The story of the birth of IACT has been told many times over the years since its founding in 1986. Angus Murphy, Jimmy Doyle and the late Gerry English met for a pint in O’Dwyers of Mount Street (long since demolished) and having some knowledge of newly emerging Treasury Associations, mainly in UK, USA and France, decided it was time for Ireland to have one as well.
This was, of course, driven by the wild financial markets dating from the early 1970s and continuing into the following decade. We no longer had a fixed link with sterling and were beginning a relationship with the EMS that eventually saw us adopting the Euro. Exchange rates that had been fixed up to the 1960s now fluctuated wildly and interest rates were extremely volatile. There was a newly emerging Irish multinational sector and companies quickly realised the need to manage their FX risk, interest rate exposure and cash flows. They saw that this was as important as managing sales cycles, stock levels and margins. Among the financial management teams in these companies’ people were tasked with looking at these newly identified risks and devising plans to manage them. These were the early Corporate Treasurers. They were the people who led the interaction with the financial markets and banking systems. Prior to this most people, if asked, would define a treasurer as the guy who looked after the annual subs in the golf club!
So, IACT was founded to meet the demands of the emerging profession. Seminars were held; peer learnt from peer, everyone shared knowledge and ideas. Bank Treasury professionals were very helpful and supported the new association. They had the budget to fund meetings and events and they shared their knowledge of financial instruments and treasury techniques. Of course they in turn benefited from the deals done in spots, forwards, swaps and options to hedge these new risks and all the new fangled money market instruments.
International relationships with other Associations were formed to learn even more from colleagues in other countries. This in time led to the creation of EACT and IGTA, still continuing to ensure that Treasurers voices are heard when regulatory matters are being proposed at local, EU and international levels. It is worth mentioning that IGTA was founded in Dublin during the 1993 IACT Annual conference when the association was led by Sean Healy.
Finally, while all of this was achieved in a very professional way by all those who did their bit in the early days it should also be remembered that we had great fun doing it! I think this tradition has continued in the IACT committees since the foundation and still continues today.
Today the association has in excess of 400 members, including practicing treasurers from major Irish public companies, multinationals and commercial state entities, as well as a significant number of smaller and medium sized companies.
1987 Gerry English
2000 Valerie Little
2001 Paul Farrell
2002 Derek Browne
2003 Judith Lawless
2004 James Ryan
2005 Patrick King
2006 Andrew Glover
2007 John Gilsenan
2010 Brendan Murphy
2011 Brendan Glynn
2013 Patrick Corkery