The power of three - looking forwards after 1000 ACT days

As I reflect on my three years with the ACT, it’s quite an unusual phenomenon I’m experiencing: on the one hand I feel as fresh and excited about the role and the organisation as when I started, but on the other I feel there has been such a lot achieved in that time that it feels much longer.

Why fresh and enjoying it so much still? Well, partly it’s about the variety – no two days are the same – and partly about the wonderful people I meet, in the UK and overseas, whether members, students, sponsors, collaborators or other relationships. And it’s about our lovely team, and our mission and vision which are as important to me as ever. I also get to learn new things every day, which builds my resilience, and I’m able to be creative and innovative in terms of our growth strategy.

Looking back on all we have achieved as an organisation over the last three years, it’s impossible to give credit to everything and everyone, but allow me to highlight just a few of the things we’ve packed in: a refreshed qualification leading to FCT status; a stabilised assessment platform; some brilliant events with content quality ever increasing, and with ‘star’ performances from Chris Hoy, HRH Prince Charles, Sandi Toksvig and Ed Balls; 30+% growth last year in our Middle East Summit; treasury panels now in East Africa and Asia, as well as the Middle East; a new website that’s mobile-friendly; a range of celebrations for our 40th anniversary, including various awards; a growing partnership with the GTR, allowing us to be present in more of the geographies of our members and students; strong relations with the EACT and IGTA, and Deputy Chair of both, as well as collaborations with other associations e.g. in Romania and Nigeria; our charity of the year increasing income 20-30% versus prior years; over 10% of our members volunteering in some capacity last year; our qualifications now on the Financial Services Professional Standard in terms of apprenticeship framework; and, responding to the research we carry out every year, the provision of events and training around D & I and the ‘softer skills’, as well as a strong focus on ESG (including introducing ‘green finance’ awards). Our P & T team remains at our heart, and our engagement with government and regulators is on the increase: we have been instrumental in representing the voice of the real economy, as ever, and the Bank has recently stated their desire for further engagement with us and our treasurers.

Having celebrated the ACT’s 40th anniversary last year, I am very conscious of the ACT’s rich history, and the invaluable contributions of the senior leaders who have come before me. The last three years are a small part of what we’ve achieved over time as an organisation, and it is a privilege to build on their sterling work, and to pave the way for the future of the ACT community.

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