by David Scriven, Group Treasurer, Yell Group plc
We had to develop Yell’s head office functions from scratch, including treasury, when what was then Yell Group Limited was used as the vehicle for the leveraged buyout from BT in 2001. We aimed to keep these operations as small and efficient as possible, reflecting Yell’s general culture and philosophy. Consequently, we have one full time treasury professional, with many of the treasury tasks conducted by an effective ‘virtual’ treasury team. Various people across the divisional finance functions attend to treasury matters but they are not necessarily treasury specialists and do not report directly to the Group Treasurer. With treasury tasks performed outside a centralised treasury department, a priority for us has been to ensure that we maintain both operational controls and the appropriate level of transactional capability to support our treasury needs. We have tried to keep our treasury activities as straightforward as possible and we are risk and cost-averse, acting purely as a cost centre that services business requirements without speculating.