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.