Two months in

Caroline Stockmann, Chief Executive, reflects on what she’s been hearing since she joined the ACT in February… Today has been a very exciting day for me as I’ve got to meet lots of treasurers in a more intimate setting than I have experienced since I started. A meeting with Shell’s Group Treasurer, Russell O’Brien, as part of my induction programme, was really helpful, and at the time of writing this, I had just come out of the South West region’s annual meeting. The group is very active, often gathering more than once in the year. Topics discussed spanned from TM systems

Rolling on

Dusseldorf, March 2017 At the start of last year’s ACT Europe Conference, we asked delegates about Brexit. Overwhelmingly they wanted the UK to stay in and didn’t want anyone else to think about leaving. Well, like the Rhein that inexorably flows through this city on its way to the North Sea, a lot of water has passed under quite a few bridges since then! Treasurers though must be prepared to help their businesses prosper in all circumstances and for that they need to understand the issues that really matter. @PeterMatza testing the level of optimism. Everyone is slightly equivocal after

Will Brexit cause walls to collapse or only cracks to appear?

The Brexit topic continues to draw in the crowds at any seminar and this morning (31 January 2017) was no exception.  It was ‘standing room only’ at Slaughter and May’s client seminar titled: Tremors and Aftershocks: How to manage the impact of the Brexit earthquake and recent world events. How to manage the impact of the Brexit earthquake?  It was clear that we’re not yet sure exactly when the earthquake will happen, the magnitude, or even where the epicentre will be.  From a poll of attendees 37% thought it was too early to understand how Brexit was going to impact

Lessons from the Brexit referendum: there may be trouble ahead – and you can’t be over-prepared

Sitting in a meeting last week, a number of bankers shared their views on how the financial markets had coped following the result of the UK referendum to leave the EU. The key takeaway was that (although the precise result may have been a surprise), everybody was prepared and this level of preparedness, along with the gradual release of news over several hours as the results came in, effectively mitigated the risk of the markets seizing up. The great advantage, if we can call it that, was that everybody knew the timing of any ‘surprise’ and could put plans in

Does Brexit matter to me?

It’s not just a UK issue – treasurers everywhere need to be prepared for the ripples reaching their shores… For those organisations beyond the UK, it may be tempting to assume that Brexit is ‘just’ a local issue for the British and that it will have no impact on their own activities. But even in these early days, before any actual negotiations have got underway, this may not be an accurate assessment. If your organisation has any interaction with the UK (however indirect), it would be worthwhile considering what Brexit may mean for you. For example, do you have customers

QE: investment stimulus, cheaper corporate financing or pension deficit booster?

The problem with any macro-economic stimulus is that a large economy is a mix of small economies. The problem the UK shares with other western economies is that the acceptable stimuli have become few. What’s available in the arsenal? The Bank of England has base rates, quantitative easing (QE), a target consumer price inflation (CPI) of 2% (which is currently 0.6%), and a commitment to a stable financial system. The government of the day can tinker with tax rates and/or overspend (i.e. borrow). These are simple and crude weapons. Investment decisions are not simple or uniform in their nature. UK business

Brexit myopia leads to non-Brexit solutions?

UK manufacturing whether actual (May output) or indicated (PMI for July) is down. And why not? We are in one of those periods of our history during which we all know our world has changed but we do not know how it has changed. The following months, and perhaps years, will reveal how our departure from the EU will trickle down through the UK economy. Any participant, personal or corporate, and indeed government department, will begin to discover its suppliers’ and customers’ sensitivity to foreign exchange rates, trade treaties, and open borders, and while it is waiting to do so

Are you sitting comfortably?

The beginning of July, and we’re still waiting for the sun. Wimbledon is here of course, but in the post Brexit vote era it seems everything is under covers. The weather is stuck in a rut and the recent El Niño political fallout after “the vote” seems likely to cloud the remainder of the summer skies. But in all this gloom there are bright spots. Surely? The financial markets functioned effectively. Just as well that the roof has been fixed since the last financial storm. New political leaders will emerge and financial markets will eventually respond, to hopefully, a new sense