Asia Pacific Perspectives: Foreword
by Ather Williams III, Head of Global Transaction Services, Bank of America Merrill Lynch
The role of the treasurer is fast evolving globally with the pace of transformation especially significant in the Asia Pacific region. Today’s treasurers are looking beyond the traditional cash management requirements and taking into account the bigger picture, recognising the importance of strategic action.
At Bank of America Merrill Lynch, we stand firm with our treasury clients as they take on this wider remit. That’s why we are delighted to publish this special supplement, which discusses the challenges and opportunities facing treasurers in areas as diverse as currency volatility, multi-layered regulatory complexity, shifting corporate cultures and ever more powerful technology.
Treasurers in Asia Pacific have experienced rates of economic growth in recent years that would be the envy of their counterparts in other regions. This has prompted a surge of development in the way the treasury function is organized and managed, but there is still work to be done in preparing for a future in which international trade requires truly global connectivity and interdependence between organisations and their people
In this supplement, Ivo Distelbrink analyses this transformational shift in treasury and looks forward to the changes yet to come. Kuresh Sarjan highlights one example of those changes in his article on supply chain finance, where trade and treasury functions are growing ever closer as the benefits of optimising working capital – and the perils of not doing so - become clear. Liquidity management and foreign exchange are examined by Faisal Ameen and Sunil Bhatia, while Deepali Pendse looks at changing corporate cultures in an age of diversity and the effects of those changes on treasury.
Finally, as Amit Sharma explains, it is technology that will help the treasurer cope with change by providing greater visibility and control of all these factors, bridging the combined challenges of geography, diversity and lack of regulatory uniformity. Used appropriately, the emerging wave of treasury and payments technology can speed internal processes, boost connectivity and help manage risk.
Our role as a global bank is to help our clients understand and benefit from these changes, and the articles in this supplement are one contribution towards that end. I hope you find them informative and thought-provoking.