by Alex Verbaeten, Global Treasury Solutions, Senior Vice President, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, and Simeon Stevens, Global Corporate Banking, Principal, Consumer and Retail,
Why leading global companies need to rethink the definition
of an integrated treasury platform.
If we accept the premise that there is no going back – that the role of global treasury was forever changed by the financial crisis, then it isn’t a big leap to recognise that the way we used to do things may no longer be the way we should be doing things. ‘One-dimensional banking’ – or the reliance on individual products to address specific needs – may have worked even three short years ago, but today, it feels a bit like mailing a paper letter to convey time-sensitive information. Why would you do it?
What’s behind this new imperative? Time – or rather, the lack of time – which pushes a treasurer to have more solid solutions and bank relationships in place.
Today’s treasurer needs access to a wealth of expertise that isn’t limited to a single individual or source.
Treasury’s ability to rely on the luxury of lead time to adjust to the implications of an emerging risk, or to react to a new opportunity or expanding market is gone – probably forever. Responding in the little time allotted isn’t helped by the existence of siloed operating components, or disconnected expertise. Today’s treasurer needs solutions that are interconnected and deliver specific capability – but without excessive hard wiring – so they can be modified, added onto, or replaced quickly to respond to a new imperative – without upsetting the operation of the greater whole. Just as important, today’s treasurer needs access to a wealth of expertise that isn’t limited to a single individual or source. They can’t be shopping around for that expertise when it’s needed. They need a speed dial. And they need expertise that is based on a deep knowledge of the company itself – its strengths, limitations, goals and objectives. What today’s treasurer needs is access to a full scale consultancy practice – so that regardless of the actual immediate need they can get at it with one phone call.