EACT and IGTA come together in Prague
For the third straight year, EACT and IGTA (International Group of Treasury Associations) held joint meetings in the Czech capital on September 14 and 15, 2018. Three meetings took place over the weekend: the European association's semiannual Board of Directors' meeting, a joint EACT – IGTA meeting and the Annual General Meeting of the international association.
EACT devoted part of its deliberations to organizational matters following Anni Mykkänen's decision to leave the association after six years working on regulatory issues. It was decided to hire a public affairs consultant to replace her for the time being.
Vincent Herlicq provided an update on the communication working group: six newsletters were published by the end of September, easily meeting the 2018 goal of six to eight issues; two webinars have been organized on the subjects of MiFID 2 and SWIFT gpi. Furthermore, EACT recently published a brochure on global payment innovation (gpi), which is available on the association's website. For the coming year, EACT's priorities will be developing its social media presence, mainly on LinkedIn, as well as implementing monitoring indicators.
Cornelia Hesse offered a preview of the third edition of Journeys to Treasury, a study conducted by BNP Paribas, EACT, PwC and SAP that was officially launched on September 26 during the EuroFinance conference in Geneva. Four topics are addressed in 2018: liquidity management, tax reforms, treasury digitization and cyber-criminality. These themes were chosen following a survey carried out a few weeks before the second EACT Summit in March 2018. The focus was on case studies, with no fewer than 11 treasurers spotlighted, particularly Joanna Bonnett from PageGroup, as well as Lionel Jouve from Printemps and John Coollemallay from Dassault Systèmes. This third report aims to help treasures identify challenges and set out priorities. It can be downloaded at https://journeystotreasury.com/, with printed copies available upon request.
In 2019, François Masquelier will be heading up EACT participation in Journeys to Treasury.
In addition to the European delegates, representatives from South Africa, China, Ivory Coast, Hong Kong and the United States attended the joint EACT – IGTA meeting, which focused on occupational topics. Anni Mykkänen and Jeff Steiner, a lawyer at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, presented regulatory aspects in Europe and the United States. Main points included the fact that the US CFTC (Commodity Futures Trading Commission) is finally complete following the appointment of the last two members. In the European Union, EMIR Refit (Regulatory Fitness and Performance program) will likely be finalized by late autumn.
Various EACT working groups also reported their progress, particularly the cybersecurity working group. This group is made up of 12 members from 11 countries. An article entitled “Is your company protected from cyber threats?” was published in the July EACT newsletter, and an e-mail address was created (firstname.lastname@example.org) to collect cases of fraud, answer questions, etc. This working group is ready to spread the message, particularly in national treasurers' associations: its first presentation will take place in London on January 14, 2019 during a symposium organized by ACT.
A discussion on future interest rate benchmarks, following IOSCO principles, has also been organized. In the future, the only rates based on actual transactions will be overnight rates [SONIA (Sterling Overnight Index Average) for the pound sterling, ESTER (Euro Short Term Rate) for the euro and SOFR (Secured Overnight Financing Rate) for the US dollar]. However, forward rates, at least for three and six months, remain necessary, particularly for treasurers. They could be extrapolated on the basis of the rate curve, derivatives, etc.
The IGTA Annual General Meeting inducted a new member, the Romanian Treasurers' Association (ATR), founded in 2015. ATR held its first conference in 2017 and now comprises 12 founding members and 50 ordinary members. This new addition brings IGTA membership to 29 associations.
For 2019, the IGTA Board of Directors will be structured as follows: Helmut Schnabel, representative of Germany's GEFIU, as Chair; Caroline Stockmann, Chief Executive of ACT, the British association of corporate treasurers, as Deputy Chair; and Tom Deas, President of the US NACT, as immediate past Chair.