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ACT Middle East Annual Summit – a message from the chair

Every year the ACT Middle East Annual Summit continues to surprise and inspire me through the people I meet, the case studies and success stories I hear and the new insights I take away with me. It is always an honour to be chairing what is undoubtedly the leading treasury event in the region. We’ve got a packed programme for you as always, with the support of companies including Almoayyed International Group, Aramex, Archimedia, Chalhoub Group, Du, Dubai Petroleum, elseco, EGA, Etihad Airways, Government of Sharjah, Gulf Energy, Landmark Group, Oman Trading International, Webcor Group and YBA Kanoo, to name

ACT Learning Academy Team in Dubai

The ACT Learning Academy Team enjoyed a busy couple of days at the recent Training and Development Show 2016 in Dubai. ACT’s Middle East education activity has been growing over the last 8 years and colleagues were in Dubai to spread the word on professional treasury standards and qualifications and training to support organisations and individuals develop treasury capability. Bringing together the C-suite, HR and training departments, gurus and transformational leaders, The Training & Development Show provides a platform for over 3,000 attendees to debate, discuss and prepare for the future. Visitors to the ACT stand were able to chat
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Payments systems developments

The press is full of payments buzzwords: blockchain; bitcoin; fintech; disruptors. A previous backwater of banking has become the great hope for many in the IT industry, and we at the ACT and our members are working hard to address a variety of issues and help deliver the dream. The two key issues we see are: Data: The need for sufficient data to either travel with or separately be available to understand the purpose of the payment. Too often businesses send bulk payments and personal payers omit the critical reference to enable auto allocation. The UK PSR has sought to

Recollections from where East meets West

What stood out to me during the recent Asia Treasury Leaders’ Forum 2016 was the sheer diversity of professionals assembled with a keen interest to learn and share information about the design of their organisational roles and functions (yes, this was what stood out to me more than the mighty cuisine Peter would point out). Having been to a couple of corporate conferences myself, I was pleasantly surprised by not only the ability of the panellists and moderators to induce thought-provoking insights, opinions and conversations, but I was taken aback by the manner in which conversations never seemed to drift
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Technical update from the ACT Asia conference 2016

Top notes from this year’s Asia Treasury Leaders’ Forum conference hit on corporate treasury in the region, uncertain times and investing cash in China. Last week was my third appearance at the ACT’s Asia conference and I have to say it gets bigger and better each year. There was definitely a real “buzz” in the exhibitors’ hall and the sessions were well attended. Delegates stayed all day instead of “cherry-picking” sessions as they tend to do in Europe, but these were the key messages and “take-a-ways” I picked up from the three plenary sessions: 1. Opening keynote: Making Hong Kong
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Accreditation of in-company training programmes – setting the standard

Accreditation is the formal recognition of a person’s learning achievements which is linked to an internal or external standard. Many learning and development activities are often linked to some kind of accreditation, usually a qualification, but this is not always the case. What it is Professional accreditation involves meeting the standards set by a particular sector or industry body. The ACT sets standards for those working in and with treasury. This is done through its competency framework which describes the skills, knowledge and behaviours individuals should possess no matter what stage of their career they’re at. These standards, or competencies,
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East and east again, Part 2!

The second leg of my Asian double header brought me and the ACT team back to one of our favourite conferences, this year renamed as the Asian Treasury Leaders’ Forum. Since we moved to a full day format 3 years ago, the event has gone from strength to strength on several different levels. There’s the backing we get from the local treasury bodies, the positive endorsement of other local and regional professional bodies and trade associations and, of course, the support of the HKMA, Hong Kong’s central bank. Most of all the enthusiasm from the treasury community locally and further
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UK Payments – work in progress

We met in London to hear from Tim Yudin of Payments UK as the trade association for payments, and Nick Davies of the Payment Strategy Forum, the forum set up by the UK’s Payments Systems Regulator (PSR) and includes Katherine Horrell FCT, of Centrica. Shaun Kennedy AMCT, of Affinity Water sits on one its End User group. It is to the latter’s draft strategy that the ACT has responded (our response links to the Strategy document). The strategy follows a year of discussion and analysis to define the shortfalls, the “detriments”, their potential solutions and seeks to prioritise their development. Long


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