Saiba is sending a delegation to the upcoming Mexican Institute of Finance Executives (IMEF) for its 60th anniversary conference.

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Though IMEF is a Mexican-focused organisation, the upcoming conference will be “a world congress of CFOs”, according to Saiba CEO Nicolaas van Wyk, speaking to CFO Talks.

“One of the reasons we are so eager to attend the conference from South Africa’s side, it is being done in conjunction with International Association of Financial Executives Institutes or IAFEI, and IMEF has kindly agreed that IAFEI can participate. So it’s now more like a world congress of CFOs.”

Saiba participated in the IAFEI World Congress in 2016 when it launched the CFO designation. It later sent a delegation to Sao Paolo in Brazil for the IAFEI Congress, and followed this with delegations to two congresses in Italy.

“What we usually do is we arrange about 30 people who buy a tourist package and then obviously we make this like a business experience. The idea is to network with our international colleagues to build business relationships, to consider business opportunities and networking, and then also to look at the cultural developments and historical artefacts within Mexico City and bring all of that knowledge back to South Africa to help grow our local economy.”

Head of IMEF is Angel Garcia-Lascurain Valero, who recently gave CFO Talks some background to the organisation, now in its 60th year. “IMEF was founded as a non-profit civil association that integrates financial executives in different sectors of the economy or executives who have an interest in financial management excellence.

“We have the mission of being the reference institution of knowledge, of research, of dissemination and of exchange of best practices of financial and economic management with a social focus on Mexico. We also have a strong focus on economic analysis, and we do a very close follow-up of the Mexican economy as well.”

Adding spice to this year’s IMEF conference is the announcement that two Nobel Prize winners will be speaking, as will the chief economist of the World Bank.

Says Valero: “We will discuss border security (between the US and Mexico), immigration and economic development, what is the impact of immigration on the economy. We will also have the vision of the World Bank, we have the chief economist of the World Bank speaking at the conference. We have two Nobel Prize winners, who will also share their knowledge on the future of the international economy.”

The IMEF conference will serve as a powerful forum for building international networks and will provide an invaluable insight into the workings of senior finance executives and accountants from around the world. After nearly 18 months of lockdown due to Covid, the world’s finance executives are eager to resume networking and interacting with each other, and the IMEF conference is the perfect venue for this.