Challenges in a changing world
The message from G7 leaders recently gathered in Cornwall was clear. With many of the discussions, like talk of an international infrastructure drive to rival China’s Belt and Road Initiative, centred on a determination to push back against China’s growing global influence, expect a greater sense of western unity and a tougher stance on China ahead. Another standout message signalled root and branch ambitious reform of global corporation tax following a headline-grabbing commitment to introduce new taxing rights over companies and a new global minimum tax.
In this issue we pick up on both these themes. Alexander Foltin, Treasurer at German semiconductor manufacturer Infineon, talks about his treasury priorities against the backdrop of US China tensions in a strategic industry that depends on open and free trade. Elsewhere, tax and treasury experts flag corporation tax reform will have repercussions on company cashflows and payments, urging treasury to start preparing for tax liabilities in jurisdictions where they don’t have a physical presence.
This edition’s Corporate View comes from Jan Beukes, Group Treasurer at South African entertainment group MultiChoice. He shares his experience overseeing an ambitious digitisation overhaul across MultiChoice’s treasury, a root and branch reform that caught the eye of our judges, with Beukes and his team scooping Overall Winner – Best in Class Treasury Solution in Africa in our Adam Smith Awards 2021, announced at our live ceremony in June.
Lastly, this edition explores progress in racial equity at companies one year on from George Floyd’s murder and the Black Lives Matter protests. We find consumers, employees and shareholders are increasingly holding corporations to account, but new recruitment and retention practices and tying executive pay to diversity targets are more key than ever. “There is certainly lots of talk about what needs to be done, but in my experience, few have committed to and are doing the multi-year organisational development/cultural work that is required in an intentional way. I don’t think it is always down to lack of will, it is often down to a lack of expertise around what is actually required,” explains leadership expert India Gary-Martin.