by Marco Tierno, Head of Group Treasury & Short Term Financial Planning, Alitalia Compagnia Aerea Italiana
Since the new Alitalia business was launched in 2009, the management team, combining both existing and new senior executives, has focused on repositioning strategy and modernising processes, creating synergies and efficiencies and streamlining the organisational structure. From a treasury perspective, we had already made progress towards transformation and modernisation, but the reorganisation acted as a catalyst for delivering a highly efficient, centralised treasury structure.
Consequently, we now have a re-engineered and automated treasury function. We have eight treasury personnel and we have focused heavily on centralising and rationalising bank relationships, cash flow, treasury processes and financial control reporting. For example, we have centralised the management of our six primary currencies, and ten of our banking relationships, which amounts to 90% of cash flow. This article outlines the treasury transformation at Alitalia, and the achievements so far.
Treasury challenges and priorities
I first became involved with Alitalia’s treasury in 2005 as a consultant, and therefore developed a detailed understanding of the challenges and opportunities that existed before taking on leadership of the treasury function. The bankruptcy and subsequent restructuring of the company was, in reality, a major catalyst for finance transformation, with a strong management appetite for enhancing operational and financial efficiency.