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Putting diversity centre stage

The launch of the ACT Diversity and Inclusion Calendar Diversity and inclusion have always been high on the ACT’s agenda and addressed through a variety of channels, be it as part of our professional mentoring programme, the bursary scheme of the ACT Educational Trust or by engaging our members in discussions at our various events. Of course, we are excited to take this engagement a step further with the launch of a dedicated ACT Diversity and Inclusion Calendar – and last week it finally happened! Opening-up the debate For our inaugural event, we focused on one of the most complex

Accredited Universities

The country’s top employers have received 13% more graduate job applications. This is according to High Fliers Research in their ‘Graduate Market in 2016’ report compared with the equivalent period in the previous year’s recruitment round. More graduates applying for jobs means that as a graduate you need to find a way to stand out. On the other side, companies want to recruit graduates who have a strong skill-set and a desire to work and progress within their chosen industry. An affiliation with a professional body is a great way of doing this. The ACT has worked with universities in

Hong Kong heat

Our second Asian adventure this September has been in unseasonably warm and humid Hong Kong. A full report on the Asia Treasury Leaders’ Forum will appear in the Treasurer so here’s just a taster of a few days beside the fragrant harbour. There remains a wonderful contrast between the apparent calm and order of Singapore and the neon frenzy of Hong Kong not least in terms of air quality! But there’s more to Hong Kong than meets the eye. Your correspondent was lucky enough to asked to give a lunchtime lecture to undergraduate students (mostly in finance and business) at

ACT Ones to Watch networking evening

I hate to start this blog on a sombre note, but stick with me, it’ll come good, I promise! The negativity bias theory goes that humans have a propensity to focus on and remember negative experiences more easily. Some may claim they are “glass-half-full” types, but the counter-claim to anyone who says this is that there’s an evolutionary mechanism inside us all that means our minds hold onto the bad memories in order learn a lesson to try and avoid it happening again. So, if we’re all happy to accept this slightly bleak notion, let’s now focus on how we

ACT qualification prizewinners

September and October on these shores always comes that ‘back to school’ ambience. Whether it’s your kids traipsing back to school, or memories of your own heydays in the playground or of packing off back to university, there’s that distinctive feeling of summer being over and normal routine ensuing. Perhaps it’s apposite then that each September, at the Ones to Watch event, the ACT looks back over the success of our students during the previous year and celebrates the efforts of all those who completed a treasury or cash management qualification. We also pay special homage to the students who

What do treasurers need to know about bank ring-fencing?

To prevent a repeat of the 2008 financial crisis, UK regulators have set out to drastically reform the banking system – by separating the retail and riskier investment arms of UK banks into separate legal entities. Known as ring-fencing, the objective of these new rules is to achieve greater resilience and financial stability for the banking system. Ring-fencing applies to any UK bank with over £25bn of retail deposits, including all major high street banks, and they must be ring-fenced by 1st January 2019. The changes will impact corporates as well as personal customers. Most recently, Barclays announced that it

Green finance – so much more than green bonds

There’s lots of talk of all things green at the moment in the financial world, but it’s hard to assess how seriously treasurers are taking it. We have some clear activity in the bond area (Unilever, Anglian Water – well done, Michel Pinto and Jane Pilcher!), but then it’s otherwise a bit ‘quiet’. Having been previously involved with HRH The Prince of Wales’ Accounting for Sustainability (A4S) initiative, I’m now again talking to Jessica Fries, who heads it up, about how the ACT can better support them as well as our members. I was invited to speak at the opening

Eastern eye

Singapore 2017 Once again the ACT was delighted to be invited to lead the Corporate Treasury workshop at this year’s GTR Trade and Treasury week in Singapore, the world’s largest event bringing these two disciplines together. Our venue was the extraordinary expo and convention centre that is the Marina Bay Sands – the three-legged hotel with the infinity pool on top, complete these days with a Singapore bumboat experience in the shopping ‘streets’! Delegates were offered not just the ACT on treasury but workshops, plenary sessions and discussion groups on all things trade and trade finance. And the state of


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