by Sarah-Jane Chilver-Stainer, Senior Vice President and Group Treasurer, GlaxoSmithKline plc
GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) is one of the most respected corporations globally, combining innovation and excellence in pharmaceuticals, vaccines and consumer brands to improve the quality of life for people in every country. An essential way in which GSK is able to maximise its investment in research and development and continue pursuing its aim to eliminate malaria, is to be able to channel surplus cash from around the world to the parts of the group where it is needed the most, driving down the costs to end consumers by reducing the cost and overall levels of borrowing. In 2011, Group Treasury embarked on a cash and treasury optimisation project with very specific cost, risk and efficiency objectives. Initially, the project is focused on Europe, but this will ultimately be rolled out globally.
At GSK, we have a dynamic approach to cash and treasury management, and flex our business organisation according to the changing needs of the business. In the past, we had two treasury centres in London and Philadelphia. Since the appointment of a new CEO, and more recently CFO in April 2011, there has been a strong organisational focus on expanding the scope of treasury to centralise skills into a single centre of excellence, and optimising cash and risk management. We have now centralised our treasury activities in London, with five key areas of expertise: corporate finance; group treasury; cash management; pensions; and insurance.