by Richard Raeburn, Chairman, European Association of Corporate Treasurers (EACT)
I was elected EACT Chairman in the autumn of 2008. At the end of June – by the time you read this – I am retiring from the role. So this is my final article for TMI. The editorial team at the magazine will no doubt be as relieved as my wife: the former because I have been persistently late in meeting publication deadlines; and the latter, because she has been too often exasperated by my excuses as I tried to catch up with a missed deadline.
I took on the EACT role as I felt I could bring a clearer focus to the organisation and I strongly believed that we should offer an effective voice for individuals involved in the treasury profession throughout Europe. My commitment was to make the EACT more than just a six-monthly forum for a group of individuals to meet and exchange experience from their national treasury associations.
In the recent period before I took over as chairman the EACT had been notably effective in a couple of areas. I single out two people whose contribution was enormous: François Masquelier, for all his work on IAS and in particular fair value accounting; and the late and much missed Gianfranco Tabasso, who led all the contribution made by the EACT on payments issues.
With support from a number of colleagues I like to believe that the EACT has now been transformed. The catalyst for this change was an event that I suspect none of us recognised for its full implications. The global financial crisis that emerged fully during 2008 brought with it a focus on financial regulation, the like of which treasurers had never previously experienced. However, it was quickly clear as we assessed the implications of the first major proposals – for the regulation of over-the-counter derivatives – that the implications for how treasurers conduct their businesses were profound.