CFO Forecast Study Highlights Executive Optimism

Crain's New York panel

January 31, 2018 - Our Leaders Small Business & Commercial New England New Jersey, New York and PA

In December 2017, TD Bank participated in the first-ever CFO Forecast Study conducted by Crain's New York. The study highlighted the changing role of the CFO in today's business landscape, tapping senior financial executives from the New York metropolitan area for their thoughts on trends, current challenges, and expectations for the near future. The results were presented at a discussion panel at Crain's New York Headquarters; TD Bank's head of corporate banking Stephen Foley was among the participants.

Earlier this month, Crain's New York released the results of the entire survey, which included several questions submitted by TD Bank. This portion of the study found that:

Confidence in the Economy

35% of finance executives are very or somewhat optimistic about the economy and regulatory market—and plan to increase their budgets accordingly in the next year.

Emphasis on Growth Strategy

40% of finance executives feel that their company's growth strategy will impact their liquidity needs in the next year.

Foley shared his thoughts on the numbers at the discussion panel. “We track the key indicators, and they’re positive,” he said. “It does feel like a false bottom, but the key economic indicators seem to show things are strong. Catalysts are also coming, such as tax reform which could further serve to drive growth now that the picture is clearer.  We’re looking at the return of normalized interest rates, it remains to be seen how  this translates to in the equity markets, but there seems to be a lot of optimistic indicators that can be interpreted positively by corporate's looking to make growth  decisions.”

Foley also weighed in on what the key to success amid such uncertainty might be: “today it’s about being nimble, being able to pivot in another direction,” he said. "For banks, in 2017, loan growth has declined significantly, so at TD we have to find new ways to capture business from our clients and offer alternative products-and-services rather than direct lending. We are thinking outside the box— to grow the top line.”

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