Treasury Strategy & Transformation
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The Treasury: From Back Office to Strategic Business Partner

by Erik Zingmark, Head of Cash Management and Deputy Head of Transaction Products, Nordea

Erik ZingmarkThe treasury can expect a bright future at the top table — so says research conducted by Nordea. We surveyed 82 large corporate treasuries and interviewed more than 60 CFOs and treasurers to find out how the treasury function has changed and what it will look like by 2017.

Our conversations with treasurers have made it clear that the treasury function is in transition. While treasurers express some uncertainty over market conditions and exposure, they are hopeful about how their own positions have developed and certain about their ability to add value to their businesses. We set out to find exactly how the treasury has fared during a period in which it has had to react to a vibrant macro environment and increased automation of processes — and to see what the future holds.

From back office to the top table

Our Treasury 2017 report reveals that treasurers and CFOs alike acknowledge the importance of the treasury to the strategic decision making process. Providing advice to the business is now a key part of the treasury’s role, and treasurers and CFOs expect it to become even more important over the next two to three years. That is not to say that the transactional element of the treasury’s role is going away — around 60% of respondents said that it remains of high importance and will continue to do so. But the focus on driving through efficiencies is not resulting in the treasury becoming a back-office administrative function. Organisations value and need its input on key strategic decisions, particularly around funding and exposure to risk.