An Expanding World

Ever since the financial gravy train jumped the rails in 2008, the role of treasury has been steadily expanding. The full gamut of risk management has become part of the mix, a phenomenon noted last autumn when a slew of articles marked the fifth anniversary of Lehman Brothers’ demise. Reval’s vice president of strategy, Jason Torgler, who recently wrote for
maximising treasury talent
, summed it up well: “The breadth of risks within the remit of treasury is now so wide that the organisation can no longer function properly if it maintains a single focus on either cash-related or risk-related activities.” As this week’s focus, entitled
‘A Holistic View of Treasury’
underlines, banks are responding to this trend, although one suspects that savvy financial professionals also look to other sources for advice on how to deal with the increasingly complex demands of their job. The UK’s Association of Financial Treasurers has given its upcoming annual conference this May the whimsical title of ‘If Treasurers Ruled the World’, although it’s a prospect that seems less far-fetched than it would have been back in the pre-crash era.

Other features in this edition include two reports from our regular contributor and former
editor, Ben Poole, on Fundtech’s recent
Insights EMEA conference
in London. Among the highlights was a presentation from the deputy treasurer of
the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC)
on how the venerable 92-years old broadcasting organisation put through its SWIFT implementation project. As Poole writes, the exercise took place against a background of severe budget restraints with the licence fee, which provides the bulk of the corporation’s income, currently frozen for six years. Indeed, last week the BBC announced that BBC3, a channel launched in 2003 specifically targeted at viewers aged 16 to 34, will be axed on-air from next year in order to save money. Another
regular, Neil Ainger, offers us the thoughts of
former UK chancellor Alistair Darling
on issues from the prospect of Scotland seceding from the UK to the flaws in the European Union (EU).

Elsewhere, Citi’s Tomasz Smilowicz considers the
‘new era of money’
in a piece that examines the benefits of digital money. With most recent articles on this topic dominated by the fluctuating fortunes of bitcoin, the article instead reviews progress towards the cashless society and how the pace is faster in Asia than in North America or Europe. The recent
strong growth in receivables finance
is explored by Michael Bickers of BCR Publishing, who suggests that new technology platforms is bringing about a revolution in the industry. Finally, we have two news focuses on
recent developments in China

Best wishes,

Graham Buck
, Managing Editor,