Introduction and Welcome
by Jean-Marc Servat, Chair, EACT
The European Association of Corporate Treasurers (EACT) was founded 15 years ago on a vision to federate national treasury associations and represent a coherent voice of treasury on a diverse European stage.
The need of a voice for the ‘real economy’ became clear when the accounting standard IAS 39 was drafted. By the time of the global financial crisis of 2008 when governments began to regulate financial markets and banks more rigorously, the EACT had become a clear and respected voice of non-financial organisations with European regulators. Since then, we have continued to strengthen our representation of corporate treasurers with regulators, an increasingly important role in an environment of change, uncertainty and a growing regulatory burden.
Two years ago, representatives from the 21 national treasury associations reviewed the mission of the EACT, and agreed our shared commitment to engage in projects where we would be more successful united than alone. Our conclusion was that we wanted to develop networking and thought leadership in our professional community, break down geographical borders, and reflect and embrace the diversity of the national treasury associations, whilst sharing a common vision.
This shared commitment led to the idea of a Summit, an idea that gradually took shape and culminated in La Hulpe in March 2017. The EACT Summit was a small event over 24 hours, with 120 participants invited by the 21 associations. While there was already an extensive treasury events calendar, we wanted to achieve something different from a ‘regular’ conference, with less of a commercial emphasis, and a stronger emphasis on participation than presentation. Treasurers have many calls on their time, but we know that our members really value discussion and dialogue with their treasury peers.
We took a unique approach in the design and delivery of the Summit over 24 hours, combining diversity on one hand, and inclusion on the other, connecting networks across geographies and profiles of organisation. Many of the delegates were senior treasury professionals, but the associations were also keen to invite the ‘future leaders’ of the profession, leading to a wonderful combination of experience and fresh ideas.
The EACT Summit, the first of its kind, was a great success with very positive and encouraging feedback from participants. This short publication summarises some of the sessions that took place during the Summit. As you will see, each session was very distinctive in its tone, format and content, but all of the sessions were characterised by the breadth and depth of discussion and the openness with which people from across 21 countries shared ideas.
I would like to use this opportunity to thank everyone who participated for their enthusiasm, professionalism and engagement, which I hope that this short publication captures.