From the Chairman
By Mark Schwartz, ACTSA Chairman
South African economic data paints a rather sober picture. In the last two years, real GDP growth has only crept above two percent in one quarter, and averages somewhere around one half of one percent quarter on quarter. Where top-line growth is not performing, the ability of corporate treasuries to find cost-reductions and efficiencies has certainly come to the forefront. Increasingly, the focus on accurate data, secure systems and processes has become a priority.
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 with its primary aim to educate, inform and grow our profession and its profile within our companies.
Our events and initiatives during the past year have focused on the changing environment and the needs of our members to fulfil their mandates during these challenging economic times.
Over the past few years, a trend of regulation and transparency in the financial markets has emerged. South Africa is in the early stages of adopting Europe’s Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (Mifid) 2, intended to improve competition and investor outcomes in financial markets. Further regulation and reform has become part of the treasury landscape, with the Reserve
Bank’s announcement of JIBAR reform, as well as the adoption of the new Global Foreign Exchange Code of Conduct.
ACTSA has been actively involved in all of these forums, ensuring that our members and their interests are not only represented, but to also take a leading role in guiding practically applicable regulations. We are currently providing either direct representation via standing committees, or documentary submissions to the regulators.
As a Board, we see our responsibilities as not only to provide a forum for our members, but also to actively lobby on behalf of the corporate ‘buy-side’ of the market to ensure that whatever legislation or regulation is put into place is practically applicable and not unnecessarily burdensome. To this end, our workshops, forums and website are being modified to provide our members with the support they need to achieve these ends.
ACTSA sees its role as a means to raise the profile of our profession, providing a portal to education specifically designed for our field and an environment to share learning and experience. We would like to encourage our members to come forward and add to the organisation. Please look out for some exciting changes to our website, in which we plan to include webcasts, as well as providing a recruitment portal for prospective employers and our members.
Finally, I would like to thank all our contributors most sincerely. The articles this year represent a considerable variety of subjects. Thank you to the Board Members who voluntarily offer their time to spearhead the Association and also to the ACTSA team for their continued contributions to making our organisation both active and relevant.
We hope you enjoy this year’s edition.
Mark Schwartz, ACTSA Chairman