The Treasurer February 2017

The Trans-Pacific Partnership, NATO, the UK’s relationship with the EU, the US’s relationship with China and with Asia – where we once had broad commitments and long-standing accords, we now have the prospect of a whole series of renegotiations. When we look for clues as to how these conversations are likely to play out, there are few certainties. No previous assertions or relationships are taboo, it would seem. President Donald Trump is uninhibited and highly changeable in terms of both the relationships he seeks and the consensus views he is prepared to upend. Vladimir Putin is ‘very smart’ and the dollar is ‘too strong’ – just two of his recent utterances. Did anyone see those remarks coming? And does he mean them or are they chips in the game? Trump’s unpredictability notwithstanding, UK prime minister Theresa May will be the first foreign premier to meet with him formally post-inauguration. That’s a surprising adherence to tradition in this all-new context. Perhaps not everything is up for grabs. If you’re a high-stakes player, change is the outcome you desire and the element of surprise is not necessarily a bad thing around the negotiating table. In business, before the deal is signed comes due diligence and after comes a thoughtful integration plan, both areas that treasurers are very familiar with. That’s the case with Christof Nelischer, whose experience at Willis Group, now Willis Towers Watson, features post-deal integration. He is no stranger to navigating periods of economic turmoil either, having worked through the collapse of the European Exchange Rate mechanism in a previous role. Our profile of him begins on page 34. In December, The Treasurer’s Deals of the Year Awards judges gathered for the 20th anniversary of the awards. Their remit is to consider the achievements of a whole raft of treasury teams as they worked on 2016’s most challenging deals, often executed on a tight timescale and against a backdrop of market volatility, but frequently exhibiting great ambition and a desire to innovate. The ACT has introduced a new category for this year – that of Emerging Treasurer. To find out about our first-time winner and those in other categories – the deals and teams that our judges decided most worthy of our applause – turn to page 21. And because talent and achievement at all levels should be celebrated, we also profile three high-flyers from last year’s ACT exam pass list and chart the evolution of the ACT’s qualifications, on page 18. I hope you enjoy the issue. Liz Loxton, Editor

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