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Companies Look to 2015 with Cautious Optimism

by William ‘Dub’ Newman, Head of North America, Global Transaction Services, Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Galen Robbins, Head of Global Commercial Banking, Global Transaction Services, Bank of America Merrill Lynch

The 2015 outlook for large and mid-sized companies in the US is one of optimism. Revenues are up, and businesses are turning their focus to growth and investment opportunities after many years of stagnant activity. Dub Newman (DN), head of North America treasury solutions, and Galen Robbins (GR), head of global commercial banking treasury solutions at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, discuss clients’ priorities and concerns in the coming year, and outline some of the ways the bank and its clients are working together to balance the risks and rewards ahead. 

What are the greatest challenges faced by clients in the macro-economic and business environment in 2015?

DN: In North America, the macro-economic backdrop is positive with signs of sustainable growth and increased confidence being reflected by corporate activity: both mergers & acquisitions and business investment are increasing. We’re also seeing a majority of clients say they plan to pursue new growth strategies this year, due to increased confidence in the economy and the positive performance of their companies.

Outside the US, however, the picture is more complex. In the past few months we have seen a number of concerns resurface that were last seen in 2012 and 2013. There is renewed uncertainty in some Eurozone countries, while the decision by the Swiss National Bank that it would no longer hold the Swiss franc at a fixed exchange rate with the euro has underscored the potential for unexpected change. Against such a dynamic backdrop, the main priority for clients is to know where their money is at all times and be able to access it when they need it so they can avoid any financial pitfalls.