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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
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.
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.
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.
I am very pleased that Richard James has joined the ACT management team as Deputy Chief Executive. Richard brings a background in treasury and investor relations from companies such as ICI, Cookson Group and Cable & Wireless (where he was most recently Group Treasurer). Richard will have specific responsibility for the events and editorial/publishing teams, as well as for the strategic direction of our qualifications programme.
Today we launch enrolments for the new MCT – Advanced Diploma. All of us at the ACT are enthusiastic about the major changes we have made to the old MCT qualification. With enrolments open we mark a key stage in completion on schedule of what has been a major project for us. The new MCT – Advanced Diploma reflects a radical new approach to the type of learning materials we provide, the way we deliver these, the tuition support and the formal assessment leading to award of the qualification. Through these changes we have still retained the core values and focus of the previous MCT.
Our approach to strategic planning in the ACT focuses on an off-site day each Autumn at which Council, the committee chairs and the ACT management team get together to debate and confirm the issues that will be central to the next formal plan (which is presented to Council in the early part of each year). I am now starting to think about the wide set of issues that should be on the agenda for our off-site day and each of our business committees will be helping the ACT team assess these issues. As always I am keen to receive comment
I must start the newsletter with a thank you to all the speakers, delegates, exhibitors and sponsors who attended our annual conference in May and made it such a huge success. We are working through all the comments and remarks we have received from all parties and I am delighted that so many of you found the conference enjoyable, worthwhile and practical. In all our planning the ACT team and Programme Committee thought it was vital for the conference to bring tangible benefits when back in the office – your comments suggest we have achieved this.