Bruce Meuli, Global Transaction Services Advisory executive, and Jonathon Traer-Clark, Head of Strategy, Global Transaction Services, Bank of America Merrill Lynch
BM So, Jonathon – another year has passed. And whilst the world has changed in many ways, tell me what you really, really want for the next 12 months… and don’t go wasting my precious time.
JTC Oh dear… I can see you’re still in holiday mode! But new year, fresh perspectives, so let’s get serious. For me, there are two things that make treasury interesting and rewarding. Firstly, relationships – be they with your tax and legal team, the finance organisation at large, the business, clients or your external service providers such as banks, software or other providers. Secondly, change. It’s a constant theme driven by the dynamics of the business and operating environment, acquisitions, and changes in corporate structure due to market impacts, politics, tax laws and legal changes. This semi-chaotic nature is one of the reasons I work in finance – so personally I’d like to see more rather than less change! It forces us all to be adaptable, have a point of view, and act with confidence.
BM Are you bailing on the answer? I think that’s too philosophical a response – I was looking for your thoughts on the future. Let’s start with your first theme. Throughout 2016, we’ve heard a lot of noise about distributed ledgers or blockchain – we covered it in an earlier column. It’s been hyped as a disruptor, but to my mind, it’s no more revolutionary than the spreadsheet was to the abacus, except in one critical area. It looks to create trusted digital relationships between parties. So my wish is to have a concerted industry view on what this all means, and why it’s valuable for corporates and banks.