A run on a bank, Private Equity & the ACT/JPMorgan Global Cash Management Survey

The ACT’s offices in Moorgate are directly above the City branch of Northern Rock. We therefore had a remarkable – and hopefully, just once in a lifetime – opportunity to observe an old fashioned “run on the bank” developing, much as we had studied in Economics 101. The queues and the attendant media phalanx inconvenienced ACT staff just a little but helped underline that we at the ACT should be monitoring and assessing the crisis.

Global view and lessons to be learnt

In the July Chief Executive update I wrote that ‘current market developments do suggest that treasurers and corporate financiers may be in for an interesting summer’. Well, for all those who have not spent the past month at the beach or up a mountain August has indeed been an interesting month to be in the City.

Stormy skies ahead but Commons Treasury Select Committee now see more clearly

I cannot count the number of times over the last year the phrase ‘when the credit cycle turns’ has come up in meetings – and without wishing to suggest covert ageism in this observation on many such occasions I have sensed a reluctance on the part of some to allow the conversation to dwell on this eventuality. But current market developments do suggest that treasurers and corporate financiers may be in for an interesting summer.

Principles based regulation and pan-European cooperation

The range and relevance of the work our Policy & Technical team do is well reflected in this newsletter to issues such as private equity, choice in the UK audit market and fair value measurement. In each case the outcome of public debate can significantly impact treasury, risk and finance professionals – the core of the ACT’s membership. We always welcome feedback on our contributions to these debates – either to me or to John Grout, who leads our Policy & Technical work.

The Treasurers’ Conference & the Spring Paper

The beginning of May sees the start of our new financial year and our first Treasurers’ Conference in Edinburgh. 2006/07 has been a year of investment for the ACT and it is encouraging that we have the financial reserves and resilience to be able to follow through on our strategic commitments to continue to develop our qualifications and to ensure that the ACT team is properly equipped to deliver the strategy. Members will receive our Annual Review later in the year and within that we will show overall how the portfolio of qualifications and our people are central to the

talkingtreasury in Amsterdam and discussion of Rome I

At the beginning of May Graham Bond, Greg Croydon, Lucy Fuller and Stephen Pugh will take their places for a three year term on the ACT’s Council, following their success in the elections just held. Greg and Lucy have just completed a three year term. We lose from Council Stephen Crompton and Emma Lubbock, both of whom have contributed enormously to the ACT; we are grateful for their support and guidance over the years.

Private Equity, frank discussion & free-to-attend ACT events

The debate over private equity becomes livelier by the day and at the ACT we continue to monitor, as we have done for some time, the implications of the growth of private equity for finance professionals working in treasury, risk and corporate finance. If we put on one side for the moment the political and social concerns coming to the fore, at the very least the financial engineering and governance principles raise questions, challenges and opportunities for many of our members.

ACT’s Deals of the Year Awards & the EU Payments Directive

The ACT’s Deals of the Year Awards ceremony took place in January and had a record number of attendees – a testament to its increased profile. It was particularly pleasing to see several senior treasurers from European corporates based outside the UK – organisations that were well represented amongst the finalists. The ACT is most grateful to the judges who sat on the panel, under Matthew Hurn’s chairmanship, and of course to Lloyds TSB for supporting the lunch. We hope to see further growth in this event next year.