From Brussels to New York (via Dubai)

It has been a busy few weeks with work travel, and I wanted to share with you a few of the key insights that I have gained from the many conversations I have been having. Mid-March saw me participate in the European ACT’s Treasury Summit in Brussels – which brought together corporate treasurers from across Europe. A great event, and thanks in particular to those ACT members who participated in the sessions. A key focus was FinTech, and we also talked about Brexit, leadership/development, innovation and diversity, and. sustainable finance. Key insight: treasurers are going to have to innovate in

Trading places

I have recently been in Dubai where the ACT was generously invited to deliver the treasury workshop at the latest GTR MENA Trade Finance week. The ACT and GTR have been associated in this way for a few years now in the UK, Middle East and Singapore and it allows us to reach a trade finance audience we don’t always see. Unfortunately, the date, 14 February, meant being away from home on Valentine’s Day but it was for a good cause of course. The big theme in trade at the moment is, well, the lack of it or, rather, the

East and east again!

This is the first instalment of an Asian double-header from Singapore and then Hong Kong, representing the ACT, meeting our members and students and a whole bunch of other people too! And meeting taxi drivers as well….and like taxi drivers everywhere, the ones in Singapore are not short of an opinion! So, you ask, what’s business like? Well, they say, given that next week is the night F1 race which shuts much of the city centre and no-one in Singapore (apart from the Government) is that fussed, it could be better! In seriousness though there is a nervousness in SE

FinTech storm

What alignment of the sun, moon and stars is causing FinTech Storm to descend on the finance industry? Is this just about bitcoin or the technology behind it – Distributed Consensus Ledger? Is this just happening in the retail finance space and connected with new banks like Atom Bank and Starling Bank? Or can corporate treasurers expect new and relevant services to be offered to them in the areas causing pain (that is real pain, and not ISO20022 payment initiation messaging)? It is a confusing and, one suspects, hyped-up picture but governments and regulator are seriously interested in opening up financial

The revolution will not be evangelised (tech-ing it easy on the hype)

On the eve of the ACT Annual Conference we take stock and reflect on a controversial yet inevitable theme and its recent trajectory from dumbed-down conversation-stopper to intellectual fire-starter for treasurers. Our opening speaker, John Kay, firmly prophesises (in his latest book Other People’s Money) that: ‘The revolution will come. Institutional inertia can slow technological change but can rarely prevent it altogether…. [t]he evolution of payments will pave the way for broader change both institutional and intellectual. Our understanding of money and banking will be fundamentally revised.‘ So, if there is a point at which a ‘healthy scepticism’ becomes anachronistic,