From the Chairman
by Nigel Grey, ACTSA Chairman
It is with great pleasure that I introduce the 2017 issue of The South African Treasurer, which focuses on a New Era of Treasury Innovation.
The magazine, published in association with Treasury Management International, forms one of a wide and varied spectrum of events organised by ACTSA on issues pertinent to treasurers.
In current times we are experiencing changes that are affecting the existence of many of the things we regard as normal. The change is being driven by the pace of development of products and processes that primarily leverage off the use of the internet. The Internet of Things (IoT) is shaping our lives increasingly and enabling fiercer competition and, in many cases, obsolescence of delivery methods for many products and services we take for granted.
In this new era, speed is everything and is the essence for treasury processes in the future. For example, at the time you are reading this, a new structure for bond settlement is in the pipeline for settling South African bonds which will bring new levels of efficiency to the bond markets.
To achieve speed of delivery and development, the treasury department has to have an agile team with the right experience and knowledge to make informed business decisions with clarity. Treasury innovation isn’t just technology, it’s a solid team with a collective treasury vision.
We appreciate that the role of treasury is changing significantly and it’s becoming more evident that treasurers have to work in real time to keep abreast of the multitude of technological developments.
We sometimes lose sight of the fact that Africa is made of around 53 countries all with their own regulations, laws, business cultures, levels of development and attractiveness for business. Optimising one’s experience for operating in Africa is dependent on responding to regulatory changes promptly as well as maintaining liquidity in a market that does not make it easy.
Productivity, quality and profitability are key to an organisation’s competitive advantage. New innovations such as in-house banking are now not just for the large corporates. Today’s contemporary technology infrastructure allows these services to be scaled to be cost effective and to assist.
In this year’s edition there is also an informative article about the Islamic finance sector which is estimated to have been worth US$4 trillion in 2015. Many financial institutions are responding to this growing market and the demand for Islamic finance by diversifying their service offerings.
It becomes clearer in each year of the journal’s publication that treasurers need to work in an ever-expanding world. They need to be aware of identity fraud, understand new technology, evaluate different forms of financing and learn to understand the role of the volatility index in assessing risk appetite.
We hope you enjoy this year’s edition.