ICBA Securities

Articles and News

Independent Banker Articles


More Articles

ICBA Securities ® and Vining Sparks Annual Bank Conference Tackles Tough Issues Facing Today’s CFO

Employed by Eastern Virginia Bankshares, Inc. (NASDAQ: EVBS) since June 2010, Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President Adam Sothen says that the days when a community bank chief financial officer simply managed a bank’s accounting and reporting functions have long since passed. Managing the Tappahannock, Va.-based bank’s general ledgers are still a large part of Sothen’s day-to-day responsibilities, but he also oversees publicly traded EVBS’s SEC filings, regulatory filings, investor relations, its investment portfolio and its finance operations, including asset liability and interest rate risk management, liquidity and capital planning.
“There’s never a shortage of things to do in the environment we’re in,” he notes. “A lot of our challenges stem from compliance burden. Regulatory changes mean that we must constantly be forward-thinking when planning for future growth.” Managing bank capital has always been important, but Sothen says that understanding what risks are actually inherent in the balance sheet are critical when determining what kind of future initiatives the bank can pursue. For additional insight, he leverages EVBS’s relationship with ICBA Securities’ exclusive broker Vining Sparks who he says offers a true, holistic approach to strategic investing.
“I’m authorized to do business with seven to eight fixed-income brokers and while some of them tend to focus only on the investment portfolio and bonds they think will fit, Vining looks at things from an entire balance sheet and asset liability/interest rate risk management perspective.” This soup-to-nuts approach is one of the reasons Sothen is attending the ICBA Securities and Vining Sparks Annual Bank Conference at the
Drake in Chicago May 4-5, 2015.
This will be the third time Sothen has attended the event, which he says delivers timely information on topics that are currently affecting banks. “The conference is built around so much more than just discussions surrounding fixed income,“ he says. “You can tell that Vining Sparks takes the time to talk with its customers and get a real understanding for their daily challenges.” Jim Reber, president and CEO of ICBA Securities says that attendees will hear a series of presentations from bond analysts, investment strategists and traders from Vining Sparks who will be delivering presentations on their particular areas of expertise ranging from mortgage-backed securities to municipal bonds to government agencies. There will also be a presentation from Vining’s Chief Economist Craig Dismuke. Dismuke is a frequent guest on CNBC, Fox Business and Bloomberg TV and frequently quoted in the national financial news.
Sothen says that the conference’s break-out sessions allow attendees to tailor the event to focus on issues that concern them most. He also points to the Traders Panel as a conference highlight where bankers have the opportunity to engage with Vining Sparks’ traders in an informal setting for question and answer sessions. He adds that throughout the event there are many opportunities to meet with the traders and that at past conferences he’s been able to set up independent sessions with them to discuss strategies and pick their brains.

“The diverse group of community bankers in attendance from across the country also gives you an opportunity to talk with other banks about what types of challenges they are facing, as well as regulatory pressures they are seeing and maybe get an indication of what could be coming. It’s a great opportunity to trade strategies with peers who aren’t your local competitors.”

Sothen says that finding time to be out of the bank isn’t always easy, but that he would encourage anyone to attend this conference. “We’re all busy,” he says, “but I think that anyone attending this event would find the time and money very well spent to help them plan their bank’s future.”

Any community bank interested in attending the Annual Community Bank Conference is invited to visit www.viningsparks.com/ to register.