James S. Bernier
Executive Vice President, PNC
Senior International Economist
Managing Director, Derivative Products Group
Can Sustainability Drive Growth?
Many U.S. companies continue to actively seek ways to increase energy efficiency. Read Now »
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Short Term Interest Rate Increases and Effects
How will this affect the U.S. Treasury Yield Curve
This webinar replay discusses how short term interest rate increases may affect the U.S. Treasury Curve, how to manage impact of rising rates, and plans to mitigate company exposure.
Smart contracts can unlock the power of blockchain technology, providing a platform that can remove friction, reduce paper and speed transactions across many industries.
Could smart contracts benefit your business? Smart contracts are blockchain-enabled contracts that have the potential to revolutionize the way we do business. Similar to paper contracts, smart contracts define operating rules between parties, but a key differentiator is that they can also systematically enforce those rules.
There are seven common principles a business owner family can use to successfully transition to a financial family. These principles are outlined in this paper.
After the sale of a family business, the business owner family must transition to a financial family. An important element of a family’s successful transition is an understanding that the business purpose that drove and united the family. Without a common purpose, the family does not have a common goal or focus.
This webinar will provide background on the threats and best practices for protecting your Commercial Card program.
Are you exposed to future rate increases related to longer term debt? A forward starting swap can help to manage interest rate exposure.
As interest rates continue to rise, borrowers may be exposed to future rate increases related to longer term debt. A forward starting swap can help to manage interest rate exposure and align their interest rate risk with their risk tolerance.
A comprehensive retirement plan checkup can help plan sponsors identify existing or potential issues that could result in significant compliance problems or negatively impact plan participants.
Performing an annual review helps confirm that a plan is meeting applicable requirements under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (“ERISA”) and related Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and Department of Labor (DOL) regulations and guidance, which is one of the essential responsibilities ofa plan fiduciary.
It's important to review your existing planning documents, such as estate planning documents, pre- and postnuptial agreements, and business buy-sell agreements.
The recently adopted tax reform legislation will have a substantial impact on family wealth management decisions. Here we provide an introduction to key tax provisions contained in the new tax law and explore the opportunities and challenges they present.
Whether you are buying or selling across borders or entering a new international market, you’re likely to face credit, country, counterparty and currency risks.
This webinar outlines the key instruments for mitigating risks, examines strategies for navigating the complexities of international trade, demystifies industry terminology and clarifies components of trade documentation.
We focus on three key areas for plan sponsors thinking about enhancing their pension risk outcomes.
2017 proved to be another volatile year for pension plan sponsors. The market environment combined with several regulatory updates may provide plan sponsors with some potential opportunities for 2018.
President Trump signed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) into law on Friday, December 22, 2017 — and it has undoubtedly left its mark on the municipal finance market.
During this webinar, we discuss the major elements of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and their effect on municipal finance, including municipal bond supply and demand, and relative value relationship of municipals to other instruments. We also cover a look-back at the impact of these dynamics during the first two months of 2018 and expectations for longer-term effects. PNC Public Finance Disclosure
Discussion includes a look-back at the impact of these dynamics during the first two months of 2018 and expectations for longer-term effects.
Many U.S. companies continue to actively seek ways to increase energy efficiency.
Researchers have found companies with high environmental, social and governance ratings tend to outperform the market in the mid- and long-term ranges. As many boards and corporate executives are finding, sustainability initiatives can be very good for business.
While interest rates have been low for years, rising interest rates bode well for overall economic health — and may even hold good news for businesses.
Understanding and capitalizing on the opportunities that exist in rising rate environments can make businesses stronger. Focusing on the next best moves for your business, both in terms of borrowing and strategic investment, can help you stay ahead of the competition and make the best decisions for the future of your organization.
Evaluate investment options and anticipate future rate changes in order to set an optimal cash position and strategy.
Many financial decision-makers see today’s rising rates as either a brand-new phenomenon or an operating environment that they haven’t faced for more than a decade. Corporates will be required to analyze their short-term cash and cash position differently in order to prepare for the long haul.
Get an overview of the most common fraud tactics and how law enforcement engages worldwide. BEC wire scams, financial malware and ransomware are discussed.
This webinar provides an overview of current fraud tactics and how various law enforcement agencies engage worldwide. The most common fraud tactics, including BEC wire scams, financial malware and ransomware are discussed, along with how commercial real estate companies are specifically targeted.
You can't afford to wait for clarity when determining European strategies in the face of an uncertain Brexit environment. This seminar will arm your company with the tools it needs.
Improve your understanding of the economic impact and potential disruption to trade flows. Identify possible negotiation outcomes surrounding passporting rights and data privacy. Review foreign exchange concerns including currency volatility. Recognize the potential impacts on employees, customers and vendors.
The U.S. dollar has been experiencing increased volatility. Find out how to manage the impact of the changing value of the dollar and other currencies.
What is the best way to develop a risk management plan for your business? What resources are available for assistance with the financial and market variables that will impact a risk management plan? What is the best way to identify the appropriate hedging instruments to use? What are the outcomes of an effectively implemented risk management plan?
We believe buy-sell funding has a “Goldilocks zone” of sorts in that parties to a buy-sell agreement will seek to find an optimal funding level.
Acquiring an appropriate amount of life insurance coverage, properly structuring ownership and beneficiary designations, and aligning the type of life insurance policy with the terms of the buy-sell agreement are critical to implementing a successful funding strategy.
A key to effective wealth management and family wealth transfer is recognizing the risks that threaten you and your family’s wealth and developing strategies to minimize them.
Recognize the risks that threaten you and your family’s wealth and develop strategies to minimize them. Disability, divorce and predators are just a few of the risks families face. A well-designed and well-administered trust is one of the most effective tools for managing life’s risks and achieving wealth goals.
Only 22% of retirement plan sponsors are currently benchmarking the Income Replacement Ratio for their participants. And that can leave a major gap in participant retirement readiness.
The income replacement ratio is the percentage of pre-retirement income that an individual is likely to need to maintain their standard of living in retirement. Adding it to traditional benchmarking metrics can improve how plan providers, along with plan sponsors, communicate and educate plan participants.
Hedging allows treasurers to protect profits and cash flow by locking in revenues, costs and global intercompany transactions, but accounting treatment can be uncertain.
Equity markets are highly volatile. Global currency markets have also been experiencing larger than normal swings. Fortunately foreign exchange hedging products such as forwards and options are available to protect against the potentially adverse impact of currency fluctuations.
Many organizations are exploring how to better manage their retirement plan’s investment lineup, control risk, and keep costs down.
Is now the right time to consider outsourcing your defined contribution plan’s investment selection and monitoring? If you’ve already decided to outsource, how do you determine whether a nondiscretionary 3(21) or discretionary 3(38) fiduciary service is best suited to your needs?
Companies must implement secure and efficient payment processes in the face of a complex and an evolving web of customs, laws and regulations that varies from country to country.
Best practices cover payment instructions, understanding local rules, tax implications, using local currency, and collaborating with your bank.
Even cross-border payments sent via SWIFT will land in a local payment system where unique banking practices may delay funds’ availability and result in fees to the beneficiary.
Companies need to implement secure and efficient payment practices in the face of customs, processes and regulations that vary from country to country. To avoid delays and extra costs, understand payment rules, regulations and networks.
Check fraud tops the list of fraud methods criminals use, according to the latest AFP Payments Fraud and Control Survey. Why is this latest survey especially worrying?
75% of organizations experienced check fraud in 2016. 74% reported that their organizations were exposed to business email compromise. Nearly half of survey respondents reported that the incidents of fraud attempts increased in 2016.
Pension plan sponsors are faced with a volatile political and macro landscape that presents significant opportunities and risks.
There is uncertainty around the timing and potential size of Federal Reserve rate hikes, the potential impact on the longer end of the curve, the policies of a new administration, and the ability of the economy to maintain the positive momentum of the last eight years.
Even though the Liquidity Coverage Ratio is targeted at banks, your banking relationship — and therefore your business — may be affected.
The Liquidity Coverage Ratio (LCR) was created by banking regulators to enhance the banking industry’s ability to absorb shocks resulting from financial and economic stress and to strengthen the industry’s processes for monitoring and managing liquidity. Over the long term, the LCR rule will benefit your business by increasing the strength of the banking industry.
Pension plan sponsors face a volatile landscape that presents significant opportunities and risks, especially if they have a legacy defined benefit plan, or are considering a merger.
Healthcare systems are complicated organizations, managing their liabilities to maintain credit ratings in a competitive environment. Pension risk is a liability many systems face and several strategies available are highlighted in this article.
Today’s rising interest rate environment may make it possible to improve your return on short-term cash.
Investment policies should include formalized forecasting and contingency plans to prepare key decision-makers for unexpected events. Contingency plans should include a scenario analysis that details events of varying risk or magnitude and how the company will react. For example — divest, stay the course or become more conservative.
Corporate financial managers must consider the impact of interest rate forecasts, future GDP estimates and potential tax reform on corporate cash strategies.
A number of short-term investment options have become part of the consideration set because of the rising market. They include variable net asset value prime money market funds, separately managed accounts and conservative ultra-short bond funds.
PNC’s economists are predicting increases in 2017 and 2018. A new administration in Washington and political changes in Europe may also affect interest rates.
What does the future hold for interest rates? How will the new interest rate environment affect your borrowing strategies and how can you mitigate the risks? We asked Tina Hwang from PNC’s Capital Markets group to weigh in.
Uncertainty regarding U.S. economic strength, global considerations and unanticipated events will likely result in continued market volatility over the near term.
We follow a consistent and disciplined approach to investing, seeking diversified sources of return. In our opinion, investors are best served if they work with their advisor to focus on their long-term goals, with an asset allocation that is appropriate for the risk profile and return objectives of their unique circumstances.
Cyber criminals are finding new and subtler ways to infiltrate legitimate businesses to conceal or advance their objectives.
As a financial institution that is focused on creating long-term, collaborative relationships with its customers, PNC believes strongly that the USA PATRIOT Act requirement to know our customers, their ownership, business purpose, suppliers and customers benefits our national security — and your security as well.
As 2017 begins, stock and oil prices are moving higher and economic outlooks for 2017 are being revised.
Economic growth will be faster in 2017-2018 with assists from consumer spending, construction spending, business investment and Federal government spending, more than offsetting weakness in U.S. exports as the dollar continues to strengthen and growth outside the U.S. remains slow.
Stocks and bonds are expensive relative to history, growth remains sluggish, and corporate earnings have been unable to gather sustainable momentum.
We remain in a difficult market to forecast, particularly regarding the complex interactions between what we see as the weak fundamental backdrop and how current monetary policy might affect the dollar, interest rates, and investor risk preferences.
As e-commerce moves towards 10% share of total retail sales, mobile commerce is expected to grow exponentially in the coming years.
Widespread consumer adoption of payment technologies can lead to demand in the commercial space. For these reasons, trends in consumer payment innovation can be early indicators for changes in commercial payments.
Do political trends influence interest rates during an election cycle?
Companies should be armed with a comprehensive risk management policy and exercise discipline in implementing their hedging strategy regardless of the political environment and market conditions. Prepare to implement your hedging strategy in a timely manner.
The controls that come with the latest commercial payment methods enable CFOs, controllers and program administrators to exercise greater control over payment systems and practices.
The potential benefits associated with strong controls can be significant in terms of cost savings and peace of mind. Conversely, failure to implement appropriate payment controls can subject an organization to unnecessary financial risk.
You can find relief by improving management of invoice processing through payment.
Invoice automation can help you optimize the use of employee resources, significantly decrease the cost of processing invoices, help you capture vendor discounts more reliably and increase scale within your back office.
It's clear that corporations and individuals need to understand the risks and opportunities as an uncertain situation evolves.
Britain's Brexit vote upended expectations with 51.9 % of voters backing the "leave" campaign versus 48.1% backing "remain." The result sent shock waves through the markets and created an unstable political environment in the United Kingdom in the weeks following.
When planning for risk, start with the easiest and least expensive measures and work through the options, weighing whether each measure can address each risk appropriately.
Those who are perceived to have deep pockets present attractive litigation targets. Professionals and business owners are well aware of their risks. Many of these professionals can face malpractice claims, breach of contract claims, and personal injury claims, but there are a multitude of additional risks that professionals and employers confront.
Chart provides detailed information on Money Market Fund regulation considerations at a glance.
Intended to preserve the benefits of money market funds while increasing transparency and strengthening investor confidence, new regulations effective in October 2016 will require a re-evaluation of your cash management strategy.
The federal election will affect policy and conditions for business and investing for at least the next four years. This uncertainty may not be helpful for upward market momentum.
It’s too soon to make predictions about what’s in store for investors during the next presidential term. However, review of current conditions and past patterns makes it likely that investors could see quite a bit of market volatility for the near term.
The industry experienced increased fraud activity in advance of EMV with data breaches hitting high-profile brands.
Improve your awareness of Card-Not-Present (CNP) fraud with the adoption of EMV. Understand how PNC’s fraud strategies and intelligent neural network can help prevent fraud while balancing risk with the cardholder experience. Understand how PNC’s fraud strategies and intelligent neural network can help prevent fraud while balancing risk with the cardholder experience.
The healthcare cost trajectory has significant implications for companies and employees today --and on retirement prospects for individuals down the road.
Changes in healthcare are monumental. It’s hard enough for employers to understand the new landscape. It can be even harder for employees, leaving a significant gap in understanding between the two groups, particularly when it comes to retirement planning.
Create an education program that incorporates both financial and physical wellness for your employees.Communicate with your employees to identify key topics of concern.
Employers can play a significant role in helping their employees achieve a financially secure retirement by addressing the least understood threat to their retirement dreams — the cost of healthcare. The failure to plan adequately for the increase in demand for healthcare in retirement and their projected costs may upend even the best-laid plans.
In September 2015, the 10-year swap spread turned negative, and today, all swap spreads with a tenor of 5 years and greater are negative.
Current negative swap spreads present an opportunity for market participants favoring fixed rate debt. The bank markets traditionally price over LIBOR, and the bond markets price over Treasuries. By electing to pay a fixed swap rate, a market participant enjoys the benefit of negative swap spreads through a lower swap rate paid for the life of the contract.
Learn how to better manage intercompany payments, reduce transaction costs and improve intracompany reconciliation.
Multinational corporations face many challenges in managing growth across multiple continents, currencies, and accounting systems. Treasury managers can facilitate cross-border settlements among affiliates, increase productivity and generate cost savings with a multilateral netting solution.
Many American workers are not prepared to retire, no matter what age.
A study by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System found only about 25% of individuals they surveyed were actively saving for retirement. The Fed study noted that the shift from defined-benefit plans to defined-contribution plans has placed greater personal responsibility on employees to plan and save for their own retirement.
Companies must do their part in maintaining the integrity of the trade supply chain.
About 80 percent of illicit financial flows from developing countries are now channeled through trade-based money laundering (TBML), according to Global Financial Integrity (GFI), a research and advocacy organization.
An estate plan should be dynamic with changes being made as your life changes. This article may offer some guidance as to when you should review your estate plan.
With greater wealth comes a greater potential need to plan. Estate taxes may now be an issue and you may want to explore various estate planning strategies to reduce your taxes or minimize the impact of those taxes. You may also want to establish trusts for children and grandchildren to better plan for their future.
PNC Healthcare commissioned Shapiro+Raj to explore changes in the healthcare environment and their impact on providers, payers, and employers. Here are the findings of that study.
Millennials will shape the future of American healthcare. They seek change throughout the system. They embrace retail and acute care clinics. They take the most responsibility for their own healthcare. They spend more time researching online, finding providers and getting others’ opinions and they will force much more change compared to Boomers and seniors.
The strength of the dollar, a favorable interest
rate environment and an abundance of cash on
hand may make this a good time for domestic
companies to invest outside the U.S.
Companies considering a cross-border merger or acquisition should evaluate the currency risk during the due-diligence stage of the deal to ensure that currency rate volatility does not adversely affect the target price.You can perform a “Value at Risk” analysis to quantify the currency risk between now and closing.
Canada’s Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions has granted PNC Bank Canada Branch (“PNC Canada”) a full-service branch license.
Canada is the United States' largest export market and the second largest source of imports after China. Companies doing business in Canada face a number of challenges as they deal with customs documentation and adapt their operations for sales tax accounting, procurement procedures and even packaging and labeling. PNC can help.
Foreign currency volatility has reduced earnings from both a transaction and translation perspective. Explore strategies for mitigating the currency impact on earnings and cash flow.
Find out how a strengthening dollar can create a headwind for companies doing business internationally. The recent spike in foreign currency volatility has taken a big bite out of earnings, from both a transaction and a translation perspective. This presentation helps explain these issues.
As international business grows more important to U.S. companies, it's vital to recognize that import and export activities are heavily regulated by the U.S. Government.
If you are conducting international business, if you are engaging in new types of transactions, if you are doing business with new entities or in new geographic regions, you may receive questions from government entities or your financial institution. Everyone involved is responsible for compliance and could face penalties or fines for noncompliance.
Your financial well-being, like your health, can benefit from regular checkups — but where to start? Here is a step-by-step plan to improve your financial fitness.
Pay yourself first. Create a budget. Pay down credit card debt. Prepare a personal net worth statement. Review your estate planning documents. Rebalance your investment portfolio. Review your insurance and your tax plan and seek guidance from a qualified wealth management professional to improve your financial wel being.
Currency markets are experiencing a significant amount of volatility. Hedging programs can help companies protect profits and cash flow.
While most companies start with hedging balance sheet exposures as they are more visible, more are now considering hedging forecasted exposures such as sales or expenses. Hedging anticipated cash flows depends on the company’s ability to forecast reasonably accurately, although uncertainties can be managed by hedging a percentage of your anticipated exposure.
Most businesses need both disaster planning and business resiliency strategies, but resilency can come into play almost every day.
Business resiliency plans ensure uninterrupted processing for essential functions. Most business interruptions fall into one or more of these 5 categories: hardware, facilities, network/telecom, software and people. With a strong business resiliency plan, you can be prepared and avoid the difficulties of recovery without one.
Fiduciaries have important responsibilities and are subject to strict standards of conduct. However, plan sponsors may not know who the fiduciaries to the plan are.
If you are involved in the administration of your company's retirement plan, it is important to understand what your role as a plan sponsor entails, as well as how to delegate parts of your fiduciary responsibility if you choose to do so. Even unintentional mistakes can lead to a breach of fiduciary duty that can have significant consequences.
Doing business with Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa can be challenging for companies accustomed to the certainties of mainstream currencies.
Although the BRICS proactively promote international business, their governments remain concerned that any sudden inflow or outflow of money could de-stabilize their economies. As a result, they have implemented restrictions on international transactions. Trade and capital payments are regulated and certain hedging practices are prohibited.
Business owners and corporate treasurers are reviewing their projections for funded debt levels over the next several years to manage their mix of fixed and floating rate debt.
A hedging solution called the yield curve efficient interest rate swap closely follows the expected future path of interest rates. The frequency and timing of the increases can be tailored to meet specific cash flow needs.
Many companies that had previously elected to hedge with an interest rate swap will be faced with early termination or make whole of their current interest rate swap.
In the face of moderate economic growth in the United States and overseas, short and long-term interest rates remain at historically low levels. There are many flexible and creative hedging solutions available. You should review the expected duration of your debt portfolio and consult with your capital markets profession to discuss your options.
Canada is a vitally important market for U.S. companies. The United States sells more goods to Canada than to all 27 countries of the European Union combined.
The ease and longevity of our relationship with Canada can make us forget that the enormous territory to the north is not just an extension of the United States. Like any other global market, Canada has its own customs, laws, rules, and regulations that require just as much attention and insight as those of our more distant trading partners.
Healthcare costs are forcing a new calculus on traditional retirement planning. They are rising faster than inflation and will consume a growing percentage of our spending as we grow older.
Individuals appear to be significantly underestimating what health care in retirement will cost them. According to a report issued by the Stanford Center on Longevity, “43% of middle-income Americans are paying more for healthcare with Medicare than they expected they would.” One reason for this may be that many are overlooking the prospect of long-term care.
Does your company have a well-thought out investment policy? Does your policy have clear, measurable objectives? Has it been written down and shared with the appropriate team?
Putting your investment policy in writing is the foundation of effective investing. Your policy should provide benchmarks to help you evaluate how well it is working and what changes may be needed to make it more effective.
When you contemplate the sale of your business, market timing, economic considerations, competitive trends, tax strategies and future capital requirements should be taken into account.
Merger and acquisition ("M&A") transactions can raise a series of important considerations that significantly impact business owners. When is the right time for an M&A transaction? What steps are required? When selling a company, how can business owners achieve liquidity and maximize value while still looking after the best interests of their company?
There are five threats to retirement that investors should be aware of. This article discusses those risks and how investors can seek to mitigate them.
Thinking about retirement is no longer a future event for many Americans; most recognize the need for careful planning throughout their working years. While it is a positive that Americans are expected to live longer, this can add to the already daunting challenges of funding a comfortable retirement.
Companies need to define a risk management objective. What are you trying to hedge and why? Every company has different metrics that should be incorporated into their hedging decisions.
Companies buying, selling or capitalizing a foreign business often overlook currency risks. including impacts on valuation, financial statements, and capitalization. Get specific, actionable information on currency risk management, including pre-close exposure/hedging, managing the currency impact of capitalization decisions and financial statement impacts.
The wrong strategy, the wrong partner and poor management can knock you off track in China. Learn about challenges in the operating environment.
Often companies initially focus their strategy for China on the basic how to’s: How do I start a company? How do I find an agent? How do I open a bank account? These are important questions. But these are not the issues that can inhibit your success in China.
Biases are the basis for cognitive and emotional errors when we apply them in financial markets and they often result in financial losses.
Humans have an amazing capacity for reasoning, memory, action, feelings and emotions. But capacity alone does not ensure that we will develop the proper biases to employ every day in predictive scenarios. In some cases, these biases come hardwired in our brains and work against us when it comes to predicting market movements.
Smart managers are sweetening their employee benefits package with additional perks to help their company stay competitive in the market for good employees.
Essentially, a workplace banking program is a package of discounted financial services and special benefits your company can offer to employees as part of your overall benefits package. Typically, there is no cost to participate, only rewards for both your company and your employees.
Credit is available with competitive terms for companies that see their bank as a vital resource. Here are tips for keeping an open relationship with your banker.
Imagine that you run a mid-size company with deep ties to an industry challenged by economic conditions. After decades of success, growth has stalled -- and your income statement is beginning to show it. Open communication with your banker puts everyone in a better position to structure and negotiate the right credit solutions for the challenges at hand.