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Treasury Snapshot: An interview with Giacomo Baldi, Global Treasurer, GE Grid Solutions & Power Conversion

Published  2 MIN READ

Part of our Treasury Snapshot series: a collection of quickfire interviews with corporate treasurers.

What is top of your treasury to-do list right now and why?

Mainly two things:

  1. Timely and accurately capture FX exposure in every remote part of the business into a digital platform where routing rule sets allow us to hedge 80% automatically. This leaves us to make judgements on how to address the remaining 20% through a more detailed analysis of the peculiarities.
  2. In the ITO phase – improve the way we assess the risk generated by the wording of trade finance instruments and enhance the features of the existing management platform of the issued instruments to minimise drawdown risks and costs.

What achievement during your treasury career so far are you most proud of?

My character is (unfortunately) more inclined to forget the good things I do, so I end up rather more focused on what I could do better and what I could improve on in future. I’m proud to have had a role in the GE Treasury organisation for so long.

Is there one tool (apart from a crystal ball) that would make your job that bit easier?

Definitely a tool which provides FX pacing and highlights variances in a granular manner. From this we could pull out a sensitivity analysis about potential FX P&L impacts. That’s mainly what a CFO wants to know about FX and currently it takes time to provide without digital support.

What is the best piece of career and/or life advice you’ve ever been given?

Dive deep into operations to capture the rationale of the deals/projects in which we have an FX exposure to address hedging strategy in a consistent manner. Another good piece of advice was the more general one from Voltaire: “The best is the enemy of the good”, meaning that if you aim to achieve perfection you never get it. Better to apply for a kaizen approach.

When you’re not working, how do you like to spend your time?

I like reading general literature, economics, magazines, newspapers – anything which gets me thinking and makes me better understand myself and the world we live in. I recently read Fyodor Dostoevsky’s Russian classic Crime and Punishment in which you can find the whole spectrum of human nature’s beauty and ugliness. I’ve started to read the famous Spanish classic Don Quixote as some of today’s writers mention it as an excellent example of realism in literature.

I also spend time listening to music, mainly jazz but also rock and blues. Just a few examples of my preferred listening are Miles Davis and John Coltrane on the jazz side and American West Coast 60-70s music, such as Frank Zappa. More recently Radiohead and Dave Matthews.

Cinema is an art which can provide exciting moments and thoughtful experiences. Unfortunately, I haven’t had much time to go, but I like French Nouvelle Vague films (mainly Francois Truffaut) and some Italians like Fellini, Antonioni, and the Taviani brothers. My preferred directors are Orson Welles and Stanley Kubrik. Recently, the directors I’ve come to appreciate are the Cohen brothers, Quentin Tarantino and, although not on all occasions, Woody Allen.