ACT Annual Conference 2019 – programme round-up

So you have enjoyed the light-hearted tone of Peter Matza’s blogs on the ACT Annual Conference 2019 (if you haven’t read them, then these provide a daily tongue-in-cheek summary of each event day, and are available here), but now you have the rather more detailed look at a selection of the key sessions that dominated this year’s Annual Conference on 21-22 May at Manchester Central, another visit to the capital of the north for the UK’s largest treasury event. Following the welcome and opening by ACT Chief Executive, Caroline Stockmann, and conference chair, Peter Matza, the eminent broadcaster and journalist,

The beat goes on….

ACT Annual Conference, May 2019 Day 2 There are some who think that the second day of this conference is a much more relaxed affair. While this might be true in terms of finding one’s way around the session rooms, the exhibition hall and meeting the people you just couldn’t see on day one, it absolutely is not in terms of being switched on and ready to work! The formal conference kicked off with Rhys Phillips, Head of Sterling Markets at the Bank of England. In his presentation and q& a session that followed, the ACT was praised for its


ACT Annual Conference, May 2019 – Day 1 Our day kicked off with ACT CEO Caroline Stockmann welcoming delegates, sponsors, exhibitors and speakers alike. Caroline also gave us the fun statistic that more than 4,000 coffees will be served over the 2 days of the conference. I wonder who’s been counting?! Or is that just the ACT team? Caroline was followed by broadcaster and journalist Jon Snow, bringing some early dazzle with one of his trademark colourful striped ties. Alongside his well known views on UK politics, Jon also gave us an insight into his earlier career as a journalist

Lights, camera, action!

ACT Annual Conference 2019 Our arrival in Manchester this week has seen the City (geddit?) lay on an open-top bus parade. For the ACT’s 40th birthday? Well, not exactly for the ACT but there’s definitely some glamour in the air! On the ground though we’re getting ready for a conference which I think has more focus on technology and business disruption than any I can remember. Someone clever (not me) once said that uncertainty is the frontier between risk and reward. As treasurers, it’s our job to help our organisations cross over from one side to the other. The conference

Addressing conflict

The Future Leaders group in the Middle East hosted a breakfast addressing conflict on 23 April. It was great to see such a diverse group of people in attendance, with 8 different nationalities represented and an equal split of genders. In addition to having a guest speaker there was an opportunity to network amongst attendees, and having such a wide range of experiences and backgrounds in the room, this really helped the discussion and responses to questions posed by our speaker. Inspirational and thought-provoking We were delighted to have Dawn Metcalfe come in and speak to us. Dealing with conflict

The Impact of Brexit: A Treasurer’s Perspective

The latest in the ACT’s Brexit series was our breakfast briefing, hosted by the Falcon Group on 4 April, which looked at the key issues facing treasurers at this time of great uncertainty. With the situation ever-changing and a no-deal Brexit too likely for comfort, which was highlighted by the keynote speaker, Sanjay Raja, although the threat of this has somewhat dissipated through the passing of the Cooper-Letwin amendment requiring the Government to avoid a no-deal by forcing a long extension to be sought. Raja, UK Economist at Deutsche Bank, opened with the appropriately titled presentation ‘A Long Goodbye’, highlighting

Meeting members in East Africa

A few weeks ago, I was at our annual East Africa Treasury Forum in Nairobi meeting our members and reinforcing the presence of the ACT and the role of the treasury function in the region. After my short welcome giving the audience an overview about the ACT and what we do, and some opening remarks from our very able chair, Sydney Wechuli of the Nairobi Securities Exchange, we had an exciting and informative opening keynote from Standard Chartered’s Africa Strategist, Eva Wanjiku Otieno, who talked about key economic factors worldwide from the changing strategy of the US Federal Reserve to

Future Leaders in Treasury – The importance of resilience

Resilience. What is it? The term resilience means so many different things to different people. Is it a perspective – rationalising what you are up against and working out how big a deal it really is? Is it adaptability – knowing when you can need to step up and when you can take it down a notch? Is it your ability to bounce back – how well do recover from difficulties and how quickly can you carry on? Resilience is not about being able to do huge amounts of things. It is not about taking on the highest pile of