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Back to the Future: a New Generation of TMS

by François Masquelier, Head of Corporate Finance and Treasury, RTL Group, and Honorary Chairman of the European Association of Corporate Treasurers

We have entered a new world with a new ‘normality’. Treasurers need more adapted IT solutions to respond to the new requirements of e-level management. This technological evolution toward TiM(R)S (Treasury intelligence Management Risk Systems) is also crucial to comply with new regulations. Treasurers need to contribute more to the decision-making process with their strong financial expertise and new generation IT solutions. Treasurers have undoubtedly become strategic partners of CEOs and CFOs.

A new order, a new world

In a world in which the financial crisis has become a sort of ‘norm’ and in a world of finance in utter chaos, in which the return to normality (or the ‘new normality’) bears no relation to the world before the sub-prime crisis, treasurers need to face up to a large number of more restrictive and onerous changes in regulations. In particular, they need to provide a number of reports to meet the requirement for transparency, which is a consequence of the financial crisis that has been affecting us for five years now. The treasurer’s environment, like the banker’s, is in a phase of profound change. Most treasurers have not yet really felt the blast of these winds of change because the new regulations are being finalised and will start to come into effect in the next few months. But nobody is in any doubt that the treasurer’s job will once again have to adapt to its changing environment. The tools and the organisation have to evolve to adapt and fit the new obligations and the new demands required by ‘C-level’ management. This adaptation will necessarily involve innovative and powerful new technology. We need to move from the traditional TMS (Treasury Management System) that all treasurers use to more powerful IT tools that cope with the new requirements, particularly regulatory requirements. These new tools need to evolve to a more advanced risk management level, towards BI (Business Intelligence) and become modular so that they can evolve continuously and meet the new needs of CFOs. The strategic priority goes to managing financial risks and to giving the most comprehensive possible real-time overview of the company’s financial position.

These priorities, belonging to a new financial order and a new world, require new solutions that are more appropriate and fit for purpose. This evolution, without being revolutionary, will see us move from the world of TMS towards that of T&RMS (Treasury and Risk Management Systems) or even onto TiM(R)S (Treasury intelligence Management Risk Systems). Technology can be a catalyst for change and makes it possible to completely overhaul our organisational structure in this evolving environment.