This week we celebrate a silver anniversary and
look back at what’s changed.
The first issue of International Treasurer was published on March 7, 1994. A quarter-century later, I wanted to take stock of how our flagship publication has changed.
A new name. While treasurers of multinational corporations and those who assist them are still the main audience, we renamed International Treasurer as iTreasurer in 2014 to acknowledge our cohorts at US regional banks and other more domestic-focused companies. In addition to international, the “i” stands for information and intelligence.
A wider mission. The name change also reflects a broader mission. At its inception, International Treasurer’s goals included:
- Covering treasury management practices at other multinationals, to give treasurers “practical, workable ideas” for their own treasury.
- Examining the latest tax, accounting and legal developments that impact treasury.
- Producing country reports focusing on political risks, bank capabilities, funding and foreign exchange strategies, local derivatives and cross-border restrictions.
Since then, we’ve
incorporated a broader range of topics in line with our peer group agendas—now
the core of our business. Yet these three themes still show up in our content
(though the country reports may need to make a comeback!).
Mega-trends then… Back in 1994, we looked to cover mega-trends including post-cold war globalization, consolidation of financial technologies (more derivatives than fintech) and cheap, powerful communications and information management technology (during the dawn of the internet age).
…and now. Globalization is fracturing and receding a bit, even as digitalization enables ubiquitous connectivity for everyone and everything to a worldwide platform. Financial technology now is more about empowering disruption. Derivatives and other tools of financial engineering, brought low by early-1990s derivatives debacles, fell further during the financial crisis. IT is today more about automation (using bots), artificial intelligence and extracting value from data—and less about networks and communication, except when it comes to cybersecurity. Also, managing treasury from a smartphone is now supplanting a laptop as a goal.
An inflection point. The maturing of the modern treasury profession explains part of what differentiates our mission today versus 25 years ago. In the early ‘90s, treasury was still a relatively young professional discipline; the definition of a treasury’s role was still developing. As a more mature discipline, treasury as a function is now a strategic pillar of any modern enterprise. As such, treasury roles are part of a strategic career path as much as a technical discipline. Our goal now is to blend insight for the technicians and the strategists.