Tom Alford

Deputy Editor, Treasury Management International

Articles

Kingfisher France Targets Big Baskets with BNP Paribas’ Unique A2A Payments Solution

When Europe-wide retailer Kingfisher Group wanted to find a way for higher-spending customers of its Castorama and Brico Dépôt retail home-improvement outlets in France to pay for their goods, BNP Paribas responded...

Breaking New Ground

The pace of payments technology development across APAC is breath-taking. Treasury must understand the scale and significance to harness the benefits.

Is a Treasury Tech Self-Build Feasible?

Treasury is an increasingly technology-enhanced function, and some treasurers have taken their involvement to the next level, building their own solutions. In the company of those who have travelled this path, we...

API Days: From Talk to Action

Since the first APIs started appearing in the bank-to-treasury space a few years ago, driven in part by the open banking revolution, there has been much talk of their transformational power. We consider the reality...

United We Stand: Tackling Cybercrime Together

Cybercrime and fraud are on the rise and new attack vectors are emerging with alarming frequency. Nicolas Trimbour, Head of Fraud Prevention and Chief Data Officer for Cash Management, BNP Paribas, and Laurent Sarrat,...

How Buyers and Suppliers Can Ride Out Supply Chain Storms 

Few could fail to acknowledge the impact of recent supply chain disruptions. But how can businesses large and small manage events that are often outside their direct control? Bringing together its experts from...

BNP Paribas Connects Webasto Korea to the Global Family

When Germany-headquartered international automotive supplier Webasto Group decided to acquire its long-standing Korean joint venture partner Donghee, some major changes were needed within the local finance function....

Real-Time Transformation: Creating a Connected Financial Office

When data flows are connected, it’s so much easier to make quick and accurate decisions. This is the principle behind the emerging notion of the connected financial office. But how can finance teams achieve the level...

RPA in Treasury: Making Friends with Robots

By Tom Alford, Deputy Editor, TMI On behalf of those yet to explore robotic process automation, we ask a brace of technologists to reveal its real advantages and limitations, and speak to one business expert whose...

Maintaining ESG Momentum at the Heart of Treasury

While sustainability has risen up the corporate agenda at a rapid pace, and many treasurers have taken its practices onboard, there is still more work to be done on both sides of the balance sheet. Two senior...

Asyad Group: Full Speed Ahead with Bottomline for Treasury

Evolving from an almost entirely manual treasury set-up to one where the latest technology is being deployed has advantages far beyond process efficiency. TMI talks to Muhsin Alrustom, Group Chief Financial Officer,...

We Need a Better Solution: A Treasurer’s Legacy Tech Escape Plan

The phrase ‘legacy technology’ may invoke images of ancient and unstable IT systems that must be replaced as soon as possible. But is this always the case, and how easy is it to move away from such systems? We...

A Tale of Two Treasuries

A Guide to Successful M&As Mergers and acquisitions are never guaranteed success at any stage of the process. For their part, treasurers will typically face the practicalities of integration and transition, this...

SCF Optimisation in Three Words: Supplier Relationship Management

Treasury and procurement should be strong partners, especially when it comes to managing supply chain finance. Yet despite the advantages for all parties of such programmes, often there are not enough hours in the day...

How to Gain Visibility and Take Control of Payments and Cash

When it comes to payments, cash, liquidity and spend management, bank system independence is both desirable and achievable. Coupa’s Rajiv Ramachandran, Senior Vice President, Product Strategy & Management, Coupa...

The Future By Design

Lim Soon Chong took over as DBS’ Group Head of Global Transaction Services on 1 August replacing John Laurens, who will be retiring at the end of the year. Lim, who also continues in his role as Head of Digital for...

The High-Flyer With His Feet On The Ground

My Life in Treasury: Andrea Sottoriva Group Treasurer and Finance Director, SITA Some career paths appear random while others seem to plot a made-to-measure course. And then there are those people who know how to...

The Thrill of the New

My Life in Treasury: Patrick Kunz Patrick Kunz is an interim treasury and finance consultant. With experience in abundance to share with his clients, he understands that adaptability, a passion for learning, an...

All-Seeing AI: The Facts About Real-Time Cash Forecasting

A real-time view on corporate cash and liquidity positions has become crucial to optimal decision-making. Yet for many companies still struggling to aggregate their siloed data sources, this might as well be a notion...

Changing Power and Powering Change

The automotive sector is in the midst of great change as motive power switches progressively from the internal combustion engine to electric. DBS, which is involved in financing this revolution in Asia, talks to TMI...

Making Machine Learning Work for Treasury

Machine learning is often seen as the panacea for all modern business challenges. However, while it can be a very useful ally, it won’t fix everything – treasurers will still need to make judgment calls. In the...

Payments Tech: Delivering Strategic Advantage

The payments space has been put to the test over the past 18 months or so as businesses continue to face up to the challenges of the pandemic and intense commercial pressures. As new channels of operation and...

A Tidal Force

My Life in Treasury: Inês Faden da Silva As Group Treasurer for Tideway, the utility behind London’s new 25km ‘super sewer’, Inês Faden da Silva is helping to make a positive impact on current and future...

Marketplace Heroes

How Treasurers Can Keep the Cash Flowing Freely Online marketplaces are increasingly seen as one of the most effective ways of leveraging customer and seller relationships. A successful ecosystem requires the...

Building a Better Cash Forecasting Toolkit

Without effective forecasting, companies are essentially flying blind into the future. We look at the role of new technology evolving to help tackle this challenge. While much of the finance function has digitised...

TIS EPO: Reimagining the World of Enterprise Payments

Treasury Intelligence Solutions’ (TIS) Enterprise Payment Optimization (EPO) takes a vital process, removes its complexities, and improves visibility for every participant in the chain. Stating such a goal is...

Crypto: Can it Ever Be Right for Treasury?

In an era where arguably even normally dependable gilts have shifted from being ‘risk-free returns’ to ‘return-free risks’, have cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin finally become viable assets? Or has recent...

Schuldschein: Helping SITA Rebuild the Airline Sector

When global air transport infrastructure provider SITA was seeking to extend its cash buffers, Germany’s Schuldschein market caught the eye of its Group Treasurer and Finance Director, Andrea Sottoriva. TMI talks to...

Beyond Technology in Treasury: Leveraging Community Intelligence

Running an efficient, data-driven global treasury is not just a technology play: it’s also about leveraging “community intelligence” and group-wide collaboration. Sounds too involved? It’s easier than you...

From Cash Pools to Clean Energy

Triple-Layered Cash Pool Providing China Three Gorges with Overseas Funds Control CORPORATE RECOGNITION AWARDS Best Cash Pooling Solution - Highly Commended  When it comes to demonstrating best...

Regulatory Round-up with the EACT

The European financial regulatory environment is one of the most homogenised in the world and yet it still forces corporate treasurers to stay constantly alert for local nuances, revisions and wholesale changes. With...

BNP Paribas’ BENEtracker gives L’Oréal’s Beneficiaries Visibility on Incoming Payments

When none of the different parties of an international payment transaction knows where a payment is in transit, fixing any delays is a challenge. L’Oréal, with support from BNP Paribas has created a simple solution...

Payment Tech Uptake Post-Covid-19 ‘Surprising’ says Deutsche Bank Survey

A new survey by Deutsche Bank of over 200 European treasurers and CFOs highlights the renewed vigour with which new payments technology is being adopted in the wake of the pandemic. TMI asks report author, Marion...

Connectivity Means Continuity

Calastone Connect Forum 2020 Calastone’s Connect Forum 2020 brought together a quartet of treasury professionals to discuss the role of technology in enabling more efficient cash management while managing...

Never a Dull Day

My Life in Treasury with Jeannot Jonas, Assistant Treasurer, Cash & Capital Markets at Carrier Global Corporation Carrier Global Corporation is an $18.6bn S&P 500 company and a global provider of sustainable...

Recipe for Success: Building a New World-class Treasury during Lockdown

When Patrick Kunz, Interim Treasury & Finance Consultant, started at Takeaway.com, the treasury function did not exist. Building one from scratch is the dream scenario for many treasurers. But when – on only the...

A Ringside Seat on Change

My Life in Treasury with Anthony J. Carfang, Managing Director, The Carfang Group Anthony Carfang has a distinguished background in consulting, writing, speaking, thought leadership and advocacy in the areas of...

Is it Time to Appoint a Chief Liquidity Officer?

In the current trading environment, where companies really need to have both acute visibility over their financial assets, and the most effective plans to manage them, we ask if the time has finally come for the Chief...

Paper Cuts: Rio Tinto Leverages Blockchain for Trade

With the first fully digital, blockchain-secured end-to-end letter of credit transaction between Nanjing Iron & Steel and Rio Tinto complete, TMI asks Rio Tinto’s Michel Alves, Customer Service Manager, Iron Ore...

ION Treasury: Creating Real-World Opportunities for a Digital Future

Treasurers have much to gain from a co-ordinated programme of digitalisation. With some forethought and planning, the benefits of advanced technologies are there for the taking, says Michael Kolman, Chief Product...

FX Hedging Strategies for 2021 and Beyond

As new processes and technologies are called upon to help businesses navigate turbulent waters post Covid-19, foreign exchange hedging strategies will need to change too. The latest survey from Kantox, in partnership...

Flying Start: Taming SITA’s Vast and Complex Payments Set-up

As a specialist in air transport communications and information technology, SITA is present in just about every country on the planet. With on-the-ground support for its airline and airport clients an essential part of...

Inbound Payments Tracking: A Game-Changer in the Making

With SWIFT’s cross-border inbound tracking service for gpi becoming the latest addition to the treasurer’s toolkit, Nicolas Cailly, Deputy Head of Payments & Cash Management, Societe Generale, explains the new...

Blog

Becoming an Investor Relations Champion

What role can treasury play in Investor Relations (IR), and what value can be added? TMI talks to Dino Nicolaides, Managing Director, Head of Treasury Advisory UK & Ireland, Redbridge Debt & Treasury Advisory, and new President of the Association of Corporate Treasurers, about the demands of...

Managing the Impact of Rising Interest Rates and Inflation

With interest rates rising as central banks try to contain inflation, a difficult balancing act is in progress. The responses of the various monetary policy committees are being watched with a keen eye by treasurers the world over as they consider their next actions. Tarek El-Yafi, Regional Head of Cash...

Community Impact: Cash and Fixed Income Investing for Good

CNote is a tech-enabled impact investment platform - and a means for finance to be used as a “tool for economic justice”. Its focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion helps corporate and institutional investors use their capital to strengthen underserved communities. Catherine Berman, CEO and...

Trade Assets: A New Way of Managing Short-term Liquidity

Does it make sense for treasurers to develop an investment strategy that incorporates short-term payables and receivables from the global supply chain? Guy Brooks, Head of Distribution for Working Capital Finance, Pemberton, certainly thinks so. He explains the treasury opportunities to TMI. The...

Global Trade Finance Network Gets New Innovation Head

Elaine Ng, Contour's new Head of Innovation, is looking forward to working with “a great mix of blue-sky innovation and commercialisation” as she draws up the company's roadmap for 2022. TMI discovers more about her ambitious plans. Contour, the TMI award-winning digital trade finance network...

What’s Happening with Fixed Income?

Fixed income is an investment approach focused on preservation of capital and income. Have recent events started to reshape thinking in this space for investors and providers? TMI consults an expert. In the fixed income space right now, there’s good demand for investment grade (IG) credit mandates,...

Reporting Rules Changing for Crypto Assets

The $1tr. Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill, recently signed by US President Joe Biden, includes a tax code change that brings crypto under the tax reporting microscope. What does increased interest on the part of the regulatory authorities mean for corporates holding or considering such assets? TMI asked...

Verizon Fostering Final Farewell to Cheques in the US

When BNY Mellon announced that Verizon had become the first corporate client to introduce the Real-Time E-Bills and Payments functionality, it marked a breakthrough for retail clients. TMI asked the bank how this solution could impact the treasury space. The US retail payments space has long relied upon...

Bel Group: A Treasury Transformation in Progress  

Bel Group’s selection of Kyriba’s platform for global treasury, payments and risk management is all about bringing disparate processes and business units into line. Benoît Rousseau, Group Treasury and Insurance Director, Bel, talks to TMI about his choice and what he now expects. The Bel Group...

How to Tackle KYC and Other ID Pain Points

Following the launch of Verafide, the UK’s first open source blockchain-based platform for verifiable credentials, TMI talks to the firm’s technical adviser about know your customer policies and other corporate uses cases. The processes attached to client onboarding in the financial services industry...

ESG Spotlight: How to Recycle Plastic While Tackling Poverty

Plastic Bank is an international social enterprise organisation founded and based in Canada. It builds recycling ecosystems in underdeveloped communities, as a way of reducing plastic pollution and tackling high poverty levels. TMI talks to David Katz, Founder and CEO, Plastic Bank, about how it achieves...

Crypto, CBDCs, DeFi and the Treasurer

Ingka Group, the largest franchisee of the IKEA brand, with 390 stores in 32 countries, is not currently using digital currencies, but is following their progress closely. It is building its knowledge and understanding of the market, and assessing when the right time might be to engage, and how. TMI talks...

Accelerating the ESG Agenda

Bank of America’s recently formed EMEA ESG Strategic Council has a number of important goals in its sights. TMI talks to the council’s leaders about how it will deliver and what it means for stakeholders. With a stated intention of becoming net zero by 2030, the long-term environmental commitments of...

Green Light for Green Trade Finance

Green trade finance transactions require a trade finance instrument to support an underlying green project. But with no market standards yet supporting their use, accusations of ‘greenwash’ threaten their integrity. TMI spoke to the Head of Trade Finance at one of the few global banks currently offering...

Time for Treasurers to Demand More Money Market Transparency

The money markets play a key part in the short-term investment programmes of treasurers. Reforms have helped them ride out the worst of recent events. But money markets could be better still, says one leading participant – and treasurers can help shape their development. Money market fund (MMF) reforms...

Steel Determination: ArcelorMittal’s Front-to-Back Trading and Risk Challenges Resolved

With its multi-vendor hedging and financial risk management system architecture coming to the end of its useful life, leading global steel and mining company ArcelorMittal’s treasury looked to Calypso and implementation partner Synechron for a long-term solution. Even with the advantages of a highly...

We Need to Talk About Pensions

Pension trusteeship is subject to a range of increasing challenges, not least around managing the regulatory burden. For a corporate treasurer entrusted with a UK defined benefit pension scheme – especially one from a multinational sitting overseas – the time may have come for a big change. As any...

Post-Brexit UK Finance Sector Changes: Should Treasurers Worry?

Concerns that the might of the UK’s financial sector would crumble post-Brexit seem not have been justified – so far. Can treasurers rest easy? Chris Biggs, Partner, Theta Global Advisors, offers his views on what the future holds. Love it or loathe it, Brexit has brought about some major changes in...

What CBDC Experiments Mean for the Real Economy

The use of digital currencies in legitimate commercial settings took a sizeable step forward recently with the first ever live settlement of a fund using Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) tokens. What is the impact of this successful transaction on the real economy? When Banque de France (BDF)...

From Ancient Rome to the Digital World

The second instalment of Standard Chartered’s Regulatory Readiness Series for Corporates explores the impact on treasury of the regulatory necessity to respond to immediate threat while delivering on long-term planning needs. Rome was not built in a day. As with every embryonic settlement, the...

Revenue Indices Could Save Airlines (and Other Sectors) Billions

The airline industry, currently subject to an extraordinarily challenging trading environment, could be about to save billions of dollars every year in financing costs if a new set of benchmarking indices rally market support. Skytra, a wholly-owned Airbus subsidiary, has recently received approval from...

Banking-as-a-Service 101

If you’ve not heard of Banking-as-a-service (BaaS) yet, do not be alarmed. It’s a relatively new concept that is still mostly concerned with retail banking. But its application for transaction banking is beginning to create waves. TMI wrote about Goldman Sachs’ all-new ground-up transaction banking...

Why Banking Has to Shape Up or Ship Out

EY’s recent report on the state of the corporate, commercial, and SME banking market points to a number of problems in the sector, before providing several solutions. Treasurers interested in moulding the future with their key partners should get involved in the discussion now. EY’s report, ‘How...

How to Innovate – and be Successful

Innovation comes with no guarantees of success. Is there a way to increase the odds? We ask Annerie Vreugdenhil, Chief Innovation Officer, ING , to describe the processes she employs with her team. In the treasury world, ‘innovation’ may be interpretated as simply offering new products or services;...

The Potential of Quantum Computing in Trade Finance

The financial mechanisms underpinning global trade are undergoing significant change. Tradeteq CEO Christoph Gugelmann explains how quantum computing has the potential to transform this trillion-dollar industry over the next few decades. It is noteworthy that trade finance – an industry that has been...

BIS: Cyber-attacks on Financial Sector Never Been Greater

The connected nature of business today means it has never been more important for treasurers to recognise and respond to the risks impacting their partner ecosystem. In particular, given the agenda for digitalisation, understanding the ever-changing threat of cybercrime to the financial sector, and how it...

Remote Control: Can Treasury Break Free From the Office for Good?

With the pandemic forcing many to work remotely, the idea has gained traction among professionals that this is not such a bad thing after all. To what extent can treasurers operate effectively away from the office? We ask an expert. Corporate treasury teams are usually quite small, tight-knit affairs,...

Adopt Me: Why Innovations Must Be Humanised

As book titles go ‘Technology Is Dead’ is likely to pique the interest of more than a few treasurers, given that the profession is frequently bombarded with messages to the contrary. TMI spoke to its author, Chris Colbert, to find out more. Fintech specialists live and breathe technology, so when a...

McKinsey Review: Banks Active Actors in

McKinsey’s Global Banking Annual Review 2020 is out and, despite the obvious challenges of this year, positivity is in the air. But more work is needed. TMI talks to one of the report’s authors, McKinsey Senior Partner Matthieu Lemerle, about some of the key findings and their likely impact on...

Time to Sleep, Perchance to Dream? Not in the World of Payments…

The pace of change in the payments space is not conducive to restful slumber. Standard Chartered’s Regulatory Readiness Series for Corporates aims to soothe the fevered treasury brow with some well-aimed explorations of its key themes. They say that a change is as good as a rest. Whoever ‘they’ are...

Port of Rotterdam: Taking Sustainable Finance to the Next Level

Ports are a vital part of the global economy – so when one of the biggest in the world is striving to counter climate change, its actions should be watched closely. TMI spoke to Tim de Knegt, Port of Rotterdam Manager Strategic Finance & Treasury, to find out how the financing of his epic sustainable...

Specialist Treasury Technology: A Breed Apart?

The idea that best-of-breed selection, as opposed to a traditional ‘full stack’ TMS, is the way forward gets the TIS ‘Executive Briefing’ treatment in its latest paper. But are treasurers ready to abandon their love of TMSs and migrate to best-of-breed solutions instead? When research by...

Are APIs Really Delivering the Goods?

The noise around APIs is particularly raucous in the financial services world, but are they delivering on the promise to bring a host of new products and services to end-users? TMI asks Sindhu Vadakath, Head of Global Digital Channels and Asia Payments Product Management, BNY Mellon, to assess...

Digital RFPs: No More Pain, Many More Opportunities

It seems that change is in the air for many corporates. Indeed, a recent Treasury Dragons event demonstrated that there is a healthy appetite amongst corporates to move to another core system or banking provider. With one poll showing 65% of the audience of over 100 corporates are considering moving on, the...

Disruptive Treasury Tech: Perspectives from BofA

Technological disruption is the name of the game in financial services these days. With Bank of America’s Head of Cross-Product Solutions, Ayeesha Sachedina, speaking on a SIBOS panel later this week on the impact of AI, blockchain, automation, 5G, IoT and the like, the bank organised a press roundtable...