The last few weeks have been a real global experience for me – meeting members from Hong Kong, Singapore and Switzerland as well as colleagues from other National Treasury Associations.
First up were meetings of the European Association of Corporate Treasurers (EACT) and the international equivalent group, IGTA – of which I am now Deputy Chair. Sharing developments in the payments space, LIBOR replacement and recent research carried out on treasury teams, we spent a good couple of days together.
Then the ACT held its annual Asia Treasury Leaders’ forum, in Hong King, which had 220 attendees – the largest treasury event in Asia. Particular highlights for me were an interview with Celia Liu, CFO of G4S in the region, a fascinating panel on China bonds, and a provocative challenge of the FinTech space by Professor Veronique Lafon-Vinais from Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST). It was great to welcome attendees from all parts of the region including the Philippines – but many, including our events team, had to change travel plans due to the unprecedented weather which hit Hong Kong just before the event. 14,000 trees were destroyed in HK but fortunately no lives – though we think of and feel for our Philippine and Indonesian members, whose countries have not got off so lightly.
Following the conference, I led a workshop on female strategic leadership, kindly hosted by White & Case. We had a full house and feedback has been terrific – so we’ll be doing more!
Singapore was the next stop, with a joint event with the Association of Corporate Treasurers Singapore (ACTS) where we looked at LIBOR and virtual accounts, quite different topics, but comparing developments in both in Europe vs Asia. We had some fantastic panellists including Wilson Koh from Grab and Jennifer Doherty from HSBC, who pointed out that virtual accounts actually started in Asia which many people have forgotten. Wilson talked amongst other things about Grab’s philosophy of ‘disrupt or be disrupted’. You can read Wilson’s recent article in The Treasurer magazine here. It was a great inaugural event, hosted by Clifford Chance, and we hope to see many more collaborations with the ACTS in future.
I next attended the IFAC Public Accountants in Business meeting and we had two full days of content including the CFO of Standard Chartered Bank and the CFO of the Maritime Port Authority of Singapore talking about finance transformation. Did you know the MPA does cash forecasts out to 2047?! Risk, audit and cyber security were all on the agenda, and then we joined the Singapore CPA group for a joint conference of 450 people – where I took part in a panel discussion on the CFO behaving like a Chief Executive.
Quick turnaround and I’m at the ACT Treasury Network event in Zurich, a careers evening hosted by Michael Page. Great engagement from our members, and a fascinating talk by Jan Caflisch from Davoser craft beers, all about his crowdfunding of the recent start-up.
- The ACT continues to produce high quality events, with excellent content and speakers.
- Members feel engaged and want more – more education, more events and CPD, and more involvement.
- We’re talking to, supporting, and being supported by other treasury associations more and more, as together we can make a greater impact for the treasury profession.
So, thanks to all the IGTA members and especially (this time) the IACCT, the ACTS and the HKACT!