The Treasurer May 2016

Editor's Letter

This is the time of year when the ACT looks forward to welcoming new and familiar faces to its annual conference, being held this year in Liverpool. Whether you’re a delegate coming to take the opportunity to discuss the latest trends in treasury, to catch up with former colleagues or enjoy the thought-provoking speaker programme – and hopefully for all of those reasons – the conference offers a welcoming environment in which to refresh your knowledge and contacts. Last year’s conference in Manchester, for instance, attracted 1,100 delegates from more than 400 companies and 35 different countries – a truly international crowd. This year’s event speakers include respected treasurers from multinationals, along with Lady Barbara Judge, chair of the Institute of Directors, economist John Kay and broadcaster Mishal Husain. This year, we are equipping you in advance of the conference with the ACT’s latest research into treasurers’ attitudes towards their role and the impact of the treasury discipline on corporate financial strategy and business growth. The Contemporary Treasurer, which is the only completely independent and global study of treasurers’ perspectives on their role, begins on page 29 of this issue. It demonstrates, among many other notable points, that treasurers are spending increasing amounts of time on higher-level strategic issues and that they are becoming more and more recognised as valued advisers to their boards. Elsewhere in the issue, business journalist James Ashton talks to Andrew Koss, chief executive at UK power station Drax. Koss, who has held various positions, including treasurer, head of corporate finance and investor relations, took the helm of the power station’s treasury function during a hard-fought restructuring exercise. Today, Drax is forging a path towards renewable energy with biomass-fuelled generators, an evolution that has meant an entirely new supply chain and vast capital investment, requiring the support of both lenders and backers. Koss talks about his experiences, and the strong foundation that his treasury qualifications gave him, on page 20. Staying within the industrial landscape, business journalist Paul Golden takes a look at project finance on page 24 and finds keen capital market appetite for infrastructure exposure. We also take a look at a community housing not-for-profit’s transformational treasury management system installation on page 40. I hope you enjoy the issue.

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