Building a European treasury hub from scratch is no mean feat – especially when you are aiming to take efficiency gains to a whole new level. Here, Christian Fraisl, Head of Accounting, VAT & Treasury and Regional Compliance & Ethics Officer, Aspen Healthcare, and Bhairav Mehta, Head of Cash Management, BNP Paribas, South Africa, explain how Aspen has successfully streamlined its bank account management and sped up its payments processes. They also outline how the company is shifting towards a centralised treasury model and embracing innovative technology to reach new heights.
Despite its humble beginnings in Durban, South Africa, Aspen has grown into a global pharma giant, improving the lives of patients in more than 150 countries worldwide. Part of this success has come from the company’s decision to establish Aspen Healthcare, a Dubai-based subsidiary responsible for the commercialisation of Aspen products in the European, Middle East and North Africa (EMENA) markets.
As Fraisl explains: “From a treasury perspective, we set up a shared service centre (SSC) in Dubai to support the company’s expansion into Europe, while taking charge of the regional bank account structure and acting as a support system for payments and collections across the EMENA region.” To make the SSC as efficient as possible, Aspen immediately embarked on a journey to streamline its bank account management and improve its global payments workflows.
“We decided to consolidate down to a single banking relationship per region, through an in-depth request for proposal process,” explains Fraisl. “Having multiple banking partners was creating a number of inefficiencies, given the need to use several online banking channels and the wide range of complex file formats involved. The compliance challenges and the ongoing burden of bank account management across multiple partners were also reasons to rethink our approach.”