The Treasurer June 2017

Last month’s WannaCry malware attack has been described as the most pervasive cyberextortion attack ever seen. An array of high-profile organisations worldwide were afflicted - the National Health Service in the UK, Deutsche Bahn in Germany, Russia's Interior Ministry and numerous blue-chip companies. The speed and effectiveness with which this relatively low-tech attack spread has demonstrated emphatically that the systems we depend on can prove only too fragile. Even before this attack, cybersecurity had moved centre stage and become a core concern for all. The ACT annual survey, this year renamed The Business of Treasury and published this month, found that it represented the biggest concern for their organisations for 83% of respondents. More than ever, organisations are turning to treasurers to help address cybersecurity concerns. At the ACT Annual Conference last month, presenters including cybersecurity specialist Jamie Woodruff set out the potential points of entry for hackers. Woodruff’s point was just how easily hackers can exploit our behaviour and our oversights. Do employees always follow the rules on tailgating in and out of office buildings? Do they stray from their devices in cafés or in airport terminals? Do they talk about the business in public places? We’d like to think otherwise, but we know the answers to those questions are: ‘not always’ and ‘sometimes’. The conference, themed ‘opportunity from uncertainty’, provided many other perspectives on areas that are front of mind for corporate treasurers across the economic and political worlds, as well as opportunities for networking and debate. Turn to page 20 for our conference report. This month, we talk to Karen Toh, treasurer at Grosvenor Group, about her treasury transformation project at the real estate group. With worldwide interests, Grosvenor keeps its property management local, and Toh has overseen an impressively ordered rollout of a centralised and coordinated treasury approach covering workstreams, governance, systems, processes and controls, and reporting. Our profile of her begins on page 24. This month's issue includes our cash and liquidity management supplement. We take a close look at how treasurers in complex businesses reach a clear picture on cash, the changing pressures on and role of banks, and at what kind of scenarios might prompt to look closer at cash and liquidity. Returning to security, we also look at the latest thinking on customer authentication. Our cash management supplement begins on page 29. I hope you enjoy the issue. - Liz Loxton, Editor

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