by Erik Seifert, Global Head of Cash Management, and David Teare, Global Head of Client Relationship Management, SEB
The recent crisis has been remarkable not only in the depth of financial turmoil, but also the speed with which it struck. Treasurers had little time to shore up financing and liquidity management structures, and therefore became more reliant on their key banking partners. Many discovered the hard way the banks they could rely on and those they could not. As a result, the way that corporate treasurers manage the liquidity and risk management needs of the business have changed fundamentally.
As the capital markets dried up, and banks reviewed their lending strategy, liquidity optimisation became a major board-level consideration. Firms that had previously maintained a decentralised approach to cash management, funding and hedging sought to centralise these activities to improve control over cash flow, reduce the cost of funding and manage credit, interest rate and FX risk more effectively.