The CEE Treasury Forum of Fall 2021 was hosted by the Slovak Association of Finance and Treasury (SAF). This event was organised in association with eight national treasury associations (ACTA, ATR, CACT, CAT, HTC, PCTA, SAF and SCTA), all of whom are EACT members.
After two years of absence due to COVID lockdowns, the delegates from the region and from Eastern European countries were delighted to meet again in Bratislava, Slovakia, to share best practices in treasury and financial risk management. This year's programme covered a variety of timely topics. These included the sustainability of the economy in Eastern Europe, the digital euro, and central bank digital currencies in general, and navigating the final stages of interbank offered rates (IBOR) reform. Delegates also focused on how banks can help companies become more sustainable, the growing and evolving role of the treasurer, and the future of treasury and its challenges in the coming year.
It was a programme rich in content that was enhanced further by the expertise of the keynote speakers. The EACT will continue to endorse this conference because it is a typical example of excellent cooperation between national associations. It promotes the profession of corporate treasurer and fosters exchanges between peers beyond the borders of their own territories. As in the past, the conference was organised with the efficient and seamless support of Treasury Management International.
It is clear that despite the path to digital transformation being long and complicated, it remains a priority. However, it is also important to remember the priorities identified by the last European EACT survey: cash flow forecasting, market risk (e.g., FX risk), organisation of treasury departments, technology renewal (mainly TMSs), and funding and working capital requirements. The current priorities of treasurers, who are pragmatic people, are the basics of finance. You could describe this as a return to basics, which, as a crisis will always underline, should never be forgotten. Therefore, there are a significant number of treasury tasks to improve and to further automate before we should even think about the next digital steps, such as data analytics, artificial intelligence, and robotics.
The conference, which enabled peers to combine networking and the exchange of ideas about technical treasury topics, was a much-needed gathering after the events of the past two years. We are delighted that it continues to be a success year after year. Next year, it is proposed the conference will be held in Vienna with the help of the Austrian Corporate Treasury Association (ACTA). For those who have business, or want to conduct business in this region, attending the CEE Treasury Forum is a must. We look forward to seeing you all at the event in 2022.
By François Masquelier, Chair, EACT