is also a bestselling author, the creator of a leadership and communication methodology, and a prolific speaker with a unique set of skills and thinking. He has been featured on CNN, Huffington Post, Forbes, and more and has helped leaders and teams across the world see common problems from new and different perspectives. He created the Principles of Human Understanding™, a leadership and communication methodology based on brain science and psychology. His unique style blends facts and emotion to appeal to the analytical thinkers, the emotional feelers, and everyone in between. His unique ability to communicate seemingly complex concepts in a practical, easy to comprehend way aids self-awareness and knowledge retention. Eric received a master’s degree in Leadership and Organizational Development from Saint Louis University and is a lifetime learner of human and organizational behavior.

Nicole is the CEO of Lance Strategies and a Managing Partner of Extraordinary Balance. Passionately committed to helping organizations and individuals succeed in reaching and exceeding their goals, Nicole is known for her authentic, energetic, and engaging approach to strategic consultation, training, coaching, and speaking. Prior to this, Nicole served as the Assistant City Manager for the City of Surprise, Arizona, and as an Assistant to the Town Manager for the Town of Gilbert, Arizona. She received both a Bachelor of Science in Justice Studies and a Master of Public Administration with a concentration in Urban Management from Arizona State University. Nicole co-founded and currently leads the Arizona Women Leading Government Chapter.

Liz is the founder and President of Nutshell Associates, an organization that helps public finance debt issuers interact confidently with the capital markets to maximize ratings and investor confidence. Prior to this, Liz served as a Managing Director at S&P Global Ratings where she conducted objective, in-depth credit evaluations of borrowers across the public finance spectrum, providing insightful opinions about the strategic, financial, and operational risks of public finance borrowers. She also served in a senior credit policy and risk management role as S&P’s criteria officer for U.S. Public Finance. Liz received a Bachelor of Science from Georgetown University, a Master of Business Administration from NYU’s Stern School of Business, and a Certificate in Healthcare Management from NYU’s School of Professional Studies. She is a member of the Board of Directors of the University of Maryland Medical System and the XBLR State and Local Government Disclosure Modernization workgroup.

Cory Gebel

Cory is a Director in Portfolio Management for Public Trust and is responsible for providing institutional portfolio management and investment advisory services to discretionary clients as well as communicating investment ideas and strategies. Before joining Public Trust, Cory worked for Bank of the West and Trust Point, Inc. as a Senior Portfolio Manager where he was the head of fixed-income strategy within the wealth management group overseeing strategy, trading, compliance, and surveillance over client assets. Cory received a Bachelor of Arts in Accounting from the University of Northern Iowa. He is a CFA charterholder, an Investment Advisor Representative, and a member of the CFA Society of Colorado.

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.

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.

A.J. is a Partner at Carr, Riggs, & Ingram, LLC where he has provided audit services to numerous government entities during his twelve years of experience. He now oversees all services provided to government-industry clients. A.J. is a regular presenter on a variety of industry topics including OMB Uniform Guidance, updates to GASB Standards, and government accounting best practices for entities such as NM ASBO, regional AGA Chapters, and clients and non-clients in state and local government. A.J. is a Certified Information Technology Professional, a CPA, and a member of the GFOA Special Revenue Committee.

Greg is the President and CEO of SAFEChecks, a check fraud prevention business that offers high-security checks, fraud-prevention software, educational seminars, expert witnesses, and consulting services. Since its founding in 1996, SAFEChecks has never had a check replicated or used in a scam. He also works for Frank H. Abagnale and Associates as the Co-Editor of their Fraud Bulletin that covers check fraud, cybercrime, wire fraud, ACH fraud, mobile banking fraud, Check 21, embezzlement, and more. He previously worked for Imperial Bank as a Senior Vice President and Manager and for Union Bank as an Assistant Vice President. His writing has been featured in many publications and he has served as an expert witness on more than ten cases. Greg received both a Bachelor of Science in Economics and a Master of Business Administration from Brigham Young University.

Dave is a Senior Client Relationship Manager in UMB’s Institutional Custody division. He has more than 25 years of financial services experience with most of his tenure spent working in both custody operations and relationship management capacities as well as servicing the custody needs of insurance companies, registered mutual funds, and other pooled investment vehicles. Dave received a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Framingham State University.