Cash & Liquidity Management
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Managing Liquidity and Short-term Investment

BNP Paribas Cash Management University Preview

BNP Paribas will once again be hosting its renowned Cash Management University on October 8-9 2009 in Paris, France. This year’s event, following a remarkable year for the financial world, focuses on two of treasurers’ most important priorities: liquidity and risk. In this new series of articles, we preview some of the themes and industry experts who will be part of the event, and follow up on the key findings. In this opening article, we speak to participants in one of the workshops which will form part of the Cash Management University

Liquidity has become a treasury buzzword, dominating many articles and brochures; however, there is no single, universal solution to the challenge of effective liquidity management. For example, one company may focus on centralisation of cash to enable greater visibility and mobility of cash, a second may seek to refine its collections process to manage their credit risk and ensure timely collection of cash, while a third may be more concerned with rationalisation of banking relationships. As Peter Pollaert, Global Head of Sales, Cash Management at BNP Paribas-Fortis Bank explains, it is important to prioritise the issues which have the most significant impact on a company’s working capital,

“Effective liquidity management is particularly important during a period of crisis to ensure the ongoing viability of the business. Treasurers have placed greater emphasis on liquidity, and working capital more broadly, in recent months. This is more than simply establishing or refining cash management structures such as cash pooling and netting. Instead, the focus needs to be on cash balances and flows, especially collections. The CFO is not kept awake at night with worries about the relative efficiency of a payments process, even though this remains an important area; on the other hand, he will be far more concerned if insufficient cash has been received for the company to meet its financial obligations. Treasurers and CFOs need to take steps to ensure that they are getting cash in when it is due, and that they know it’s been received, so that they can make it work for the business.”