Strategic Treasury

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Start Up to Grown Up: Zalando’s Treasury Journey Technology is at the heart of Zalando, Europe’s leading online fashion platform’s, business. Their commitment to using progressive, current technology extends across their business, including treasury.

Start Up to Grown Up: Zalando’s Treasury Journey

Start Up to Grown Up: Zalando’s Treasury Journey

by Marco Arosio, Head of Treasury, and Paola Andrea Jimenez, Senior Treasury Manager, Zalando SE

Technology is at the heart of Zalando’s value proposition. We leverage sophisticated technology and big data to reach and attract customers, provide convenient access through our customers’ favourite devices, identify and offer up-to-the-minute fashion brands, and create a high quality customer experience through efficient delivery and customer services. This commitment to using best-in-class technology and sophisticated analytics to increase competitiveness and effectiveness extends across our business, including treasury.

Key Points

  • Zalando’s rapid growth after its start-up in 2008 necessitated an expansion of its treasury department and the implementation of new treasury systems, beginning in 2013

  • SAP was initially chosen and subsequently the company implemented EMIR reporting

  • Greater automation and control has reduced operational risks and allows treasury to operate with a significantly smaller workforce than would have been required without SAP

  • Zalando now has a single point of access and visibility to all its bank accounts with automatic cash pooling and robust payment approval processes

Treasury organisation and challenges

Treasury operates centrally from our Berlin headquarters, with responsibilities across cash management, risk management and debt financing.

In the early phase of the treasury team build-out we operated mainly with offline processes. This made it challenging to monitor and manage liquidity requirements efficiently and to identify and hedge FX exposures. Similarly, FX transactions were put separately into the trading platform and into our treasury management spreadsheets. The valuation of FX forwards was also a manual process. In payments and cash management we used a number of online banking platforms, which made it difficult to achieve timely visibility over cash balances.

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