Decès de Anthony Travis

Tony Travis avait rejoint le Conseil de l’Observatoire de la Finance en 2003, alors qu’il était managing partner à PwC à Genève en charge de la révision des comptes des grandes institutions bancaires suisses. Il a également collaboré avec la Commission Volker sur les fonds en déshérence. Tony a apporté à l’Observatoire l’ouverture sur les questions éthiques dans les professions comptables, notamment celles de la révision et de l’audit. Il était éminemment préoccupé par la montée d’une pratique de la révision basée plus sur les règles que  sur les principes, notamment ceux de l’intégrité personnelle. Il en a fait part dans un chapitre publié dans l’ouvrage collectif “Enron and the Wolrd of Finance” (*).

Anthony Travis était un fervent soutien à la mise en place des premières éditions du prix “Ethics & Trust in Finance”. C’est dans ce contexte que Tony nous a permis de rencontrer notre actuel président.  En retraite depuis quelques années, Tony consacrait beaucoup d’énergie à la promotion de l’entrepreneuriat en Afrique sub-saharienne et a notamment présidé Swiss African Business Circle.  Son expérience professionnelle au Congo, au début de sa carrière, a en effet marqué Tony à vie.

Merci Tony, pour ton amitié, ta compétence, ton expérience et ton humour dont nous garderons un souvenir reconnaissant.

(*) Travis, A. (2006). Enron et al. and Implications for the Auditing Profession. In: Dembinski, P.H., Lager, C., Cornford, A., Bonvin, JM. (eds) Enron and World Finance. Palgrave Macmillan, London.


Discussion Board n°26, 25/03/22

In response to Russia’s attack on Ukraine on 24 February 2022, the international community has shown willingness to respond but differences and hesitations about the type of instruments, the actors to target and the level of response. The spectrum goes from possible rapid accession of Ukraine to the EU, to economic sanctions. What kind of sanctions should be taken and by whom (governments, companies) in this situation?


Virus To Vitamin n°24, 28/01/22

After trillions of dollars have been injected to contain the economic damage from the pandemic, inflation has suddenly come back on the radar and it may not be transitory as central banks early hoped. While inflation may hurt the interests of savers and creditors, it may also be beneficial for debtors (eg. business or governments). In your view, what are the main the threats, but also possibly the main opportunities related to inflation.


Virus To Vitamin n°22, 26/11/21

The Emissions Gap Report 2021 (UNEP) shows that pre-COP 26 national climate pledges combined with other mitigation measures put the world on track for a global temperature rise of 2.7°C by the end of the century, which is well above the goals of the Paris climate agreement and would lead to catastrophic changes. To what extent can the financial system as such, or its main players, be held – morally or/and legally – responsible for insufficient progress in containing climate warming? What should, and what should not be done to rapidly change this state of affairs? By whom?


Virus To Vitamin n°21, 29/10/21

Inequalities seem to accelerate in every part of the world due to Covid and otherwise. Unlike in the climate debate, in social issues we do not have a proper threshold for catastrophe. This leads to a possible overestimation of social resilience and leaves the issue as such largely untackled. Drawing on the particularities of your region or on your area of expertise, what should/can be done in priority?


Virus To Vitamin n°20, 24/09/21

“Insurance companies play a key role in pricing, transferring and managing damage-related risks. Yet, in 2015, just before the UN Climate Change Conference (COP 21), the then CEO and Chairman of global insurance company AXA – Henri de Castries – warned that “a four degrees’ rise in global average temperature is not insurable.” According to Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), we are today aiming at four degrees. In fact, De Castries poses the question of how uncertainty will be priced and mitigated in our world which is off track of net-zero greenhouse gas emission target. Would public authorities become by default the only available shelter against some risks, and what would this imply for financial markets, insurance companies and public finances?”