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Treasury Strategy & Transformation
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Benchmarking Performance to Create Economic Value

by Helen Sanders, Editor

If you have already read the series of career interviews in this edition of TMI, you will have noticed a common theme - the profile of treasury, and individual treasury professionals, is dependent on demonstrating value and the benefits they bring to the organisation. Treasury departments are good at many things, and the implications of not having a well-run, effective treasury could be devastating for the company; however, few treasuries are demonstrating this in a way which is quantifiable and clearly understood by other parts of the business. A structured approach to performance benchmarking can be a way of achieving this; after all, it has been said many times that one’s true value depends entirely on what one is compared with.

As Deborah Thomas, Michael Page emphasises in her interview, other parts of the finance function, such as tax, are in a stronger position than treasury because their profile is higher and their value is more easily demonstrable; furthermore, as David Li, Market Manager, EMEA Cash Management at Citi emphasises,

“Benchmarking in treasury has been notable by its paucity. How do treasurers influence the corporate agenda or effect wholesale change unless they can sell their value to their business partners? In many organisations, the financial controller is heir apparent to the CFO rather than the treasurer because s/he is able to do this.”