THE ECONOMY, TAX REFORM & REG ISSUES
FEATURED TOPICS AT CFO CONFERENCE
Jointly Sponsored Event with New Jersey Bankers Association Held in Asbury Park, NJ
ARTICLE AND PHOTOGRAPHY BY DAVID LAUWE - META4 COMMUNICATIONS
The Berkeley Hotel in Asbury Park, NJ was the site for a recent CFO Conference jointly sponsored by the New Jersey Bankers Association (“NJBA”) and the FMS NY/NJ Chapter. The half-day program featured timely topics specifically tailored for community bank financial executives. The event was held on November 27, 2018.
NJBA and FMS Members enjoyed an early morning buffet breakfast followed by a formal program featuring expert presentations on the economy and recent tax reform legislation. Following a buffet luncheon, a panel discussion consisting of chief financial officers from leading community banks discussed contemporary issues facing the banking industry.
Alan J. Bender, EVP and CFO of Unity Bank served as moderator for the event. He welcomed the large contingent of financial executives in attendance and introduced Bill Dunkelberg, Chief Economist from the National Federation of Independent Business. Bill presented a very informative and entertaining opening session entitled The Election and the Economy. Bill discussed the current state of the economy since the recent Presidential election and summarized the top ten problems and priorities facing small business. He noted that although the cost of health care is by far the biggest concern, the single most important problem facing business owners has turned from sales to inflation. Bill noted that the small business optimism index remained considerably below average during the Obama administration and rose well above average immediately after the 2016 presidential election. He noted that the index has recently peaked, resulting in a decline in business expansion. Bill forecasts slower economic growth, higher interest rates, higher inflation and a lower stock market.
Glenn James, Partner from BDO presented The Aftermath of New Jersey Tax Reform – What’s Left? Glenn is a frequent speaker at Chapter events and specializes in federal and state taxation. He summarized the latest tax reform legislation in New Jersey and primarily discussed the New Jersey investment company and REIT special exclusions for tax periods ending after June 30, 2019. Glenn provided specific examples of how the exclusion of dividend income for a combined group would affect taxable income. He also provided a comprehensive example of a New Jersey investment company tax calculation.
An expert outlook on the New Jersey economy was presented by Brian Jones, Financial Economist from the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York. Brian discussed the key economic factors affecting housing in the New Jersey economy, including the following trends:
Multi-family lending declining;
Single family housing: Lack of supply, rising prices and SALT deduction;
Rising prices continue to pressure home affordability;
Home prices remain below pre-financial crisis levels.
Following a buffet luncheon, a panel featuring four Chief Financial Officers from member community banks discussed Hot Topics for Bank CFO’s. The panel was moderated by Dennis Spinelli, CPA. The panel discussed a series of issues and presented strategies, including the following observations:
Economic recovery cycle ending;
Rising interest rates;
Flattening yield curve;
Interest rate margin compression – biggest challenge facing all institutions;
Liquidity regulatory compliance risk;
Topics and Speakers
Hot Topics for CFO's Panelist
Richard Abrahamian, EVP and CFO
Two River Community Bank
Alan Bedner, EVP and CFO
Bill Burns, EVP and CFO
Steve Fusco, EVP and CFO
SB One Bank
Moderator: Dennis Spinelli CPA