Raising the Bar:
Corporate Recognition Awards
By Eleanor Hill, Editor
Year-on-year, the standard of entries to TMI’s Corporate Recognition Awards increases, taking the corporate treasury profession to new heights. The following overview of projects undertaken by corporates over the last 12 months provides a mere flavour of the innovation happening in the industry and we congratulate all our winners wholeheartedly!
Best Working Capital Solution
Dawn Foods, a global B2B supplier of baking ingredients with multiple entities and finance departments, embarked on a change-management programme designed to turn it into a more cash-oriented company. A taskforce was appointed with the key objective of a 10% year-over-year reduction of Net Working Capital Days. One of the pillars of the plan was implementing a 24/7 working capital tool – Cashforce - whereby the KPIs could be reported into several dimensions relevant to the different units and functions. Thanks to its choice of the right technology, and impressive cross-departmental co-operation, Dawn Foods has saved millions of dollars since the project began, with the cash freed up even being used to finance a strategic acquisition.
Best Cards Solution
A wholly owned subsidiary of Tata Motors, Tata Motors Finance Limited (TMFL) is one of the largest and oldest-established commercial and personal loan providers in India. It faced particular challenges from Indian market regulations that required insurance to be provided for vehicles it was helping to finance: complications arose from the time taken by TMFL’s insurance partners to process the relevant data. As insurance policies were only activated by the insurers on receipt of payment, TMFL typically had to make necessary payments 30 days in advance, resulting in USD$3-5m per month being blocked from use and preventing them from maximising yields on account liquidity. The treasury team worked with HSBC to put in place a new payment mode that harnessed purchase cards to settle premium payments to insurers on a bilaterally agreed due date. This card payment process has delivered greater cost efficiency as a result of the 45-day interest-free period provided by the solution, together with numerous other benefits including greater visibility and control over cash positions.
Top Treasury Team of the Year
The five-strong treasury team at Hitachi Capital UK PLC (HCUK) has made numerous advancements in the past year. After installing a new GTreasury TMS in 2018, the team saw an opportunity to improve its Treasury and Accounting reporting, and created a new reporting system which gives more detailed information to senior management, auditors and the team itself when making decisions. Treasury was also the first department in HCUK to go paperless, which has enabled it to save a great deal of time previously spent in printing and scanning documents, and ensure that an audit log is kept, while removing the danger of papers getting buried in a file or on someone’s desk! Of course there have also been notable sustainability improvements as a result. HCUK has also concentrated on automation and introduced new cheque scanning software as well as automating CHAPs payment files and bank statements – not to mention implementing multi-bank cash concentration to fund accounts. In preparation for Brexit, treasury played a key role in HCUK’s establishment of a subsidiary in the Netherlands and developed bespoke solutions to hedge FX risk for the subsidiary’s clients, while setting up the most cost-efficient funding mechanisms for writing deals in new currencies. As if this wasn’t enough, the five-person treasury team has also prepared funding with LIBOR transition in mind (considering fall-backs in documentation) and traded its first cross-currency swap with a mandatory break to reduce the cost of hedging longer term funding – all while keeping the lights on.
Best FX Solution
A diversified global company headquartered in Ireland, Ingersoll Rand Plc is a world leader in creating comfortable, sustainable and efficient environments in homes, buildings, transport and industry. The judges made this Award in recognition of the company’s successful transition from legacy and largely manual processes for hedging foreign exchange (FX) risk management to a system providing greater visibility and quantification of its exposures; historically, hedging had been limited to known exposures such as intercompany loans. To translate exposure management into meaningful analysis, Ingersoll Rand turned to Kyriba’s FX solution. The benefits this brought included gaining 97% real-time visibility of group FX exposure and a reduction in Value at Risk (VaR) by over 50% in one year. Crucially, the treasury team at Ingersoll Rand has also now evolved into a strategic partner for the business rather than simply acting as a corporate function.
Best In-House Bank Implementation
Astro Malaysia Holdings Berhad (Astro) is Malaysia’s leading content consumer company in the TV, radio, digital and commercial space. In 2016 Astro’s group treasurer and her team decided to investigate setting up an in-house bank to take over the activities which were managed centrally, mostly via manual processes, in the shared management services centre. After a rigorous bank selection process Astro mandated Standard Chartered as the banking partner for its in-house bank, working closely with Astro’s ERP system provider, SAP Malaysia, throughout the entire project. Astro went live with the in-house bank in February 2019, and is experiencing a wide range of benefits including a simplified account structure, improved cash forecast, mitigated FX risk and reduced reliance on bank credit lines.
Salesforce is a global cloud-based software company which, without an in-house bank, faced multiple challenges from the expansion in its number of resellers collecting in multiple currencies across multiple countries, plus an extended web of intercompany invoicing. The company decided to establish an in-house bank with PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) as its main partner in the project, together with a TMS vendor, European cash management banking partner, and various online trading and investment platforms and partners. The in-house bank has realised many benefits for Salesforce while avoiding a potential quagmire of cash ‘puddles’, FX exposures and intercompany relationships. And by utilising the project as an opportunity to re-evaluate the banking and technology landscape, the solution provided effective and future-proof processes, reducing manual workload, mitigating operational risk, and building trust among treasury and controllership.