One of the ACT’s strategic objectives is to ensure that our Policy & Technical team, the ‘heart’ of the organisation, remains strong, demonstrating thought leadership, and representing the first port of call for regulators and government; whilst creating an intellectual agenda and offering guidance and advice to the membership and the wider community both in the UK and overseas.
The core purpose of the team is to INFLUENCE policy makers and INFORM treasurers, CFOs and those involved in making treasury decisions.
- Engage with regulators, government departments, central bankers, (i.e. the official sector) through formal working groups and committees and informal networks
- INFLUENCE policy and ensure that decision makers understand the impact of proposed changes to regulation and market practice on non-financial corporates in particular
- Monitor developments in regulation, markets (e.g. capital, FX, interest rates) and the real economy
- Assess the impact on corporate treasury and INFORM treasurers by writing articles
- Review content from various areas of the ACT to ensure it is up to date and relevant
- Provide direction to various ACT teams on what is topical for events, publications etc.
No day is typical but to give you an idea of what we get up to we’ve summarised a few of our days below:
Day one AM – meeting of the Risk-Free Rate Working Group (hosted by the Bank of England)
A lot of time is spent with regulators and commercial banks working through the implications of the demise of LIBOR following the FCA announcement that LIBOR will no longer be supported after 2021.
Principally, we explain how proposals from regulators and banks will impact corporates. And then, once the dust has settled a little, we explain to corporates what the changes mean for them.
Day one PM – providing support to the ACT’s Client Solutions team
We provide Client Solutions with technical expertise on an annual debt survey sponsored by a legal firm. We work with them to make sure that the survey is useful/ relevant and valued – so everyone gets benefit from it.
Day two AM – attending a breakfast briefing by one of the large law firms providing an update on Brexit.
We attend specialist and general seminars and presentations and join a variety of webinars to understand the latest developments across a wide range of topics that may impact treasurers (directly or indirectly). We try to provide write-ups to share relevant and useful insights.
Day two PM – developing a Brexit survey for members
We’ve been working with the ACT’s Marketing team on our Brexit survey. This monthly snapshot shows how prepared treasurers are. This might involve picking up the phone to a couple of treasurers to clarify things. We then use the information to provide material for various long and short articles that we write for our newsletters and publications.
What we enjoy about the role!
As the newest member of the team (I only joined in September 2018) I’m still getting used to a new routine. I enjoy researching areas of interest and talking with treasurers to understand issues they face. My areas of focus are Brexit, cash management & payments and the ESG agenda – so there’s more than enough to keep me busy! The team has lots of different experiences which is useful when wrestling with difficult concepts.
I’ve spent my career working with treasurers and the role gives me the opportunity to share these experiences with policy makers as they discuss new concepts and ideas and I enjoy meeting treasurers on a 1:1 basis to understand what keeps them awake at night.
The role is 3 days per week and gives me the flexibility I need to support my changing personal responsibilities.
I’ve been a member of the Policy & Technical team for a nearly 4 years – and it’s flown by! My background is in corporate treasury in large international organisations (although I’m a qualified accountant, that’s not something I often admit, preferring the variety and forward-looking nature of treasury).
I particularly enjoy working with the official sector (Bank of England, FCA, HM Treasury etc) and sharing my knowledge of the real economy and by extrapolation, offering a perspective on the possible impact of ideas that the official sector may be considering.
Another part of the role is chairing /moderating panels and webinars and it’s very rewarding when we receive positive feedback from attendees that we’ve helped them get to grips with something that may on first viewing appear quite esoteric.
Like Naresh, the fact that the role is 3 days a week gives me flexibility, and we each generally try to work the same pattern each week (so I’ll do Monday – Wednesday, whilst Naresh does Tuesday – Thursday), some days working from home, but it’s also part of the role to be flexible in the event that something is happening on a day you don’t normally work.
I joined the Policy &Technical team almost nine years ago, when John Grout and Martin O’Donovan were at the helm. The role is challenging, but in a good way. I often say that I need to know a little about a lot. That is to read, understand and decipher what is happening in the financial markets, regulatory sphere and accounting profession but more importantly figure out the “so what?” for the corporate treasury profession.
Variety is the spice of life and no two days are ever the same. In fact, I would go as far as saying no two hours are the same! From attending conferences, researching topics, writing presentations, drafting articles to answering technical queries, the list is endless. It’s a great team to work with.