A Note from the EACT Chairman
by Richard Raeburn, Chairman, The European Association of Corporate Treasurers (EACT)
The EACT’s most recent meeting was in October and the location was Budapest. I was sorry that I had to miss this occasion; from everything that I have heard the Hungarian host association, led by Tamás Onody and colleagues, ensured that board members and others involved had plenty of opportunity to enjoy the city… as well as to work.
The minutes of the meeting very much reflect the EACT’s current preoccupations. The focus was on governance, on the funding of the EACT and of course on EU regulatory issues. The key governance question for any organisation is whether it is ‘fit for purpose’, and in common with other organisations we recognise the need to ask that question periodically. We have a working group focused on governance and its conclusions were debated in Budapest. I believe that any governance review should in part be about organisational renewal and that is a key factor for the EACT, stimulated not least by challenges from some of our relatively new board members.
If the EACT is to remain effective, especially in terms of its voice in Brussels, then current and future funding is a core issue and potential area of sensitivity. Following Budapest this remains work-in-progress but there should be important conclusions to discuss at the next board meeting, which will be in Brussels during March.
We had incidentally been hoping to reinforce our policy resources by recruiting a senior policy director who would complement the expertise we already have with Anni Mykkanen. We may have been over-ambitious in this plan. As at the time of writing we have not been able to identify a candidate who demonstrably brings an admittedly unusual set of characteristics; that set includes deep understanding of treasury issues combined with real experience of lobbying and influencing in Brussels. Anni works very closely with our corporate supporters as well as with the board of the EACT and our focus now is on reinforcing still further her involvement and contribution.
Since Budapest we have now had the Christmas and New Year break. As always seems to be the case, the usually hectic pace of activity in Brussels comes to a grinding halt for a three-week period. That activity will surely be ramping up again as you read this piece.
Our Brussels focus remains very much as it has been over the last few months. Our Autumn briefing note for the new Parliament concentrated on banking structural reform, the Financial Transaction Tax, Money Market Fund regulation and the eventual review of EMIR. To that list we have certainly added the implications of the widespread challenge to the CVA exemption in CRD IV/CRR. On this latter point, which has immense significance for economic cost issues around corporate use of derivatives, you might find it useful to re-read our November letter to the European Banking Authority (‘CVA risk capital charge exemption for non-financial counterparties’), which you can find on our website www.eact.eu.