April 15 - The Specialized Carriers & Rigging Association (SC&RA) will hold its 2009 Financial & Risk Management Forum at the Omni William Penn in Pittsburgh, Pa. on August 19-20.

Executives involved in specialised heavyweight and over-dimensional transport, crane rental or rigging, may be interested to hear that the first day of the forum will include six sessions on the following topics: 

Developments and Trends in Transportation Litigation. John Pion, Partner, Dickie, McCamey & Chilcote, Pittsburgh, Pa., will focus on the paper trail left behind each event triggering a lawsuit. Topics to be discussed will include compliance with Department of Transportation (DOT) regulations, adherence to company policies and procedures and the difficulties that arise when a deviation from these standards occurs. Spoliation and electronic data requests will also be discussed, as well as claims for punitive damages when deviation prompts a cry of "outrageous." 

Stimulus Plan for Infrastructure Investment: WHEN are funds available? WHAT should you expect? HOW do you manage inherent risk associated with the plan? Kevin Cunningham, Executive Vice President, NBIS Constuction & Insurance services, Inc., Atlanta, Ga., will cover specific information directly from Capitol Hill. Participants will learn about the flow of funding and what it is tied to, the 15 categories of infrastructure most likely to be targeted for funding, and the latest risk management strategies when working with infrastructure related projects. 

Capital Strategies. Harry Fry, President, Harry Fry & Associates, W. Newbury, Mass., will explain why, despite a shortage of cash on the streets from the large financial/lending institutions, there is still money to be found. He will examine what is presently available and how to go about securing working capital. 

Finding the Keys to the DOT Files: Often Overlooked Fundamentals & What You Should Know to Avoid Costly Fines. Jeff McGeary, Executive Vice President, and Randy Adams, Loss Control Manager, Allied Insurance Brokers, Pittsburgh, Pa., will explore the DOT Safestat program (and Safestat online) as a DOT audit prevention tool and provide guidance on how to properly establish driver files. Applicable to crane and transportation companies, knowledge from this session could save attendees thousands of dollars in unwanted fines. 

Succession Planning and Asset Protection. Walter R. Bashaw II, Managing Partner, Sherrard, German & Kelly, P.C., Pittsburgh, Pa. and Richard (Dick) E. Spence, CPA, CCIFP, Principal, Hill, Barth & King, LLC, Pittsburgh, Pa. will discuss what business owners can do now to position themselves for smooth succession within the next two to five years. The session will also provide strategies for preserving banking relationships when a company changes ownership/management and for protecting long-term, valued employees through benefits strategies when the company is in transition. 

Increasing Cash Flow Using 1031 Like-Kind Exchange (LKE). Scott Davis, Vice President, Accruit Co., Denver Colo., will explain LKEs and What is Like-Kind Exchange (LKE) and how they provide benefits to buy and sell activities. The session will provide a practical sample review of fleet data to highlight how companies can increase company cash flow through Section 1031 of the IRS Code that allows businesses to defer the tax burden on the sale of capitalized assets. 1031 is a well-established tax strategy that has been on the books for over 85 years. 

The second day of the Financial & Risk Management Forum will focus on the results of SC&RA's 2009 Ratio Analysis/ Financial Benchmarking Study. The full-day session, Successful Financial Strategies for your Specialised company, will be facilitated by Mike Whitlock, Tannian Consulting, Redmond, Wash., who also has worked with SC&RA on past Ratio Analysis/Financial Benchmarking Studies. 

The study provides a "snapshot" of the unique specialised transport, crane rental and rigging industries, allowing participants to compare their companies to others of similar size and type. The 2009 study will use data from 2008 financial statements to answer questions such as: 

Visit the SCRA website - www.scranet.org - to review the programme, learn more about the hotel, and register.