From Northern Ireland to Malaysia to the Republic of Ireland, there's been significant activity during my last full month as president.
Only weeks before the Northern Ireland Assembly members were summoned back to Stormont, I was lucky enough to attend a superb Northern Ireland president's dinner in the grand Parliament building, which has been in the news so much over the past weeks. As I've mentioned before, the imagination that goes into organising interesting events across our global branches is staggering.
Having also just come back from seeing a fantastic example of members in action, this time in Malaysia, I have been struck again by our leading position in business internationally, and by the commitment shown by our members, students and staff in promoting the value and profile of chartered management accountants in business. "Beyond competition" was the theme of the CIMA management accounting conference in Kuala Lumpur. I was delighted to speak at the event, which focused on ways to keep ahead of the competition through continuous forward thinking, having the passion to excel and daring to be different. Hearing Imran Khan's closing speech on leadership was a particular inspiration.
On returning to Europe, I experienced yet another wonderful evening an opportunity to spend time with Irish members and students in the splendid surroundings of Mansion House in the heart of beautiful Dublin. The following day saw the Republic of Ireland AGM in the stately former home of the Duke of Wellington.
A further demonstration of CIMA's leadership and forward thinking was its recent establishment of a pensions advisory group to consider the corporate risk of pensions arising from defined benefit schemes (see Institute news, page 51). This is a critical issue on many board agendas. We are delighted to have such a distinguished and diverse group of people involved in this development.