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Day 2: The Treasurer as Operational Leader

gtnews Blog - June 2014

The role of the treasurer took pride of place in discussions on the second day of BNP Paribas’ Cash Management University, with contributions from both treasurers and a chief financial officer (CFO).

Day two of the 7th BNP Paribas Cash Management University began with a series of concurrent workshops covering a variety of key treasury topics. Once the attendees came back together in the main plenary room, they were initially put to work to design a new treasury dashboard, with the different tables of delegates competing to come up with the perfect design to suit the needs of treasurers.

While no winners were announced on the day, this attendee would personally be very surprised if the bank doesn’t launch a treasury dashboard in the near future that looks suspiciously like the design arrived at by those on table 8 - all present agreed they would be very happy to sell this concept to BNP Paribas for a reasonable fee.

A new treasurer/value creator

Once the fun of treasury dashboard design challenge was over, event moderator Lorraine Dauleux welcomed John Durcan, Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) treasurer with advertising and PR giant WPP and Parv Gill, Europe region treasury director at logistics group UPS, onto the stage to discuss how the role of the treasurer has changed over the past few years.

Durcan noted that the world itself is changing at an enormous pace through globalisation, and said he is managing more exposures. He described his two tempos of working as ‘Usain Bolt pace and Superman pace’. The Usain Bolt pace is what Durcan uses for his core markets. WPP has a multi-currency cash pool covering Asia-Pacific, mainland Europe, the UK and the US. The treasury pool represents approximately 95% of what is available to be pooled, starting in Asia and following on across Europe, the UK and finally the US where the position is centralised. This gives the company flexibility to pay down debt, for example.