Insight & Analysis

TT’s 25th anniversary: co-founder Angela Berry reflects on Treasury Today’s guiding principles

Published: Feb 2023

Treasury Today is 25-years old this year, and to mark our anniversary we spoke to co-founder Angela Berry to find out about the inspiration for the magazine and how it all began.

I had worked in financial publishing and my co-founder, Richard Parkinson, in banking and consultancy. I had specialised in accounting, insurance and banking at a variety of publications with The Financial Times and the Institute of Chartered Accountants. That is where I first met Richard who later joined me in establishing Treasury Today. Richard was a transactional banker for many years with Citi and Bank of America and had been working in bank consultancy prior to Treasury Today.

We felt that those working in corporate treasury and associated finance functions were not getting high quality information from a reliable independent source. Their roles were and are niche and require dedicated and considered specialist information. The banks were providing lots of advice and dominating the few sources of information there were. We felt there was a gap in terms of more objective analysis and information from a trusted independent media partner.

Our combined skillsets meant we could see the need for information and match it with the informative and objective content. The challenge for us back then was whether this was a sustainable business model and whether we could build and maintain a community of readers whilst funding the right business model for us to be successful.

Richard felt much the same as me about the lack of reliable and well analysed information from an independent source. Having been a banker to many companies he knew where many of the inefficiencies lay and, from his consulting activities, understood the value of independent advice.

My first floor flat in Pimlico served as the first office which gave us a London address and a central London telephone number. Believe it or not, things like that mattered in those days when we were trying to establish our credibility. We were functioning like a startup I guess, before we really knew what a startup was.

The very first edition was not actually printed. Everyone was getting very excited about how electronic communication and the internet were impacting the world. But it turned out we were wrong and people still wanted something they could put in a briefcase (remember those things!) Something they could hold and read.

So we did print the second edition and Richard took them in a suitcase to a EuroFinance Conference in Lisbon and handed them out on the door – we couldn’t afford to actually be inside at that time. This has become a collector’s item, but only for us!

Things snowballed very quickly and at the beginning I worked 15-hour days regularly – juggling family life with the commitments required to make a business work. The problem that nearly all new businesses face is that potential advertisers often do not want to be the first to try. They want to see that your business idea is proven and tested before they use it. It can be very difficult to get that breakthrough. You need nerves of steel. Luckily one or two suppliers agreed with our approach from the very beginning and slowly we gained momentum.

Treasury Today Asia

We launched Treasury Today Asia in 2005, but it was called Treasury Today in China and we translated into dual language – an incredibly difficult task. The opening up of the Chinese economy and the emergence of a treasury function in Chinese companies provided an opportunity for us to explain the techniques to a new audience.

But we soon realised we were only telling part of the story as there was a great deal of interesting corporate treasury and finance activity all over Asia Pacific. In addition, many of the Chinese corporate treasury and finance staff were learning English to undertake international business. So we broadened the publication to Treasury Today Asia, and stopped translating.

Adam Smith Awards

We started the Treasury Today Adam Smith Awards In 2008. Many in the industry were asking us to run an awards scheme. At that time, most of the awards programmes run by other publications were very supplier focussed. For example, awards like ‘Best Cash Management Bank In Europe’ – with the awards going to the banks that were advertising with the publications.

We wanted to focus our awards on our corporate readership and their achievements. This was immediately more interesting to corporates as it meant they were learning about what other corporates had actually done. The supplier of the solution could gain recognition as well as a partner. What was not clear was whether this approach would be supported and there was indeed some resistance to begin with. There was much more work involved for the suppliers in getting one of their clients to agree to talk about what they had been doing.

It did slowly gain support and the Treasury Today Adam Smith Awards are now the most prestigious awards in the business. We were able to follow this with an awards programme in Asia now called the Treasury Today Adam Smith Awards Asia.


The treasury and finance function is always evolving – not to be confused with revolution. This sounds dull, but is crucially important. The finance and treasury function in a company hold the purse strings. They look after the cash which is the lifeblood of the company. It will have to find more blood, more cash, when the company has to fund itself. You need safe hands handling all this.

Nonetheless, there are always a few companies that are leading and innovating new ways of doing things. We talk to them and many others. Those that follow on often learn a lot from the pioneers and may well make a better job after learning from others’ mistakes. Most corporates will talk about this as it is not really seen as competitive space.

One change that has been very noticeable to us is the growth of fintech and the emergence of many new suppliers who are not banks. But the fundamentals of good treasury and finance management remain much the same.

Our biggest challenge was ensuring our business model worked. Would we get enough support from the suppliers if we did not simply agree to print everything they wanted to say? Which we categorically did not. There was resistance at first, but we also had some great early supporters – thank goodness. Money was going in one direction at the start, and it wasn’t the right direction!

Other unknowns were if big companies needed this information or if they already knew it all? Surely, they would know what they were doing? As it turned out, large corporates have been our biggest supporters of all as they fully recognised the value we bring – well-researched additional information from an independent source that they can trust.

Staying relevant is a continuing challenge. We strive to never lose sight of our main objective. The provision of well-researched relevant information to the corporate finance and treasury functions. You could call it high quality information brokerage.

We have to make sure we facilitate communication between suppliers and their potential customers. We must not be a barrier but a conduit. So finding different ways to do that, and ways that work, is a continuing challenge. I suppose you could say staying true to our original objective is the main challenge for us. The feedback from our readership helps us do that.

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