The role and profile of the treasury function have undergone a gradual but distinct transformation in recent years, fuelled by the increased awareness of the need for effective Treasury and Risk Management during the financial crisis. In the first Executive Interview of 2013, we are pleased to feature Jiro Okochi, Chief Executive Officer of Reval, who has long held the reputation as a pioneer in risk management, and Phil Pettinato, Chief Technology Officer, who is driving solutions for Treasury and Risk Management SaaS technology.
What is driving treasury transformation, and what does this mean in practice?
Before the financial crisis, many treasurers lacked real-time visibility over their cash and risk positions. Since 2008-2009, however, credit risk and liquidity management have been at the forefront of corporate financial strategy, leading to a transformation in both the profile of treasury and the role it fulfils, and in the technology that facilitates visibility and control over cash and risk.
Treasury is in transformation at various stages. Many companies have been making do with what they have, but the largest companies – those with more complexities – are leading the way because of the urgency with which they need to change. Companies with manual processes or burgeoning multinational requirements are also transforming, while others are not as far along, despite the alarm. We are starting to see a growing number of companies assessing the skills, policies and technology that underpin their treasury function and seeking to enhance their capabilities. Lack of budget and resourcing are still hurdles to this transformation, however, and many treasurers are finding it difficult to make the transition from operational functions to strategic centres of expertise.